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By Felix Adamo / The Californian
BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATED, 9:41 p.m.: Bakersfield Christian appears to have come back to beat Mission Oak. Eagles scored with three minutes left to go up 35-34, and Mission Oak has just been stopped on fourth-and-3 inside the red zone. What a comeback for BCHS, which trailed 20-0 early and now apparently will go to a CIF regional bowl game. More on BVarsity Live at 11 p.m.
UPDATED, 9:20 p.m.: Final score from the Division I title game: Bakersfield 60, Clovis North 21.
UPDATED, 9:16 p.m.: Derrick Vickers with his fourth touchdown of the night to cap this one. It's a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 60-21 (another missed PAT) and move us to a running clock. It's the third running clock Bakersfield has forced in as many games during this run. That's as good a way as any to show how dominant this team has been. Again, the regional bowl selections will be made Sunday, but thsi team certainly looks the part.
UPDATED, 9:12 p.m.: Matt Smith's second touchdown run has cut Bakersfield Christian's deficit to 34-28 in the D-IV game. Here, it's another nice drive from Clovis North capped by another Bolu touchdown. He's been really impressive and is up to 247 yards. That TD run was the last play of the third quarter, a quarter that the Broncos won, 14-13. But overall, it's 54-21.
UPDATED, 8:57 p.m.: Clovis North tries an onside kick, but Keayr Gragg — who might be next year's Drillers' quarterback — recovers it, and BHS has a short field again.
They take advantage, with a quick four-play drive that culminates with Jeremiah Reddick's 10-yard touchdown run. Extra point no good, but Bakersfield extends its lead to 54-14.
In Division II, Garces just turned the ball over on downs with about eight minutes to go, trailing El Diamante 21-14.
UPDATED, 8:48 p.m.: Bakersfield Christian scores in the D-IV game to cut the Mission Oak lead to 27-21 in the third quarter. Brandon Jones with his 49th touchdown pass of the night. Good game there as the Eagles try to come back.
Clovis North's Bolu Olorunfunmi is having himself a night in a losing effort here. He just carried five times on a long Broncos drive that he capped with a 44-yard touchdown run. CN's offensive line is starting to get push up front. Of course, it's too late, with Bakersfield up 48-14.
Mission Oak has answered with another Elijah Porchia TD run, his third long one of the night, and Mission Oak is back ahead by two scores, 34-21, in the D-IV title game.
UPDATED, 8:40 p.m.: Clovis North doing what it needed to do tonight — a little late, but still, the Broncos are driving the ball with Bolu Olorunfunmi and moving the chains, soaking up the clock on the first drive of the second half. But now it's third-and-6, and Autry is hit, sacked, and he fumbles. Malone has it for Bkaersfield, which collects its second turnover of the night.
Next play, Rufus is going deep. He has a man — it's the kicker, Coleman Olivas, who makes the catch in stride. 66-yard touchdown. Wowza. Now Olivas hits the PAT, too. It's 48-7 Drillers.
UPDATED, 8:11 p.m.: Bakersfield flashing it all now during this two-minute drive, with Rufus completing short passes to Vickers and Hayes getting the Drillers inside the red zone with just less than a minute left. Now Rufus will keep it, and he's going to score his third rushing TD of the night. It's a rout, officially: 41-7 just before halftime.
A sack of Autry will make sure Clovis North doesn't get points before the break, and 41-7 is your score at the break.
UPDATED, 8:00 p.m.: No three-and-out this time, but Kevin Hayes has another interception, jumping a third-down pass from Autry and returning it to the Clovis North 34. Two plays later, Derrick Vickers is loose and breaking tackles. 33-yard touchdown, his third score of the night, and it's 34-0 Bakersfield. What a rout. What a statement.
But Clovis North's Olorunfunmi breaks loose on the next play from scrimmage, and he drags a couple of tacklers all the way down to the Bakersfield 22. Gain of 58 there. He's up over 100 yards for the night. Olorunfunmi and Barnes combine for another first down on the ground, and Autry just got Clovis North on the board with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Robert McIlhatton. Nice rollout and 12-yard TD pass. It's 34-7 Bakersfield, 2:02 before.
UPDATED, 7:47 p.m.: Guess what: Another Clovis North three-and-out, and another short field for Bakersfield. Clovis North can't keep doing this, though another tackle for loss has caused a second-and-16. Bruce gains six for third-and-10. Rufus will throw for only the second time tonight. He's got Vickers wide open along the left sideline. Easy touchdown. 27-0.
