Taft keeps Broncs penned up: Kern Valley cannot contain Wildcats in 2018 season opener

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer; The Broncs begin a play at Taft on Friday as Davin Lee No. 2 turns to hand off to Jacob Lightner in the varsity season opener.

By Ray Conner
Sports Editor

The start to the football season was not what the Kern Valley varsity Broncs wanted, but it showed them they will have to work harder to be successful.

Kern Valley took a trip to Taft to begin the 2018 campaign. They would not fare well, as they were out classed and out-played by the larger school.

The Broncs would be saddled with a 49-6 loss as the Wildcats ran wild.

The Kern Valley defense could not stop the Taft offense. They racked up over 400 yards of offense. Most of it came on the ground. The Wildcats rushed for 385 yards. All their touchdowns came on the ground as they pushed the Broncs defense back on every occasion.

The young Broncs got a wakeup call seeing the type of football they will have to play to produce wins.

The new offense from the Broncs was a learning experience as they tried to get on top. Kern Valley was limited to just 251 yards of total offense. The rushed for 69 yards and threw for 182 yards.

They had 12 possessions in the game and punted six times, turned it over on downs twice, had a pair of turnovers, the half, and the one touchdown.

They were held to the one touchdown, a TD toss to Trevor Hurley from Kaden Preston.

Taft would score 35 points in the second half to run away with the win and send the Broncs to their first loss of the new season.

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer; Kern Valley’s Kaden Preston looks for the open receiver in the game versus Taft.

The halftime score favored the Wildcats 14-0. Kern Valley scored its lone touchdown in the third, but it was too little too late as Taft exploded for the 35 points in the second half.

Offensively the Broncs were led by Preston who threw for 111 yards. He was 8-of-13 passing with one interception. He rushed for 25 yards on four carries.

Davin Lee was 4-of-7 passing for 31 yards. He carried three times for 16 yards. Jacob Lightner threw once for 40 yards and rushed for 28 yards on 12 totes.

Leading the way in receptions was Ryan Walker with eight for 132 yards. Hurley caught four passes for 22 yards, and Anthony Barton hauled in one catch for 28 yards.

On the other side of the ball, Hurley and Barton were the leading tacklers for Kern Valley with eight. Hurley also pounced on a loose ball for a fumble recovery.

Brett Grimsby and Nick Timms each finished with seven tackles, while JJ Forbes and Lucas Harris had five tackles apiece. Damon Sage recorded four tackles, while Joe Miller, Kenny Porter, and Noah Alexander had three tackles. Jorge Lopez, Lightner, Jeffrey Cawein, Vincent Pearman, Armando Gastelum, and Kenneth King each had two tackles. Finishing up were Walker, Brandon Valdez, and Carlos Lopez with one tackle each.

The Broncs head coach Ben Goffinet said, “I was proud of the guy’s effort in the game. Ultimately, we fell victim to our youth and inexperience. We made too many mental and physical errors to keep it close. I feel like the team is ready to get back to work this week and improve upon our missed assignments and opportunities. I have a lot of faith that the team will be markedly better next Friday”

The Broncs will look to get in the win column for the first time this season when they play at home against Silver Valley. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.

Photo by Donna Harris / Freelance Photographer; The Broncs ball carrier, Ryan Walker gets tackled by the Wildcats defender in Friday’s road game to begin the season.