UPDATED, 12:42 a.m.: Before we get to the stock report to wrap up the evening, a note that Bakersfield Christian quarterback Brandon Jones' total of nine touchdown passes tonight is unofficially a Central Section record and tied for second in state history. I'll let you know when I can confirm that later in the weekend. I'll also have full replays up from tonight's broadcast, including our complete interview with Cody Kessler.
Now for the stock report:
Trending up: Tehachapi, Centennial, Bakersfield Christian, Independence, Highland, Stockdale, Shafter, Golden Valley
Holding steady: South, North, Taft, Mira Monte, Wasco, Chavez
Trending down: Ridgeview, West, Kennedy, Mira Monte, Delano, Foothill
UPDATED, 9:57 pm.: Final score: South 20, North 7. Rebels stop North three-and-out one more time. Really impressed with this team's defense tonight. The Rebels are 5-0 for the first time in a long time.
Join us at 11 p.m. tonight for BVarsity Live, where we'll have all the scores and highlights from many games, too.
UPDATED, 9:52 p.m.: North gets the ball back after a three and out with 5:01 remaining. The Stars pick up a couple of first downs, one on a Steven Twiss run and another on a personal foul against South. But after that, North starts using a lot of time and stalls there. The Stars go for it on fourth down, but Twiss is stopped, and South takes over.
Final score: Highland 28, Mira Monte 13.
UPDATED, 9:36 p.m.: Sorry for the delay — we had Cody Kessler on the broadcast, which was distracting — but South scored again, on Johnnie Dirden's 24-yard touchdown run, to make it 20-0 late in the third quarter.
But just now, North has answered, with a 24-yard touchdown run of its own from David Reyes. It's 20-7 with 6:53 left. North kicks it deep, and South will start at its own 35 looking to kill some clock.
UPDATED, 9:06 p.m.: North begins the second half with yet another three-and-out. Say what you want about South's big-play offense, but it was the Rebels' defense that has really carried the day here so far. North has put together a couple of good drives, but both ended without points, and South got a defensive touchdown, too.
But North's defense doing well, too, and a holding call is going to back South up to a second-and-21 on this drive. The Rebels will stall and punt it back. Not a good night for the offenses. Still 13-0, midway through the third quarter.
UPDATED, 8:48 p.m.: Halftime stats, with North actually leading South in total yardage, 127-126, despite a 13-0 Rebels lead:
SOUTH: Eddy Perez 5/5 passing, 36 yards; Asonte Johnson 5-55 rushing; Johnnie Dirden 4-35 rushing; Keith Evans 1-15 rushing, 2-15 receiving; Alex Kramer 1-16 receiving
NORTH: Steven Twiss, 1/7 passing, 27 yards, INT, 8-43 rushing; David Reyes 10-55 rushing; Daniel Pelham 1-27 receiving
Scores from other games are updated below.
UPDATED, 8:30 p.m.: North with a final shot before halftime, but a holding penalty is going to put them in a first-and-24 situation here. South is calling timeouts to preserve time for a final shot before half, too. Well, no it's not. The clock will run out, and South will take two timeouts into the locker room instead of attempting a punt return. It's 13-0 Rebels at halftime.
UPDATED, 8:26 p.m.: North on an impressive drive here, using Steven Twiss' arms and legs to cut down to the South 20. The Stars stalled here before, so we'll see what happens. Twiss to throw on a slant — and it's picked off by Asonte Johnson! He's going to the other way, and nobody is going to catch that kind of speed. 90 yards the other way and a pick-six. PAT good, and with 1:26 left in the half, it's 13-0 Rebels. What a turnaround there.
UPDATED, 8:17 p.m.: North goes three-and-out again, and now it could be dangerous territory for the Stars. If South scores here — and there's still 8 minutes left in the half — North will have to kind of abandon its game plan if it goes down two scores.
But South, after Johnnie Dirden picks up 11 to set up a third-and-2, commits a penalty to make it third-and-7 and comes up short. Big stop for the North defense there.
Centennial leads Tulare Union 14-12 after a 67-yard touchdown run from Brandon Robinson. Golden Valley up 14-0 on Foothill. Shafter up 14-0 on Taft.
UPDATED, 8:06 p.m.: Start of the second quarter, and South has a first down on a pitch to Keith Evans. Now another on a face-mask penalty against North, and now Asonte Johnson is off to the races! 43 yards with a nice cut-back at the end, and the Rebels lead 6-0. PAT misses, but South leads 6-0 with 9:50 left in the half.
Upset alert: Clovis West leading Edison 7-0 after a quarter up north.
UPDATED, 7:59 p.m.: At halftime, Stockdale leads Buchanan, 12-10. And you thought this game was moving fast.
The teams have traded three-and-outs, and South has it back inside their own 30. That's the end of the first quarter in a (somewhat surprisingly) scoreless game.
Elsewhere. Tehachapi has a 7-0 lead early on West, and Shafter is up 7-0 on Taft. Tulare Union has struck first against Centennial and leads 6-0.
UPDATED, 7:54 p.m.: South starts with the ball at its 36 after a short kick from North, obviously respecting South's kickoff return game, which has already scored a couple of times this year.
