UPDATED, 12:45 a.m.: A final stock report before I call it a night. It wasn't a good night for many teams in the area, but a couple really shined:
Trending up: Bakersfield Christian, Tehachapi, South, Foothill, Liberty, Highland, Taft
Holding steady: Independence, Bakersfield, Wasco, Ridgeview, Delano, North, Chavez
Trending down: Frontier, Stockdale, East, Arvin, Golden Valley, Mira Monte, Kennedy, Shafter
UPDATED, 11:01 p.m.: Scores are rolling in from all over the Valley. It's a great night for Edison, which beats Crenshaw 29-14 and becomes the Central Section's presumptive No. 1 team. It's a poor night for the Southwest Yosemite League, which combines Bakersfield's loss with these results: Clovis North 40, Frontier 19; Clovis 37, Stockdale 14; and Liberty 38, Buchanan 6. So the Patriots (and Independence, which staved off Highland 34-25) carry the flag for the SWYL, but the rest of the league has hurt itself big-time in seeding arguments. It's possible Bakersfield could still be a high seed, but it's getting hard to see the SWYL being treated well in Porterville in November unless Central — which lost a triple-overtime game to Liberty — wins the TRAC.
Some other scores of note: Bakersfield Christian snapped out of its funk big-time with a 48-22 victory over Exeter. Tehachapi thumped Arvin 51-7. South shut out East, 41-0. Wasco won big over Golden Valley.
We're live at 11 p.m. with BVarsity Live with all scores, highlights and analysis you can handle. Call in if you like, (661) 395-7386. We'd love to talk.
UPDATED, 9:42 p.m.: Bakersfield just playing out the string at this point, with Asauni Rufus and his receivers making a couple of nice plays on bubble screens and shovel passes to work their way down to the Poly 35. It's fourth and 4 now, though, with 2:36 on the clock. It's Coleman Olivas to attempt a 51-yard field goal. Short. Poly will take over with a chance to run out the clock.
But on the first play, Poly fumbles that ball away, and Amone Gragg is on it for Bakersfield. A chance for the Drillers to get back on the scoreboard. But the backup offense, led by quarterback Noah Holle, can't get anything done. Poly takes a knee, and that's gonna be it. It's a 27-7 final for Long Beach Poly.
UPDATED, 9:29 p.m.: Some other score updates: Still Clovis North 20, Frontier 19 as the Titans miss a field goal midway through the third quarter. It's Independence 20-15 over Highland in the third quarter.
Here, Bakersfield has gone three and out, had a bad punt and seen Josh Love hit Johnnie Rucker for a 21-yard touchdown pass to give the Jackrabbits a 27-7 lead. 5:25 left, and it looks like it's Poly's night.
UPDATED, 9:21 p.m.: Poly punches it in, with James Brooks' 18-yard run on third-and-2 setting up first-and-goal, and then a Brooks' 4-yarder to get the touchdown. It's now a two-score lead for Poly, 20-7 with exactly 7 minutes left in the game.
UPDATED, 9:17 p.m.: Bakersfield forces a fourth and 10 from the 33, and Poly lines up to go for it. After a timeout, though, the Jackrabbits decide to punt. It goes into the end zone, so only 13 yards of field position gained there. Drillers have it, down 13-7, from their own 20. Third and 3 after two plays, and Rufus picks it up on the ground. Inside of 10 minutes to play.
Two plays later, though, Rufus is hit hard and he fumbles! Caleb Turner has it for Poly, and the Jackrabbits are set up in Drillers territory again. 8:58 to play.
UPDATED, 9:07 p.m.: Bakersfield is stopped, with Asauni Rufus sacked twice on that last series, but the Drillers make a big special-teams play. Kevin Hayes punt takes a nice roll and dies all the way at the 3.
But now Poly going to work. 6 for Calhoun, and a play later, Juju Smith left wide open, and Teideman hits him for a 22-yard gain. Now Calhoun busts one again. He'll be caught this time, but not until he's down to the 12-yard line. 56 yards on that gain, and he's up over 180 for the night. Kid has some serious speed, and he's getting plenty of help from a big offensive line. Six more for Calhoun, and Poly is inside the 10. Now it's third-and-1 from the 3. First down Poly, but is it a touchdown? No, down at the one-foot line. And now Poly fumbles the snap! Bakersfield has it. Unbelievable. What a turnaround,
But the Drillers can't get a first down, and this time Hayes with an ugly punt under pressure. Third quarter comes to an end with Poly leading 13-7 and in great field position.
UPDATED, 8:52 p.m.: Long Beach Poly answers, and in a big way, with Jeremy Calhoun busting a big play up the middle. He flashes some serious speed and is gone, with Kevin Hayes the only guy fast enough to even dive at him. 80 yards for the touchdown. PAT good, and Poly leads 13-7 with 9:09 left in the third. Bakersfield held the lead for all of 12 seconds.
