By: Ray Conner
The valiant effort to catch up to their CIF playoff opponent was never mustered by the Broncs.
Kern Valley went on the road to Sierra Pacific in the first round of the Division 6 playoffs.
The Golden Bears would use a misdirection type offense to run away with the 40-27 win.
They would rush for 536 yards on the ground with 50 carries. They did not complete any of their two pass attempts. Each team would have 11 possessions in the game. Sierra Pacific would do more with their chances than the Broncs could do.
The Golden Bears punted twice, turned the ball over on downs, and fumbled it away once. They scored six times and went into victory formation at the end of the game.
On the other hand, Kern Valley punted three times, fumbled once, and turned it over on downs three times. They would find the end zone four times.
Sierra Pacific would jump out to a quick 14-0 lead after scoring on their first two possessions. After taking the opening kickoff, the Golden Bears set up at their own 43-yard line. On the first snap on their opening possession they ripped off a 57-yard touchdown to set the tone for the game.
Kern Valley ran nine plays before they were forced to punt. The Golden Bears went on a 12-play drive that ended with their second touchdown of the game. The scoreboard read 14-0 and the Broncs were looking at ways to try and catch up.
After the ensuing kickoff, Kern Valley marched seven plays to break into the scoring column. Kaden Preston would score from seven yards to put Kern Valley on the board. Brett Grimsby added the PAT and the Broncs had closed the gap in the scoring. It was now 14-7 still in the first quarter.
The teams then traded possessions as Sierra Pacific turned it over on downs and Kern Valley gave it back to them on a fumble. Then each team was forced to punt. Sierra Pacific used only three plays to go ahead by 14 points once again. They had a 21-7 lead and after a three and out by Kern Valley they would score again. This time the Golden Bears went on a seven-play drive that added to their points. The halftime score favored Sierra Pacific 28-7.
Coming out of the break, the Broncs got some momentum going as the offense moved the ball. Taking the second half kickoff, the Broncs took seven plays to cross the goal line. It was Preston as he went over from three yards out. The Grimsby extra-point was good and it was now 28-14.
The Broncs defense stepped up and made the Golden Bears punt the ball back to Kern Valley. Nine plays later, it was Preston with his third touchdown of the game. He punched it in from the one-yard line. The Broncs trailed by seven at 28-21.
Sierra Pacific answered this time as they used six plays to increase their cushion. The score was now 34-21. Kern Valley turned the ball over on downs and the Golden Bears marched toward the end zone in five plays.
The third quarter ended and the teams went into the fourth.
Trying to play catch up, Kern Valley turned it over on downs on their next possession, but forced their opponent to cough up the ball. It took 11 plays for Kern Valley to score a touchdown. Preston hooked up with Davin Lee from 15 yards.
With only an onside kick option, the Golden Bears recovered and sent the Broncs home with the 13-point loss and put an end to their season.
The Broncs offense put up 429 total yards. They passed for 251 yards and rushed for 178. Preston picked up 113 yards on 21 carries, while Vincent Pearman had 65 yards on 12 rushes.
Preston completed 19 passes in 34 attempts for the 251 yards. He hit six different receivers. Lee led the way with eight catches for 98 yards and the touchdown. Kieran McCarthy hauled in four passes for 91 yards, while Pearman had four receptions that went for 27 yards. Ryan Walker caught one pass for 15 yards, while Jeffrey Cawein had one catch for 13 yards. Arian Navin had one reception for three yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kern Valley was led by Nick Timms with six tackles. He was followed by Walker, Pearman, and Noah Alexander with five tackles apiece. Damon Sage, Lucas Harris, Shelton Alley, and Kenny Porter recorded four tackles each, while Grimsby and Ernosto Topete each had a pair of tackles. Finishing off the tackles with one each were Lee, Tristen Kuiper, Blake Troller, and Kenny King.
Head coach Ben Goffinet said, “I’m proud of our effort against a good team. I think I couple of things could have changed the outcome, but it wasn’t about effort. I’m grateful for the work of the players and the coaches. We accomplished some important goals this season.”
With another football season gone for the Broncs it will only be another nine months until they suit up and start again.