California City scores all 41 of the points

The Taft varsity youth football team reached the end of the first half of the season Saturday afternoon. It was one they would rather forget about especially after falling to the California City Raiders 41-0.

With the loss, Taft falls to 1-3 in the Valley Youth Football League.

California City had a chance to get on the scoreboard on their first series of the game when they drove to the four yard line highlighted by Jeremiah Neil’s 24-yard pass to Madetoneyo Mays. However, the Raiders came away empty handed when Taft’s Corey Morgan recovered a fumble with 4:27 to go at the Taft 5-yard line.

The Raiders were able to break through early in the second quarter when Khalil McLin capped the drive with a seven yard run with 8:44 remaining. The extra point run, though, was no good.

It didn’t take long for California City to strike again. After Taft went four and out, the Raiders offense scored a touchdown on the first play of their next drive when Devon Walker ran 52 yards for the score with 6:14 to go in the half.

California City had a golden opportunity to score again starting with an interception. The Raiders offense went on to advance to the Taft 24-yard line. Yet, California City would not score on the drive.

It looked as if the Wildcatter offense would come alive in the third quarter when Jeremiah Perkins ran 24 yards to get to the Taft 45-yard line. Taft, though, went backwards to due to a pair of botched snaps. Eventually, California City recovered a fumble at their 48-yard line.

After scoring once in the third quarter, the Raiders came alive in the fourth quarter with the first touchdown being scored 23 seconds into the quarter on Neil’s 16-yard pass for the score. Kwamain Ross followed up with an extra point run.

California City caught a break on the kickoff when they recovered a fumble at the Taft-33 yard line. Four plays later, McLin ran 24 yards for a touchdown with 7:46 to go. The two-point kick was good to put the Raiders up 35-0.

Even though there was a running clock after the kickoff, California City was able to score one more time when Mays caught a pass and ran for a 17-yard play for a touchdown with 30 seconds remaining in the game.

Taft has a week off before starting the second half of the season Saturday, Oct. 3 when they take on the Arvin Grizzlies.