By Ray Conner
The varsity Broncs football squad continues to take their lumps on the field.
Four games into their non-league schedule, they are 1-3. The offense continues to improve, but the mistakes and the inexperience of a young team has been shining through.
On Friday at home, the undefeated McFarland Cougars came to town. Big plays from the Cougars and missed opportunities by the Kern Valley squad led to the 39-21 loss.
The first missed opportunity came from the Broncs as they tried a trick play to open the game. A wide open receiver was missed and they ended up turning the ball over with a fumble. The Broncs in the game also had a touchdown called back on a penalty and turned the ball over a total of four times.
The first quarter was a defensive battle, as neither team could find the end zone. Leaving the score 0-0 after the opening quarter of play.
The offenses heated up in the second quarter as they combined to light up the scoreboard with 33 points. The Cougars scored 19 points on a seven-yard run, a one-yard plunge, and a 77-yard scoring toss late in the second quarter.
Kern Valley got two late touchdowns to close the gap. The last one of the first half came as time expired from 25 yards away. The teams went into the break looking at a 19-14 score.
In the second half, the Cougars were able to collect three more touchdowns, while the Broncs were limited to one more score. McFarland had a 17-yard and a 41-yard scoring tosses. There other TD came from the ground on a 5-yard run to the end zone.
Kern Valley’s defense scored their first touchdown of the season as they picked off a Cougars pass and returned it for a score.
The defense gave up a total of 347 yards to the McFarland offense as they surrendered 221 yards passing and 126 on the ground. Kern Valley amassed 287 total yards with 224 coming through the air.
The Broncs saw Jacob Lightner and Vincent Pearman combine to secure 56 yards of rushing. They each rushed for 28 yards. Lightner did it with 12 carries and Pearman had six totes of the football. Preston ran twice for seven yards and the lone rushing touchdown for the Broncs.
Kaden Preston was 14-of-23 for 224 yards and one interception. He had the one touchdown toss to Ryan Walker.
Walker hauled in six receptions for 102 yards on the night. Kieran McCarthy grabbed two passes for 53 yards, while Anthony Barton had a pair of catches that went for 22 yards. Davin Lee grabbed two receptions for 19 yards, while Lightner had one catch for 18 yards. Pearman rounded out the receiving with one catch for 10 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, Kenney Porter led the Kern Valley team in tackles with 10. Brett Grimsby finished with eight tackles, while Tanner Tito had seven. Damon Sage collected six tackles, while Jeffrey Cawein and Pearman had five apiece. Noah Alexander and Lucas Harris each had four tackles, while Barton, Lightner, Hansen, David Gonzalez, and Nick Timms each had three. Recording a pair of tackles was Walker, while Joe Miller, JJ Forbes, Malikye Moore, and Armando Gastelum each had one.
Head coach Ben Goffinet said, “There was a definite improvement in effort this week. We’re learning about how to rely on fundamentals and play faster, but it takes a while to get it. We need to
keep working on minimizing mental errors and working on technique. We keep getting better, which is the goal each week.”
Up next for the Broncs will be a contest with Mira Monte. It will also be Kern Valley’s Homecoming game.