UPDATED, 8:47 p.m.: Bakersfield with an impressive drive to open the second half, with Asauni Rufus doing the heavy lifting. He haad a 40-yard option keeper to get the Drillers in the red zone, and then on third down, he takes it 13 yards for a touchdown with a beautiful cutback up the middle. Olivas' PAT is good, and Bakersfield leads 7-6. 9:21 left in the third quarter.
UPDATED, 8:33 p.m.: Here are some halftime stats in a defensive struggle, led 6-0 by Poly at the break:
LONG BEACH POLY: Passing: Tai Teideman 3-4, 25 yards, TD, INT; Josh Love 2-4, 16 yards.
Rushing: James Brooks Jr, 5-51, Jeremy Calhoun 4-42
Receiving: Christian Pabico 3-29, TD
Total yards: 142. Penalties: 6-60
BAKERSFIELD: Passing: Asauni Rufus 2-3, 15 yards
Rushing: Rufus 9-50, Jeremiah Reddick 2-18, Derrick Vickers 3-15, Marcus Bruce 6-9
Receiving: Vickers 1-8, Reddick 1-7
Total yards: 108. Penalties: 7-45.
UPDATED, 8:17 p.m.: Fourth down from the 27, and Bakersfield lines up for a 43-yard field goal. Coleman Olivas is the kicker. Low snap, but the kick is away. Plenty of leg but it's way wide right. Still 6-0 Poly, and a 19-play drive for Bakersfield goes for naught.
Poly takes over and gets a 27-yard run from Jeremy Calhoun. But two plays later, Tai Tiedeman's pass is tipped and picked off by Kevin Hayes! He's got a head of steam the other way, and he won't get pushed out till he's at the 12. Wow, huge play.
But Poly has snuffed out this Bakersfield option, and the Jackrabbits force fourth down with 5 seconds left in the half. Coleman Olivas is on for another field goal try, this one from 25 yards. Poly will call timeout to let him think about it for another minute. Here we go. Nope. Another Poly timeout. Now set again, and Poly will use its third timeout. For real this time: Olivas' kick is a line drive, and it's just wide left. It'll be 6-0 for Long Beach Poly at the half.
UPDATED, 8:01 p.m.: Bakersfield gets the stop on third down, but Poly's punt is fielded by Kevin Hayes inside the 5, and he only gets out to the 8. Drillers backed up here, down 6-0 early in the second quarter. Bakersfield moves its way out to the 30 but now faces third down. Rufus is stopped short — but a personal foul on Poly will give the Drillers a first down at midfield. Huge penalty, and Poly has had a few of those already.
Update from Frontier: The Titans fake a punt on their first drive and score a touchdown. They lead Clovis North 7-0.
Now it's fourth-and-1 from the Poly 41. Big play coming, obviously. Rufus in trouble in the backfield, but he finds Lameshio Hill on a pitch. Hill has the corner and the first down at the 35. Three plays and a holding call later, it's fourth down again. Fourth and 2 from the 27. Marcus Bruce on a dive. It's close. They'll call it a first down. Poly crowd doesn't like it, but that ball was spotted at exactly the 35 to begin the series, and it's touching the 25 now. Two plays later, though, it's third-and-9 again. Bakersfield has been on the field for 17 plays and more than 8 minutes, but nothing to show for it yet.
UPDATED, 7:44 p.m.: Bakersfield drove to the Poly 33, but two negative plays force a fourth-and-10. The Drillers will for it. A pitch to Derrick Vickers, who has the corner but is pushed out of pounds short of the first down by three yards. Poly takes over at its 33 with a 6-0 lead.
A third-down completion from the Jackrabbits' second quarterback, Josh Love, to Pabico goes for 11 yards and a first down. Later, a facemask penalty gives Juju Smith a first down on a play where it looked like he was bottled up in the backfield. He's not a highly touted recruit for nothing. Poly has another third down now, third-and-5 at the Drillers 34. Love escapes pressure and hits Smith, but this is wiped out by a holding call. Third and 15 as the first quarter comes to an end.
UPDATED, 7:31 p.m.: A good drive by Long Beach Poly to get us started, with Tai Teideman throwing a perfect 12-yard fade to Christian Pabico for a touchdown to cap an 11-play, 80-yard drive that puts the Jackrabbits up 6-0. BHS jumped offside twice on the PAT, so Poly went for two, but a quarterback sneak was stuffed. It's 6-0 Poly with 7:32 left in the first.
UPDATED, 5:55 p.m.: We're live from the visitors side press box at Griffith Field, where the freshman game between Bakersfield and Long Beach Poly is deep into the third quarter. The junior varsity game was played yesterday in Long Beach, with the Drillers winning 21-20.
The varsity game here is set for 7 p.m. Our live broadcast begins on the bakersfield.com home page at 6:30. This should be a good one, with Cal Hi Sports' state No. 9 Poly taking on No. 20 Bakersfield. Hope you join us on the broadcast and follow along for quick reaction here, plus updates from across the Valley. Week 3 has arrived.
