Bears score late to win 12-6 in defensive struggle

 The Taft and Arvin freshman football teams hooked up in a defensive struggle Thursday afternoon after the Bears scored late to defeat the Wildcats 12-6 in Arvin.
“Defensively we made some big plays in the first half,” said Taft coach Eric Newton. “We had a hard time catching the ball today.”
Neither team was able to break through in the first half but Taft had their chances. The first came at the 7:56 mark of the first quarter when the Wildcats recovered a fumble at the Arvin 35 –yard line.
Two plays later Andru Wade completed a pass over the middle to Tevin Howell to get to the Arvin 26. Instead of moving forward, the Wildcats went backwards before Arvin took over on downs at their 40-yard line.
Arvin had their opportunity late in the first quarter and early in the second after Anthony Segura ran 21 yards to get to the Taft 38 yard line.
Taft’s next chance came in the second quarter when Zack Gable ran 21 yards to get to the Arvin 30 with 5:59 to go. Howell followed with a six yard pass play to #34. However, the drive stalled and Taft came away empty handed.
The Wildcats threatened again early in the third quarter thanks to Donovan Watrous’ six yard run and Gable’s 38-yard run to the Arvin 26. Anthony Flores followed with a run to the Arvin 19 but the Wildcat drive was derailed due to a holding penalty.
Arvin took advantage by driving deep into Taft territory highlighted by Segura’s runs of 18 yards and 11. Segura eventually capped the drive with a 21-yard run for a touchdown at the 2:13 mark of the quarter. Taft caught a break when the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
Taft fought back on the first play of their drive thanks to Flores’ 35 yard run to the Arvin 38. After a pair of short runs, Howell passed to Andrew Hodges for 10 yards and Gables’ ran for another 10 yards to get to the Bears 14.
Three plays and 53 seconds into the fourth quarter, Howell scored on a quarterback keeper. Taft’s extra point was blocked to keep the score tied at six.
The Wildcats excitement was short lived. On the next series, Arvin drove deep into Taft territory before Segura scored the go ahead touchdown on a three-yard run with 5:02 to go. The extra point was no good.
Taft made one last push with a drive to the Arvin 35 with 1:14 to go but Arvin took over on downs.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday when they host Shafter. The game begins at 4 p.m.