By Ray Conner
What a difference a week makes.
Kern Valley’s varsity football team coming off an opening season loss bounced back to dominate Silver Valley-Yermo on Friday night.
A dominating defensive performance and an efficient offense resulted in the Broncs picking up their first win on the new season. The final score was 23-6.
After getting pushed around the previous week, the Broncs defense took exception and managed to hold this week’s opponent to 177 total yards of offense. Kern Valley allowed just 68 yards of rushing and 109 through the air.
They forced the Trojans to punt five times, picked off the opposing quarterback twice and made them turn it over on downs twice. They also recorded a safety for the first two points of the game.
With the ball resting on the one-yard line, Kern Valley’s defense mobbed the ball carrier in the end zone to produce the safety.
After one quarter of play, the score was 2-0 for the Broncs.
In the second quarter, the Trojans got on the board with a 35 yard pass play that resulted in a touchdown. The two point conversion try was stopped, but Silver Valley now led 6-2. The first half would end that way.
In the second half it was all Broncs as they galloped up and down the field stomping the Trojans. They scored three times in the second half. Their first touchdown came on a five yard pass play from Kaden Preston to Ryan Walker. Zach Goss added the PAT to make it 9-6.
That would stay that way until the fourth, when Jacob Lightner rushed for a pair of touchdowns to put the game out of reach. He went over from two yards out and then from 20 yards away. Goss booted both PAT to put the score at 23-6. The defense did the rest as they held the Trojans in check the rest of the way.
Kern Valley (1-1) had 349 yards of total offense. They put up 186 yards through the air and rushed for 163 yards. Five different Broncs caught passes in the game.
Lightner was the leading rusher for the Broncs with 119 yards on 17 carries and the two scores. Preston finished with 34 yards on nine carries, while Walker had one carry that went for nine yards. Goss had a pair of touches for two yards to close out the ground game for the Broncs.
Preston was 13-of-19 with a pair of interceptions for the 186 yards and the one scoring toss. Anthony Barton hauled in six receptions that went for a team-high 89 yards.
Walker caught three passes for 60 yards, while Lightner had two catches for 21 yards. Kieran McCarthy grabbed his first varsity catch for 13 yards, while Davin Lee caught on pass for three yards.
Defensively, the Broncs were led by Lucas Harris with nine tackles. Barton had eight tackles and picked off a Trojans pass. Brett Grimsby collected seven tackles, while Damon Sage finished with six tackles. Jeffrey Cawein, Tanner Tito, and Kenny Porter each had five, while Vincent Pearman and Noah Alexander each recorded four tackles. Armando Gastelum was credited with three tackles, while McCarthy had a pair of tackles. Joe Miller, Preston, David Gonzalez, and Nick Timms finished off the defensive work with one tackle apiece.
Kern Valley will be back on the road come Friday as they make a trip to San Luis Obispo. They will take on the Mission Prep Royals.
The game is slated to kick off at 7 p.m.