The Bakersfield Christian football team has had its share of drama during the Division III Central Section Playoffs.
It just hasn't shown up in the box score.
Through on-field scuffles and key injuries, the Eagles have rolled over their first two postseason opponents, winning by the combined score of 84-21.
BCHS will be heavily favored again when it hosts Central Valley Christian in Friday's championship game, and for good reason. Behind five Dominic Gamboni touchdown passes and three Ben Yurosek sacks, the Eagles dominated a Week 2 matchup with the Cavaliers, winning 36-0 on the road.
But after consecutive seasons ended in crushing defeats — the Eagles lost a pair of section games to San Joaquin Memorial by the combined score of 97-14 — coach Darren Carr says his team's isn't letting its focus slip heading into the biggest tilt of its season.
“A lot of our guys have kind of a sour taste in their stomach from last year and the year before," Carr said. "I think they’re motivated. It’s been a good positive week. These guys are locked in and ready to play football.”
There's reason to believe the Cavaliers will put up a better showing in the rematch. After being outscored 71-7 during an 0-2 start, they've worked their way to a 9-4 record in a hot stretch that included a 29-22 upset of top seed Kingsbury in the section semifinals.
After stymieing a highly productive dual-threat quarterback a week ago, the Eagles will have to contain another in Tyce Griswold. Griswold has thrown for 1,339 yards, run for a team-best 907 and accounted for 23 touchdowns this season.
Having flexed its muscle against section competition thus far, BCHS has a simple plan for Friday's final game.
“We’ve just got to finish," senior receiver and defensive back Chris Gutierrez said. "Finish out the game, finish out the year, win the game, go into state and finish there too.”
“You want to be the last man standing," Carr added. "These guys know what they have to do. They have to go out and play hard because they’re going to come down here and they’re going to want it just as much as we do.
"If you’re a competitor, you’re going to be fired up to play Friday. And these guys are definitely going to be fired up to play.”
One thing that remains to be seen is if Eagle running back David Stevenson will be at full strength.
Stevenson, a senior who's ran for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, missed the second half of last week's 35-14 win over San Luis Obispo with an ankle injury and has been limited in practice this week.
Despite taking the cautious approach in practice, Carr expects Stevenson will "definitely be out there" with the offense Friday.