ORIGINAL POST: It's a wonderful day for football in the Central Section. The Valley's consensus top two teams, Bakersfield and Edison, both play powers from Southern California, with Long Beach Poly headed to Griffith Field and Crenshaw coming to Fresno. In addition, defending Division III section champion Ridgeview heads down to play another state-ranked team in Hart.
Then, within the section, the SWYL and TRAC meet up for three big showdowns: Clovis North at Frontier, Stockdale at Clovis and Liberty at Buchanan. If one league should happen to sweep those three games, that could really tilt the balance between the leagues when it comes time to seed Division I. Right now, the leagues are 1-1 against each other, with Liberty beating Central and Clovis taking out Centennial.
So, if you're pumped for Week 3, this is the place to be. This live thread and scoreboard will update all night long, and we'll have a live broadcast of Long Beach Poly and Bakersfield starting at 6:30 p.m. on the bakersfield.com home page. We'll have updates from Clovis North-Frontier and the rest of the section's games on the broadcast and the blog. After it's all over, join us at 11 p.m. for BVarsity Live with highlights, analysis and your calls.
Week 3 got going last night with a couple of notable scores: Lemoore beat Sanger 35-21, ensuring the Tigers move into my section top 15 next week with a chance to move further up during West Yosemite League play. The other one to watch was on TV, where Chaminade beat Oaks Christian 21-14. That's the same Oaks Christian team, of course, that beat Bakersfield 51-50 in the season opener. So that hurts the Drillers' resume a bit. All that will be forgotten with a victory against Poly tonight, but a loss would really sting Bakersfield's chances of a state bowl bid.
(All games start at 7:30 p.m. Friday unless noted; Central Section ranking in parentheses)
Kern County scoreboard
[Central Section games]
Long Beach Poly 20, (1) Bakersfield 7
(3) Liberty 38, (22) Clovis-Buchanan 6
(4) Clovis North 40, (7) Frontier 19
(9) Clovis 37, (14) Stockdale 14
(10) Wasco 48, Golden Valley 6
Newhall-Hart 56, (13) Ridgeview 7
(18) Garces at (19) Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial, 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Bakersfield Christian 48, (21) Exeter 22
Independence 34, Highland 25
Tehachapi 51, Arvin 7
Delano 21, North 14
Foothill 18, Mira Monte 0
South 41, East 0
Chavez 27, Porterville-Granite Hills 0
Hanford-Sierra Pacific 36, Kennedy 29
Taft 25, Corcoran 13
Lindsay 40, Shafter 20
Kern Valley 52, McFarland 2
Frazier Mountain 40, Acton-Vasquez 7
Rosamond at Lynwood-Firebaugh
New Cuyama-Cuyama Valley 54, Northwest Christian 20
Lancaster-Antelope Valley at Burroughs
Boron 42, La Canada-Flintridge Prep 14
Desert 57, Mammoth 27
Lucerne Valley 72, Immanuel Christian 0
Carpinteria-Cate at Mojave, 7 p.m. Saturday
Other Central Section scores
(2) Fresno-Edison 29, L.A.-Crenshaw 14
(5) Fresno-Bullard 48, Clovis East 25
(6) Fresno-Central 42, (8) Visalia-El Diamante 7
(11) Dinuba 57, Porterville-Monache 22 (Thursday)
(12) Porterville 42, Hanford 21
(16) Lemoore 35, (15) Sanger 21 (Thursday)
(17) Tulare-Mission Oak 34, Selma 3
(23) Fresno-Sunnyside 44, Fresno-Washington Union 13
(24) Kingsburg 49, Kerman 7
Encino-Crespi at (25) Clovis West, 7 p.m. Saturday
Visalia-Redwood 34, Fresno-Hoover 7 (Thursday)
Tulare Western 35, Hanford West 27
Paso Robles 34, Madera 16
Visalia-Central Valley Christian 39, Chowchilla 18
Visalia-Golden West 50, Reedley 14
Ceres-Central Valley 46, Madera South 14
Liberty-Madera Ranchos 41, Fowler 7
Fresno-Roosevelt 54, Oakhurst-Yosemite 27
Hilmar 47, Fresno 18
Reedley-Immanuel 48, Orange Cove 18
Firebaugh 43, Riverdale 14
Farmersville 47, Fresno-McLane 30
Coalinga 7, Templeton 0
Los Banos 43, Dos Palos 3
Caruthers 14, Tollhouse-Sierra 0
Avenal 38, O'Neals-Minarets 7
Strathmore 42, Orosi 14
Woodlake 41, Parlier 24
Laton 40, San Andreas-Sierra Ridge/Rite of Passage 0
Cambria-Coast Union 49, Fresno Christian 14
Bermuda Dunes-Desert Christian at Lemoore-Kings Christian, 11 a.m. Saturday
Bishop at Lancaster-Desert Christian, 7 p.m. Saturday