Kern Valley turns game over

By: Ray Conner
Sports Editor

The varsity Broncs football squad fumbled away their chance at beating the Cal City Ravens.
Kern Valley opened up High Desert League play this past Friday as they made the trip to Cal City. The Ravens were able to force a fumble late in the game, to secure the victory.
With the score sitting at 28-23, Kern Valley was driving for the possible go ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Broncs put the ball on the ground and the Ravens scarfed it up to halt the potential comeback. The final score would give Cal City the win 28-23.
The Ravens opened up the scoring in this battle to begin HDL action. On their first possession they took the ball at their own 46-yard line. Five plays later they hit pay dirt with an 18-yard scoring toss. They went for the two-point conversion, but came up empty. The lead was 6-0 for Cal City.
The Broncs had to punt on their first possession, but the defense stepped up and stopped the Ravens on a fourth down play.
It took the Broncs eight plays to get even on the scoreboard. Vincent Pearman went over the goal line from three yards out to tie the game at 6-6. After a couple offside penalties on Cal City, the Broncs decided to go for two. They were successful and now had the lead at 8-6 in the first quarter.
Kern Valley added to their lead in the second as the defense picked off a pass to set them up. Eating up the clock in the first half, the Broncs went on a 13-play scoring drive. They capped it off with a one-yard plunge from Kaden Preston. Once again they tried for two points and were successful. The lead was now 16-6
That would be the score as the teams headed to the locker room for halftime.
With Kern Valley in charge they took the second half kickoff and were moving in a positive direction. Unfortunately, the Ravens got defensive and intercepted a Preston pass. It turned into a pick-six and the Ravens got themselves close. This time the two-point conversion was good. The Broncs were still up 16-14.
That would be the only score in the third so the teams headed to the final quarter.
After a few changes in possessions, the Ravens added to their lead with a touchdown. They scored from 22 yards away on a running play. The two-point try was good and Cal City had battled back to take the lead at 20-16. Another pick-six gave the Ravens a larger cushion and the two-point conversion was good to make it 28-16.
The Broncs rallied quickly to get back in the game. Kern Valley went 78 yards in seven plays. Brett Grimsby added the PAT to bring them closer at 28-23.
The Broncs defense gave themselves a chance at the win as they forced a fumble and recovered. Kern Valley returned the favor as they fumbled the ball back to the Ravens to end the possible comeback.
Cal City went into victory formation and the game ended with Kern Valley (1-5, 0-1 HDL) taking the loss.
Kern Valley racked up 387 total yards in the game. They rushed for 124 and threw for 263 yards. The Broncs defense limited Cal City to only 196 total yards. The Ravens managed just 69 yards on the ground. They passed for 127 yards.
Leading the ground game for the Broncs was Pearman with 17 carries for 87 yards. Preston finished the game with 37 yards on 12 rushes.
Preston attempted 37 passes with 23 being completed for the 263 yards. He hit five different receivers in the game. He also threw the two pick-sixes.
Walker was the leading receiver with 99 yards with six catches. Davin Lee hauled in five passes for 62 yards, while Pearman caught six for 53 yards. Airian Navin grabbed four passes for 27 yards, while Kieran McCarthy had a pair of receptions for 22 yards.
Defensively the Broncs were led by Kenny Porter with 10 tackles. Nick Timms had five tackles, while Walker and Grimsby each had four. Lee and Noah Alexander collected three tackles each, while Lucas Harris had a pair of tackles and an interception. Pearman and Damon Sage recorded two tackles apiece, while Malakai Seidel, Blake Troller, and Ernesto Topete were credited with one tackle apiece.
Kern Valley head coach, Ben Goffinet said, “We did a lot of good on Friday night, but we just came up short. I’m proud of how the team responds to adversity, but we need to learn how to finish games. We missed an opportunity to start off league with a huge win. We’ll regroup and prepare for Bishop.”
Kern Valley will make the long trip to Bishop on Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.