It didn’t matter that only two of Bakersfield Christian’s players were on the team when it happened. The Eagles did not forget how 2015 ended — when No. 13 Highland upset No. 4 BCHS in the first round of the playoffs — and were not going to let it happen again.
All week during practice, BCHS alumni showed up to tell the current players not to take any teams for granted and reinforce the importance of beating Highland.
Eagles starting quarterback Jacob Maran watched film of the game repeatedly.
“It still bothers me,” BCHS head coach Darren Carr said. “It doesn’t matter. You always remember the losses. Those always drive you more than the wins.”
In a redemption game of sorts, the Eagles went up 28-0 on the Scots in the first half and hardly let up. No. 2 seed BCHS (8-4) beat No. 10 Highland (7-5) easily, 49-7, at home on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Division III Central Section playoffs. Highland did not score until BCHS was up 42-0.
The Eagles, who had a first round bye, will move on to face No. 3 Kingsburg in the semifinals, who defeated No. 11 West 35-7.
Highland was in the quarterfinals for the first time since beating BCHS in 2015, but that’s where its 2018 season ended.
“We’ve been waiting to start fast all season,” Maran said. “We’ve been a second half team and we got out to a good start today.”
Maran completed 11 of his 18 passes for 207 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for 113 yards on seven carries.
A fourth down pass to tight end Ben Yurosek in traffic from the 15 was the first score of the game.
Maran also threw a 25-yard touchdown to Chris Gutierrez on a seam route in the second quarter and a 6-yard touchdown to Myran Randle in the third. The latter gave the Eagles a 42-0 lead with about two minutes left in the third.
“The first half of the season was kind of shaky, but after the second half against West I feel like we clicked together,” said Maran, who took over the quarterback job in the second half against West. BCHS won the West contest and the five games since then.
Running back Donte Harris rushed for three touchdowns on consecutive carries. He scored from 9, then 7, then 1 yards out on three straight rushes across the second and third quarters.
Highland’s only score came after a muffed kickoff return by the Scots bounced directly to Joey Vidal, who ran down to the BCHS 10. Zachri Green ran it in for an 8-yard score.
Scots quarterback Nick Salas was 6-for-16 for 28 yards and an interception. Green had 17 carries for 54 yards.
Highland finished the game with just 89 yards to the Eagles’ 480.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Carr said. “By no means did we win anything. We won the game. We haven't won what we want to win.”
Bakersfield Christian 49, Highland 7
Highland - 0 0 7 0 - 7
BCHS - 7 21 14 7 - 49
B - Yurosek 15 pass from J. Maran (Guillory kick)
B - Harris 9 run (Kick fail)
B - Gutierrez 25 pass from J. Maran (Harris run)
B - Harris 7 run (Guillory kick)
B - Harris 1 run (Guillory kick)
B - Randle 6 pass from J. Maran (Salcido kick)
H - Greene 8 run (Schwartz kick)
B - Gambino 2 run (Salcido kick)
RUSHING - B: Harris 12-102, J. Maran 7-113, Gutierrez 1-8, Raymond 4-37, