Preps

Friday, Sep 20 2013 11:23 PM

Long Beach Poly provides too much firepower for Drillers

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield's Lameshio Hill fights off Long Beach Poly tackler Iman Marshall for a big gain in the first half.

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  2. 2 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller Lameshio Hill stiff arms Long Beach Poly tackler Iman Marshall for a big gain in the first half.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus pitches the ball to Derrick Vickers (not pictured) as Poly's Omari Lyles closes in.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller kicker Coleman Olivas, left, turns to holder Noah Holle after Olivas missed his second field goal attempt in the first half.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Long Beach Poly defenders Caleb Turner (5), John Smith (9), James Brooks (10, right) and Micah Croom (23) swarm Bakersfield running back Derrick Vickers in the first half.

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  6. 6 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Long Beach Poly defender Caleb Turner (5) brings down Bakersfield's Derrick Vickers in the first half.

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  7. 7 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus takes off on a keeper in the second quarter.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield running back Derrick Vickers looks for a way around Long Beach Poly defenders James Brooks (10) and Micah Croom (23).

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  9. 9 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Under pressure from Poly's Omari Lyles, Derrick Vickers looses a pitch out but managed to recover the ball in first half action at Griffith Field.

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  10. 10 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Poly's Omari Lyles (42) and Jason Fao bring down Driller quarterback Asauni Rufus close to the goal line at the start of the third quarter.

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  11. 11 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    As the sun sets, the Driller cheerleaders practice their routines before the game against Long Beach Poly.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Joseph Wicker and other Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits wait for the game against the Drillers to start.

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  13. 13 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller Man (Daniel Flores) shows his might at the game against Long Beach Poly.

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    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Using all their strength, the BHS cheerleaders hold onto a large banner for the team to run through at the start of the second half.

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  15. 15 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus runs for the Drillers' only touchdown against Long Beach Poly in the third quarter.

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  16. 16 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Head coach Paul Golla shouts instructions to the Drillers.

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  17. 17 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Poly's Omari Lyles grabs the jersey of Bakersfield's Asauni Rufus as he tries to bring down the Driller quarterback.

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  18. 18 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Driller running back Johnathon Malone cuts back inside to pick up blockers.

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  19. 19 of 19

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Marcus Bruce takes a handoff from quarterback Asauni Rufus and heads for an opening.

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BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Bakersfield held the lead for all of 12 seconds on Friday night in a 27-7 loss to Long Beach Poly at Griffith Field.

It's going to take the Drillers a lot longer than that to figure out exactly what went wrong in a meeting of the state's most winning programs.

"We drew it up, and it looked like we had some answers," BHS coach Paul Golla said. "I won't go to sleep until I watch it, because I'm not sure why it didn't work."

Trailing 6-0 at halftime, Bakersfield (2-2) marched 73 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. Asauni Rufus scored on a 13-yard run, and Coleman Olivas' extra point gave the Drillers a 7-6 lead.

But it was short-lived. On the next play from scrimmage, Long Beach Poly running back Jeremy Calhoun went 80 yards up the middle of the Bakersfield defense, re-establishing a Jackrabbits' lead that they wouldn't give back.

"Bakersfield had had the ball almost all night," Poly coach Raul Lara said. "For us to hit that on one play, heck yeah, that's a big play."

From there, Poly (3-1) dominated, fumbling away one drive at the Bakersfield 1-yard line but pulling away anyway. The Drillers didn't cross midfield again until the final minutes, when the Jackrabbits were up 27-7.

"Coach Golla's offensive scheme causes us problems, so us coming out of here with a victory is awesome," Lara said. "I have tremendous respect for the program, and it's the two oldest programs in the state going at it, so that's neat, too."

Poly won its 724th game all-time, second-most in state history behind Bakersfield's 738. The Drillers beat the Jackrabbits 29-6 last year in Long Beach, but in this one, the Drillers' normally explosive offense was stifled.

"We let them off easy," Rufus said. "They didn't do anything; we did it to ourselves. We missed assignments. We have to get better."

Rufus ran for 111 yards and the touchdown and threw for 61 more, but Bakersfield gained only 243 total yards and had just one play longer than 20 yards -- a 40-yard Rufus run in the third quarter.

"Their defense is really good," said Kevin Hayes, a Division I-caliber wide receiver who was limited to one catch. "We kept believing, but sometimes when we get down, we get discouraged."

Hayes had an interception and 43-yard return in the first half that helped the Drillers stay close, but Olivas missed two field goals and Poly led 6-0 at the half even though Bakersfield held the ball for nearly 10 minutes in the second quarter.

"I really felt excited at the half, because I thought we were right where we should be," Golla said. "We had moved the ball pretty well, and getting no points hurt, but we thought we were right there."

Instead, it was Poly that made all the big plays in the second half. Calhoun finished with 198 yards on just 11 carries, James Brooks had 79 yards and each Poly quarterback threw a touchdown pass.

"I bet if we break down film, it's just four or five misalignments," Golla said. "But if you misalign against Poly, you'll pay. There's no margin for error."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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