Taft offense in high gear for second week in a row
The Wildcats varsity football team faced off against the California City Ravens in a high scoring affair Friday night. The 'Cats came away with the win 54-36.
The Ravens kicked off to the Wildcats, but Taft was unable to corral the ball and the Ravens were able to recover the ball to start the game. As Cal City started to move down the field, the Taft defense came up with a turnover on 4th down as #18 Alex Delgado intercepted a pass to give the Wildcats possession again.
Back on offense, Jordan Miranda began to eat up yards as he moved the team downfield. Alex Garcia got in on the act and had a 32 yard run to get the 'Cats in the red zone. With the ball on the 2 yard line, Jackson Van Roekel threw a pass to Austin Massey for a touchdown to open up the scoring.
The defense allowed a big play right after the kickoff. They regrouped and came up with the stop to force a punt from the Ravens. Back on offense, the team got back to pounding the ball down the field. Brett Walls had a 21 yard run to get Taft in scoring position. Coletin Hamblin went in for the touchdown. With 1:26 left in the first quarter, the score was 14-0.
At the start of the second quarter, the Ravens were trying to move down the field when the ball came loose and rather than fall on it they scooped it up and ran backwards to escape the defense and ended up losing 40 yards on the play. The Ravens were forced to punt the ball away.
Still early in the 2nd quarter, Taft's offense went back to work. They ran the ball down to the 4 yard line where Van Roekel threw a pass to Delgado for a touchdown.
The Ravens finally got on the scoreboard when they got a 71 yard touchdown pass against the ‘Cats. Cal City turned around and converted a two point conversion.
The Ravens stunned the Wildcats for a short period. Taft could not put together any offense as Cal City seemed to know every play the team was running. Taft was forced to punt the ball away after an unsuccessful drive.
As the Ravens began their drive, the ball was fumbled and Kody Garay came up with the ball for Taft on Cal’s 30 yard line. On Taft’s drive, the ball is fumbled again and the Ravens recover on the 25 yard line.
The Ravens looked poised to score again as the marches the ball down the field. Once they entered the red zone, Taft’s defense caused a fumble and recovered the ball on their own 12 yard line.
With halftime closing in and both teams looking out of sync, Taft starts a drive deep in their end of the field and fumbled the ball again and Cal City recovered it on the Wildcat’s 3 yard line with 1:52 left in the half.
The defense needed to step up and they did, forcing the Ravens into a 4th down situation with :04 seconds left on the clock. Instead of kicking a field goal, Cal City rolled the dice and went for it.
A hush fell over the stands as both sets of fans eagerly awaited the outcome of this play. The ball was snapped and the Ravens quarterback had a man in the end zone and threw the ball. Jordan Miranda stepped in and intercepted the ball and spoiled the Ravens chances as time expired in the half with the score 21-8.
Taft started out the second half by scoring another touchdown to extend their lead. Both offenses stuttered a little bit after that. The Ravens has the ball and went for a short pass when the ball bounced off of the intended receiver and then was tipped up in the air and was caught by Jonathan Hopkins who slid in on his knees to capture the interception.
Taft ran the ball effectively and Brett Walls ran in for another Wildcat touchdown. The PAT was no good which made the score now 34-8.
After a back and forth battle down the field, the Taft defense was finally able to get a stop. Coach Falgout used all of his running backs on the drive down the field, each one making the most of every carry. Finally, Alex Garcia was able to punch it in with a 16 yard touchdown run.
With the score 40-8, the Ravens needed to do something before the game got really out of hand. On the first play after the kickoff, the Ravens went for a long pass which resulted in a 44 yard touchdown and then executed another 2 point conversion.
At the end of the third quarter, Alex Garcia got another touchdown for the ‘Cats to make it 47-16.
Cal City got a good return on the kickoff and made it to the Wildcats 29 yard line. They then struck with a 29 yard touchdown pass to whittle away at the Wildcats lead.
A few sets later, Taft had the ball and looked as if they might have to punt the ball away to the Ravens, who were looking more focused as the game progressed. Instead, Hamblin pushed his way forward on a 4th and 3 play and kept the drive going with a first down rush.
On the same drive, Taft was looking at 4th and 4, when Oscar Arrellano had a 16 yard run for a touchdown to make the score 54-23 after the PAT.
The Ravens were not going to go quietly as they struck for a 68 yard touchdown. It was a long shot that they were going to catch up, but they were doing everything they could to try.
With the game nearing completion, Hamblin opens up the drive for the Wildcats with a 20 yard run. The ‘Cats were moving the ball well and eating up the game clock
.All of a sudden, a botched play on the 1 yard line results in a fumble picked up by the Ravens and they run 99 yards down the field for a touchdown to make it 54-36.
Taft ran one play and then took a knee to run out the clock and end the game. There was some excellent play from both teams with no shortage of excitement.