Bakersfield High School’s hopes for a league title were dashed with two losses in its first three Southwest Yosemite League games.
No one admitted it, but on Friday, it looked like the frustration from those losses was taken out on Centennial.
The Drillers took a 28-7 first-quarter lead and increased that to 49-7 at halftime before settling for a 56-21 win at Centennial.
Bakersfield (7-2 overall, 2-2 SWYL) showed off its explosive offensive firepower with four touchdown runs of 47 or more yards, plus big-play kickoff and punt returns. The second half was played with a running clock.
"We've had three great weeks of practice," BHS coach Paul Golla said. "I've said I think we're getting better and I don't think anybody believes that.
"We got banged up some and we made some personnel decisions on the offensive line. But we're really where we want to be for the playoffs."
Derrick Vickers had touchdown runs of 74 and 60 yards among his five carries for 158 yards. Jeremiah Reddick had nine carries for 96 yards with touchdown runs of 6, 1, 50 and 5 yards.
Marcus Bruce got into the big-play act with a 47-yard TD run.
Bakersfield quarterback Asauni Rufus was 4-of-5 passing for 59 yards and added a 7-yard TD run.
"We did a great job throwing the ball tonight," Golla said. "We have three great wide receivers and our slots are excellent. Asauni did a great job of running the offense."
Centennial running back Noah Frazier had an 8-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and finished with 104 yards on 16 carries.
But the Golden Hawks (2-7, 0-4) were sent reeling when starting quarterback Reagan Enger left the game after a 36-yard pass to Andrew Daughtery on Centennial's fourth play from scrimmage.
Enger, who has a team-high 699 714 rushing yards and 11 rushing TDs, did not return. Assistant coach David Rice said Enger became ill prior to Friday's kickoff and could not return because of the illness.
Senior Jose DeLeon took over at quarterback and tied the game 7-7 with a 10-yard touchdown run with 6:39 left in the first quarter.
Centennial's Larry Payne picked up a fumble and returned it 12 yards to the end zone for a fourth quarter touchdown.