From there, Eddy Perez hits Keith Evans on a 16-yard slant to get across midfield, and South is in business quickly. Later, on third-and-13, Perez completes to tight end Alex Kramer for 16 more. Moments later, it's Johnnie Dirden running over defenders for a 19-yard gain down to the North 11. From there, though, there's a fumbled exchange, and Perez, trying to scoop it up in the backfield, gave it to the STars. Big stop for North.
Now the Stars are quickly on the move, with David Reyes busting runs of 34 and 12 yards on North's first two plays. But now they've stalled, and it's third-and-long. Reyes goes left this time, and he has a nice gain. Just two yards short, and North will go on fourth down. South holds. Both teams with big red zone stops early.
UPDATED, 7:37 p.m. : About 10 minutes before kickoff here at North, and they're honoring late South coach John Wren at halftime with a touching ceremony that includes an unusual pregame handshake between the teams and a plaque dedication for Wren at midfield with Wren's family present.
That's a nice moment there
UPDATED, 7:02 p.m.: We're about to go live at North High School, where the South Rebels are in for the annual Civil War rivalry game. We'll broadcast from the bakersfield.com home page starting at about 7 p.m. The JV game is still going here, so it looks like we'll be in for about a 7:40 p.m. kickoff.
I'll be joined the broadcast tonight by color analyst Justin Roberts, and by special guest Cody Kessler later in the night. The Centennial grad will talk about USC's season and what he expects to change for the Trojans under new coach Ed Orgeron.
Of course, I'll have updates from this one and the other games later throughout the night right here on School House Zach. Later, from 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m., tune in for BVarsity Live for highlights and analysis. You can join the show by calling (661) 395-7386.
Pretty exciting JV game just went to South, 16-14, on a touchdown with 11 seconds left. The varsity Rebels will look to go to 5-0 next.
ORIGINAL POST: It's gameday again, and that means this is your home base for high school football in the Central Section. I'll have live updates from our game of the week, South at North, tonight, plus a live broadcast streaming on bakersfield.com beginning at 7 p.m.
I'll also update scores from around the section all night long. Then, at 11, join us for BVarsity Live back on bakersfield.com. You can call in with your comments or questions at (661) 395-7386.
The South-North rivalry is the Battle for the Civil War Sword, but the emphasis is on the "civil" part this year after the summertime death of Rebels coach John Wren. North issued a release yesterday saying it will honor Wren's memory and his contributions to the rivalry game before kickoff.
Then, during the game, South will try to improve to 5-0 and keep its chances alive of being a top seed in the Division III playoffs. The Rebels haven't won a playoff game since 1995 and would love to do just that and more for coach Wren.
As if that's not enough, it's homecoming at North, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Whew. Gonna be a big night in Oildale. North defensive back David Flores confirms that for us here:
So here we go. I'll fire up the live blog around 6:30, maybe 6:45, tonight. The live stream starts at 7. Most games, and most score updates, start at 7:30. See you tonight.
(All games 7:30 p.m. Friday unless noted; Central Section ranking in parentheses)
Kern County scoreboard
(8) Wasco 57, Chavez 3
(13) Dinuba 45, Delano 8
Fresno-Washington Union 26, (17) Ridgeview 0
(18) Centennial 41, Tulare Union 25
(20) Stockdale 34, Clovis-Buchanan 16
(24) South 20, North 7
Tehachapi 48, West 6
Independence 36, East 6
Shafter 21, Taft 17
Bakersfield Christian 83, Kennedy 0
Golden Valley 47, Foothill 0
Highland 28, Mira Monte 13
Avenal 38, McFarland 0
Yucca Valley 38, Rosamond 2
Riverdale Christian at Northwest Christian
California City at Panorama City-St. Genevieve, 7 p.m. Saturday
Burroughs 48, Adelanto 0
Boron 40, Mammoth 14
Mojave 35, Ojai-Thacher 18
Santa Maria-Valley Christian 42, Immanuel Christian 36
Maricopa at Alpaugh, 11 a.m. Saturday
Other Central Section scores
(1) Fresno-Edison 24, (9) Clovis West 17
(10) Visalia-El Diamante 38, Hanford 0
(12) Fresno-Bullard 56, Fresno-Hoover 25
(15) Tulare-Mission Oak 41, Visalia-Mt. Whitney 0 (Thursday)
(16) Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial 28, (23) Fresno-Sunnyside 21 (Thursday)
(19) Visalia-Redwood 35, Visalia-Golden West 14
(21) Lemoore 62, Hanford West 32 (Thursday)
(22) Sanger 42, Reedley 7
Farmersville 45, (25) Lindsay 35
Kingsburg 33, Coalinga 0
Exeter 68, Oakhurst-Yosemite 8
Visalia-Central Valley Christian 55, Fowler 13
Liberty-Madera Ranchos 34, Caruthers 21
Madera 27, Oakland-Skyline 0
Selma 27, Madera South 7
Chowchilla 42, Corcoran 26
Reedley-Immanuel 42, Hanford-Sierra Pacific 16
Kerman 28, Dos Palos 0
Mendota 42, Tollhouse-Sierra 13
O'Neals-Minarets 41, Orosi 6
Fresno-Roosevelt 40, Orange Cove 0
Firebaugh 33, Parlier 6
Tranquillity 27, Riverdale 13
Chatsworth-Sierra Canyon 42, Bishop 21
Lemoore-Kings Christian 49, Fresno Christian 24
El Sobrante Christian at Coalinga-Faith Christian, 7 p.m. Saturday