UPDATED, 7:37 p.m.: El Diamante has a 7-0 lead on Garces, which threw an interception deep in its own end to set up the Miners touchdown.
Here, another Clovis North three-and-out and short punt has given Bakersfield great field position again, this time at the Broncos 45. A couple of dive plays to Marcus Bruce give the Drillers a first down at the Clovis North, but now a short run, a penalty and a Hayden Haupt tackle for loss have forced BHS into third-and-13. The first quarter ends there.
First play of the second, Rufus goes for 7. Bakersfield will bring on Coleman Olivas for a 40-yard field goal. It's up, long enough but just wide left. So Clovis North gets its first stop of the night with 11:20 to go in the second quarter.
UPDATED, 7:28 p.m.: Drillers get a three-and-out, with Clovis North committing a false start as they lined up to go for it on fourth-and-short. So after the punt, Bakersfield from midfield. Drillers with a short field is usually a bad idea, and two plays later, it's Rufus busting loose on third-and-short, and he's gone. What a dive for the pylon at the end of it, and it's 20-0. 41 yards for Rufus, who has 105 yards and two TDs in less than a quarter. Yeesh. 20-0 BHS.
Elsewhere, Bakersfield Christian also fell behind 20-0, but the Eagles have answered with a Brandon Jones TD pass, his 48th of the season, to cut the Mission Oak lead to 20-7 late in the first quarter. Garces and El Diamante scoreless in second quarter.
UPDATED, 7:19 p.m.: Clovis North with a nice answer here, with Bolu Olorunfunmi running twice for 57 yards to set CN up inside the 30, now Trenton Barnes gets another first down with two carries. First down at the 13. Now Austin Autry rolls to his right and throws, and Lameshio Hill gets a hand on it. Second down. Olorunfunmi to the 10. Third down. Now a false start and an incomplete pass. CN will try a 32-yard field goal. It's short and wide right. Bakersfield defense holds. 7-0.
Bakersfield quickly from its 20. Rufus for 15, then 22 more. Clovis North can't stop him. First down on the CN 43. Two plays later, first down on the 31. Drillers haven't faced a third down yet. Now it's a pitch to Derrick Vickers. Big hole, Blocks downfield, and it's another touchdown. Boy. 10 plays, 138 yards for Bakersfield and two touchdowns. Olivas' PAT goes wide right, though, so it's 13-0.
UPDATED, 7:05 p.m.: We're under way, with Clovis North winning the toss and deferring. So a short kick to Derrick Vickers, who gets it up past the 40. Good field position for the Drillers. Asauni Rufus picks up 7 on first down, then pitch to Johnathan Malone who has a big gain up the left sideline to the CN 38. Gain of 13. Now it's a dive to Jeremiah Reddick, who bounces outside and gets down to the 20. Rufus inside the 10. Now Rufus keeps for a 5-yard touchdown. Wow, that was easy for Bakersfield. 7-0 Drillers.
ORIGINAL POST: Championship night is here. Actually, it has already begun. Louis and the BVarsity crew are already at Griffith Field running a live preview show in advance of the Division I championship game between Clovis North and Bakersfield; I'll be joining them before too long. It's live on bakersfield.com until just before kickoff at 7 p.m.
During playoff games, we don't have rights to stream any coverage live, but we will have you covered with a special edition of BVarsity Live with Michael Hopper and Adam Resendez in studio. They'll be taking calls from myself and Justin Roberts at Griffith Field and running highlights from the Division I game. They'll also be getting regular call-ins from Californian writers scattered at championship games across the Valley: Jeff Evans at the Division II title game, Garces at El Diamante; Francis Mayer at the D-III championship, Ridgeview at Dinuba; and Steve Lynch at the D-IV final, Bakersfield Christian at Mission Oak.
Afterwards, join us at the regular time, 11 p.m., for BVarsity Live, where we'll recap all of the championships and talk about state bowl scenarios if Bakersfield or Bakersfield Christian should win.
(All games 7 p.m. Friday; playoff seed in parentheses)
(1) Bakersfield 60, (6) Clovis North 21, F
(1) Visalia-El Diamante 28, (3) Garces 14, F
(5) Dinuba 45, (6) Ridgeview 14, F
(3) Bakersfield Christian 35, (1) Tulare-Mission Oak 34, F
(1) Liberty-Madera Ranchos 31, (2) Mendota 19, F
(1) Farmersville 47, (2) Strathmore 35, F (last Friday)