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Taft Midway Driller - Taft, CA
  • Valley champ BCHS awaits word on state playoff game

  • Eagles finished with a 11-2 record
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  • South Sequoia League and Valley champion Bakersfield Christian must wait for a judge to decide if the Eagles can go bowling.
    BCHS used a dramatic 35-34 come-from-behind victory over previously undefeated and No. 1 seed Tulare-Mission Oak last Friday in Tulare to stake a claim for a Southern California Regional Bowl game.
    The Eagles (11-2) would travel to Los Angeles to play View Park (13-0) in the Division IV bowl game if a judge denies a legal challenge by Christian High of El Cajon.
    Christian (12-1) plays in the San Diego section's Division II but appealed to a Los Angeles Superior Court to drop down to D-IV for the bowl championships because it has an enrollment of less than 500, a requirement for Division IV.
    A decision had not been made by press time.
    If the court decision goes Bakersfield Christian's way it means two Bakersfield teams will be playing for Southern California championships.
    The Bakersfield High Drillers, one of the state's most storied prep football programs, will travel to San Marcos to play Mission Hills (12-1) for the Division I crown.
    The Drillers finished 11-2, losing 51-50 to Oaks Christian in the season opener and 27-7 to Long Beach Poly, a perennial SoCal powerhouse.
    Former Taft College football star Joe Pistoia, who played on the Cougars' 1966 Wool Bowl championship team, is an administrator at Long Beach Poly.
    Bakersfield High demolished Clovis North 60-21 last Friday to claim its 36th Valley title.
    Bakersfield Christian, meanwhile, had a tougher time capturing its fourth Valley title.
    The Eagles fell behind 20-0 in the first quarter and trailed 34-28 heading into the final period.
    Running back Matt Smith sliced into the end zone on a fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line with 3:07 left for the game-winner.
    The winning touchdown drive was set up when senior linebacker Grant Bouma, the Eagles defensive star all season, intercepted a pass and returned it 32 yards to the Mission Oak 24 yard line.
    It was the Eagles' 11th win in a row after starting the season 0-2.
    One of the two losses was to Hunnigton Beach who won the Southwest CIF-SS championship.
    Smith's 117-yard rushing effort put him over the 5,000-yard mark for his prep career.
    In other SoCal bowl games, St. John Bosco of Bellflower (14-0) will play Centennial of Corona (12-2) in the Open Division, Hart of Newhall (12-2) will take host Chaminade of West Hills (12-2) in D-II and Corona del Mar (14-0) of Newport Beach will hos Nordhoff of Ojai (13-1) for the D-III crown.
    Winners of the southern California bowl games will meet champions of the north in the StubHub Center (formerly Home Depot) in Carson on Dec. 20 to determine the state champions.
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