Preps

Friday, Nov 01 2013 11:40 PM

Drillers prove to be too much for Centennial

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus moves a group of Centennial defenders, from left, Mason Saba (25), Riley Sheldon (23), Matthew Clendenen (11), and Khaili Shegog, rear, for a first down in the second quarter. Fellow Driller Dillon Littles is at right.

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  2. 2 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller wide receiver Kevin Hayes fights off Centennial's Mason Saba and gets close to the goal at the start of the third quarter.

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  3. 3 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Derrick Vickers of BHS takes off on a long kick off return with 2:14 left in the first quarter. Centennial's Khaili Shegog is at left.

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  4. 4 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Marcus Bruce, right, is congratulated by Bakersfield teammate Derrick Vickers after Bruce's touchdown run in the second quarter.

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  5. 5 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    BHS wide receiver Kevin Hayes heads up field escorted by teammate Derrick Vickers.

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  6. 6 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Centennial running back Brandon Robinson follows his blockers as he runs for a gain in the first quarter against BHS.

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  7. 7 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller running back Johnathon Malone encounters a wall of Golden Hawks as he scrambles to the outside. Centennial from left, Gabe Arteaga, Bailey Eby, Malcolm Johnson and Tristin Pratt.

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  8. 8 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Centennial quarterback Andrew Hansen is dragged down for a loss by Driller Marcus Bruce.

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  9. 9 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    In what many consider an upset, the BHS sophomores won first place with their 1980s themed float at halftime homecoming ceremonies. Here the students who helped build and rode on the float celebrate.

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  10. 10 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    It's BHS homecoming and the big winners of the of the night are Josiah West, Mr. BHS, and Schuyler Borges, Miss BHS. West is also Danny Driller.

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  11. 11 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Centennial running back Noah Frazier gains second quarter yards with Bakersfield's Lameshio Hill in pursuit.

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  12. 12 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller Marcus Bruce takes off on a second quarter touchdown run against Centennial.

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  13. 13 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield star quarterback Asauni Rufus side steps would-be Centennial tackler Khaili Shegog in the second quarter at Griffith Field.

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  14. 14 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    The Driller nation packed Griffith Field for the 2013 homecoming.

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  15. 15 of 15

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Drillers Daris Dallas, left, and Kevin Hayes, had a golden opportunity to scoop up this Golden Hawk first quarter fumble but it would be Centennial making the recovery. Centennial's Jordan Herrera (56) and a teammate close in on the action.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Sweet redemption for Kevin Hayes came in the form of a knockout punch for Centennial.

Minutes after dropping a sure touchdown pass, Hayes returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown with just three seconds left in the first half, sparking Bakersfield's 54-7 rout of Centennial on Friday at Griffith Field.

"I dropped that touchdown, and I had to make up for it somehow," Hayes said. "After that, it just felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders."

It also felt like the game was decided. Hayes' pick-six finished a 20-0 flurry for Bakersfield (7-2, 4-0 Southwest Yosemite League) that turned a close game into a 33-7 rout.

"Throwing the pick-six was huge," said Centennial coach Kevin Sneed, who coached even though he has had chemotherapy all week to treat throat cancer. "That was gigantic. It was kind of a knockout punch."

The teams traded touchdowns in the first quarter, with Centennial (5-4, 2-2) tying the game on Andrew Hansen's 1-yard keeper, and Bakersfield led just 13-7 into the final minutes of the half.

But then came this set of body blows:

* A 20-yard keeper from Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus on third down, followed two plays later by Marcus Bruce's 26-yard touchdown run with 2:06 left in the half.

* A Centennial three-and-out. 1:34 left in the half.

* A three-play, 45-yard drive from the Drillers, with Rufus hitting Jeremiah Reddick for a 12-yard touchdown pass and a 26-7 lead with 1:02 left.

* Hayes' interception, which came at the BHS 40-yard line and went the other way in a hurry.

"We started moving the ball, spreading them out," Bakersfield coach Paul Golla said. "We just got some quick strikes and quick scores. And then Kevin is just silly."

Bakersfield kept rolling in the second half, with Rufus tacking on touchdown runs of 3 and 79 yards to make it 47-7. At that point, the clock started running and the Drillers emptied their bench.

In all, Rufus was 10-of-11 passing -- the only incompletion was Hayes' drop -- for 156 yards and a touchdown, and he ran 11 times for 134 yards and three more scores.

Rufus went over 1,100 yards rushing on the season, but Friday he proved the Drillers can throw when necessary, too.

"A lot of people don't think we can throw, just because we don't," said Rufus, who this week gave Nevada a verbal commitment to play safety. "We silenced the doubters."

Hayes caught five passes for 84 yards for BHS, which clinched a share of the SWYL title. The Drillers can win the title outright -- and likely lock up no worse than a No. 2 seed -- when they play Stockdale (3-1 SWYL) at home next week. Bakersfield is ranked 18th in the state by Cal Hi Sports, and its two losses are to top-15 teams Westlake Village-Oaks Christian and Long Beach-Poly.

"The playoffs are very close," Golla said. "We told the kids, our days with each other are limited, so we've got to come Monday and have an unbelievable practice. With our strength of schedule, and with the way we've taken care of business, we'd love to be home here at Griff in the playoffs."

Brandon Robinson, a sophomore, ran for 116 yards for Centennial. It was his sixth game over 100 yards this season; the other five all came in victories.

"They're ranked in the state for a reason," Sneed said. "That's a very good team, and they deserve the accolades they get."

 

 

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