By Ray Conner
It’s not how you start, but how you finish, as the jayvee Broncs football team found out.
Rival Bishop was on tap for Kern Valley this past Friday night as the Broncos invaded the home football field.
In the first quarter the defenses were the highlight as they kept each other out of the end zone to make it 0-0 after the opening quarter.
The two teams were able to make the other defenses bend a little, but it was Kern Valley that would hold the lead at the end of the first half. The Broncs scored twice to put up 14 points and held their rival to just 12 to take the two-point margin to the locker room. One touchdown came on special teams as Chris Mendoza returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown.
Coming out for the second half it would be all Bishop as their offense added 13 points in the third quarter. The Broncs had no answer and they went to the final quarter trailing 25-14.
The defenses got back on track and neither team would score. The High Desert League game went to the Broncos. It would mark the first league loss for Kern Valley in over two years. Their last HDL loss was also to Bishop.
Kern Valley’s offense was limited to just 142 yards of total offense. They rushed for 94 yards and threw for the other 48.
Leading the ground game for the Broncs was Carlos Martinez. He carried 11 times and went for 45 yards. Arian Navin picked up 22 yards on six touches, while Matt Carter rushed for 17 yards on five rushes. Mendoza wrapped up the rushing yardage with four carries for 10 yards.
Martinez threw for 42 yards with a 4-for-12 day. Carter was 2-of-2 for six yards. Navin grabbed four passes for 44 yards to lead the receivers. Tyler Strange caught one pass for three yards, while Tristen Kuiper had one reception for one yard.
Martinez led the defense with nine tackles. Navin collected eight, while Ben Hamilton had six tackles. Kuiper finished with five tackles, while James Davis and Mendoza had four each. Pardae Tuttle was credited with three tackles, while Ben Maison and A.J. Salem had two tackles apiece. Rounding out the defensive side of the ball, Scott Overholt and Mykah Johnson recorded one tackle apiece.
Head coach Scott Tedrow said, “We were evenly matched both physically and athletically. It was a close and hard fought game for all four quarters. We lost this game because of penalties and mental mistakes that Bishop was able to capitalize on.”
Kern Valley will now have 16 days before finishing up the season. They were supposed to play Boron on Friday, but the game was canceled as the Bobcats will be unable to field a team. Then the Broncs will be on their bye week before traveling to Rosamond to end the year.