Preps

Friday, Dec 06 2013 10:54 PM

Drillers leave no doubt in rout of Clovis North

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    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus celebrates with BHS teammates, fans and coaches after the Drillers beat Clovis North 60-21 in the Division 1 title game at Griffith Field.

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  2. 2 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Driller head coach Paul Golla is doused with Gatorade as the clock winds down for the Driller victory over Clovis North in the CIF Central Section Division 1 Championship.

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  3. 3 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    BHS seniors Dimas Ramos, left, and Derrick Vickers, center, celebrate the Driller's Central Section Division 1 Championship over Clovis North.

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  4. 4 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield defensive back Kevin Hayes returns a second quarter interception against Clovis North in the Division 1 Championship game.

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  5. 5 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    BHS star quarterback Asauni Rufus breaks free for a long gain against Clovis North in the first half.

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  6. 6 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield receiver Kevin Hayes sprints past a diving Arnold Lopez of Clovis North in the second quarter at Griffith Field. BHS won the Central Section Division 1 title 60-21.

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  7. 7 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield's Coleman Olivas races for a 66 yard touchdown on this pass play in the third quarter. Bronco Christian Rossi is at right.

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  8. 8 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield receiver and kicker Coleman Olivas is all smiles after his 66-yard touchdown in the third quarter against Clovis North. Teammate Noah Holle comes to congratulate him.

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  9. 9 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield running back Derrick Vickers had three touchdowns in the Drillers' Central Section Division I Championship victory over Clovis North.

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  10. 10 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Driller running back Derrick Vickers powers through Clovis North defenders Hayden Haupt (30), Connor Fugman (20) and Arnold Lopez.

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  11. 11 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Kevin Hayes of BHS and Clovis North defensive back Arnold Lopez go for a fourth quarter pass which would fall incomplete.

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  12. 12 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield linebackers Lameshio Hill, left, and Jeremiah Reddick combine for sack of Clovis North quarterback Austin Autry.

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  13. 13 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Bakersfield junior running back Lameshio Hill celebrates the Driller victory over Clovis North on the sideline as the game ends.

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  14. 14 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    BHS running back Marcus Bruce squeezes though Clovis North defenders Hayden Haupt (30) and George Helmuth (34).

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  15. 15 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Driller running back Derrick Vickers off on one of his three touchdown runs against Clovis North.

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  16. 16 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    BHS quarterback Asauni Rufus races for a Driller first down on a keeper in the Central Section Division I Championship game against Clovis North. BHS won 60-21.

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  17. 17 of 17

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Driller running back Derrick Vickers splits Bronco defenders Christian Rossi, left, and Mason Olivas in the first half of the Central Section Division I Championship game. BHS won 60-21.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

One of the most dominant playoff runs in Central Section history was complete, and Asauni Rufus was trying to survey his dominion.

But his grandmother wanted an autograph on her shirt, first.

"Hold on, grandma," Rufus said, and then he turned and said what everyone from Bakersfield High was thinking Friday night after the Drillers pounded Clovis North 60-21 for the Central Section Division I championship on Griffith Field.

"All this really means is that the kings are back on the throne," Rufus proclaimed. "We finally got our shot to get back here, and we took advantage of it."

Bakersfield (11-2) won its 36th section title, extending its state record, and did it easily. On their first three possessions, the Drillers went 58 yards in five plays, 80 yards in five plays and 50 yards in three plays. All of those drives ended in touchdowns, and BHS led 20-0 before the first quarter expired.

"We started off hot," Bakersfield coach Paul Golla said. "We didn't really have to do any adjustments. Asauni did a wonderful job and our offensive line and running backs did a great job of blocking."

Rufus, who's verbally committed to Nevada as a defensive back, flashed his tremendous quarterbacking skills on Griffith Field one last time. He completed 8 of 9 passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran 13 times for 166 yards and three more scores.

"It was easy on my part, really," Rufus said. "You could say, oh yeah, look at all those yards, but I was just running through open holes. Honestly, my job couldn't be any easier, thanks to this team."

Derrick Vickers' 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter made the score 34-0 before Clovis North (11-3) finally got on the board with an Austin Autry-to-Robert McIlhatton touchdown pass. But Bakersfield answered again, on Rufus' 19-yard touchdown run, to lead 41-7 at halftime.

Clovis North scored twice more in the third quarter, moving the ball behind big junior running back Bolu Olorunfunmi, a 210-pound bruiser who finished with 248 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.

But the Broncos, who won last year's Division I title and the Division II title the year before that, had fallen way too far behind for Olorunfunmi's brilliant night to matter.

"This was a first for us," said Clovis North coach Cory Hall, a South High graduate. "We'll have to go back to the drawing board and make sure this doesn't happen again.

"This was No. 1 and No. 2, and you've got to hand it to them. They did what they wanted. We came up short. A lot short."

For Bakersfield, Vickers finished with three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving, and Jeremiah Reddick scored twice, including a 4-yarder in the fourth quarter that set an automatic running clock in motion.

That's significant, because it meant that in three playoff games against teams from the elite Tri-River Athletic Conference, the Drillers forced a merciful running clock in all three of them.

"We had no idea this was going to happen, and we played some great football teams," Golla said. "It says a lot about our kids and our preperation."

As a section champion, Bakersfield is eligible for a CIF Southern California regional bowl game. For all of its illustrious history, Bakersfield hasn't played in a bowl game since the system started in 2005. Assuming the Southern Section's top two champions (Corona-Centennial and the winner of tonight's game between Bellflower-St. John Bosco and Santa Ana-Mater Dei) go to the Open Division bowl game, Bakersfield would be one of four teams eligible for two spots in the Division I game. The others are San Diego Section champions San Marcos-Mission Hills and San Diego-Cathedral Catholic and Los Angeles City Section champion L.A.-Crenshaw.

"I would love to represent the Central Valley in a bowl game," Golla said. "...We've had a lot of great teams, but we've never seen a team do this in the playoffs, that's for sure. You fall in love with all of your teams, so it's not fair to compare, but I don't know how many times this has ever been done in our section."

It was Golla's fourth section championship in nine seasons at Bakersfield. The last two, a 35-3 victory over Fresno-Bullard in 2011 and this one, were dominant.

"He's a great coach," Vickers said. "He knows what he's talking about, he stays up late going over film every weekend so we know what we're doing. He's great."

It was also the second section title in three years for this year's BHS seniors, who called themselves the YGs -- for Young Guns -- when seven of them started for the 2011 team. Rufus said the seven have taken to calling themselves the OGs -- Old Guns -- this time around.

"I think our class, we definitely sparked this school," Rufus said. "This school has had legends come through here, and they're the head of the school, but I think we made our footprint."

That mark, the 36th footprint in school history, was one of the deepest left on Griffith Field.

"It means everything, knowing that all the hard work that nobody saw us doing int he offseason, it paid off," Rufus said. "Now I finally understand what it means to reach the pinnacle of success."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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