Things are still a little crazy post-new baby here at casa de los Ewing, so this will be an abbreviated recap. In exchange, I posted a full replay of Friday night's BVarsity Live show towards the end, so you can re-live the Week 2 action just after it happened, with Louis Amestoy (who never seems to remember a bad prediction) and myself. There are also video highlights from Bakersfield's survival against Garces and a crazy Arvin-South game that saw the Bears improve to 3-0.
So here we go...
Bakersfield 34, Garces 24: After a first half that BHS dominated statistically but in which both teams probably felt like they left points on the board, the real action started after halftime. Boom, Sheldon Croney 42-yard TD run. Boom, Drillers respond. Boom, Drillers again, on a 64-yard catch and run from Jermaine Ervin. Boom, Cruise Adams to Angus Bellue for a 75-yarder. In an incredibly entertaining game, the Rams actually took the lead early in the fourth quarter and got the ball back before Bakersfield finally made a couple of big plays — play-action TD passes from Asauni Rufus to Lamishio Hill — to keep their state bowl hopes alive. We'll save for another day the argument over whether the Drillers really look like a top-10 team in the state.
Liberty 45, Tehachapi 7: A shockingly easy victory for the Patriots was buoyed by 130 yards and two rushing TDs on just 10 carries from Corbin Jountti and Josh Medina's uber-efficient 13-of-14 passing performance for 172 yards and three TDs, including two to Kenny Davis, who caught 7 passes for 94 yards. Still not sure whether Tehachapi just isn't as good as normal or if Liberty is really scary good, despite a frustrating loss to Central last week. We'll have plenty of time to find out.
Moorpark 17, Frontier 7: This was actually a tie game headed to the fourth quarter, but it was dominated statistically by Moorpark, particularly after hafltime. The Musketeers out-gained Frontier 306-23 in the second half, and once they broke the tie with a field goal early in the fourth quarter, there was little chance of the Titans' offense coming back. And, though I still love Frontier's Division I hopes, the answer is yes: Triton Douglas (39 yards on 16 carries) can indeed be stopped by mere mortals. Step back for Frontier after an impressive battle at Lompoc the week before.
Clovis 28, Centennial 17: The Golden Hawks hung tough despite only 189 yards of offense. After falling behind 14-3, Centennial pulled within four points twice but no closer. This was always a tough assignment, and it's a good sign that Centennial kept it close despite an apparent talent and experience disadvantage. The Hawks don't have many easy wins on the schedule, so that grit will be important.
Arvin 28, South 22: You've just got to watch the highlights on this one. The Rebels gave away two points early in the game when a lateral on a kickoff return went totally awry — then later scored a kickoff-return TD using the same play (executed correctly this time, obviously). They also got a defensive touchdown on a fumble return — and still lost the game to surging Arvin, which got 197 rushing yards on 27 carries from workhorse Orlando Perez and a 2-yard TD from quarterback Jordan Wood to break a 22-22 tie late.
Highland 24, Golden Valley 20: In the surprise result of the night for me, Highland's offense was better — and much more opportunistic — than it had been in back-to-back season-opening losses. They also picked off Golden Valley QB Alex Soto four times. Soto did throw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Luis Matos for a 20-17 lead with just 1:08 to play in the fourth quarter, but the Scots had the final answer with a 55-yard scoring strike from Breaker Brannan just seconds later. That could be a season-saving rally for Highland — while the result raises an awful lot of question marks about the Bulldogs.
Mira Monte 35, East 28: In another SYL-SEYL barn-burner, Mira Monte scored the tie-breaking touchdown on a 70-yard pass from Cowboy Ruiz to Josh Cantu with less than a minute to play. That came after Ruiz had thrown another long scoring strike to tie the game earlier in the fourth quarter. Words I didn't think I'd be writing three weeks into the season: Mira Monte has an explosive passing game and is a threat in the SYL race. East, meanwhile, is 0-2 with two heartbreaking fourth-quarter losses.
Elsewhere: Easy wins for Ridgeview and West, Shafter continues to prove it's for real with a big win at Selma, Kennedy and Chavez win on the same weekend for the second time in three weeks, and big road wins for Stockdale (54-14 over Inglewood) and Independence (58-6 over Fresno-McLane) as the SWYL continues to prove it's about a lot more than Bakersfield.
As promised, here is your BVarsity Live replay (followed at the bottom by next week's five big games):
Finally, here's a look at Week 3's five biggest games:
Clovis (2-1) at Stockdale (1-1): Could be the most important game of the season in determining Division I seed priority between the SWYL and TRAC
Frontier (1-2) at Clovis North (3-0): Or it could be this one. The Titans' brutal schedule continues.
Bakersfield (3-0) at Long Beach-Poly (1-2): Never mind that the Jackrabbits lost 56-0 to a loaded Narbonne team last week; they will test the Drillers anyway
Clovis-Buchanan (2-0) at Liberty (2-1): Another SWYL-TRAC clash, and Buchanan seems better than advertised thus far.
Arvin (3-0) at Tehachapi (2-1): How long can the Bears keep this up? Three games, three wins in the fourth quarter, two on the road. Now comes the stiffest test yet.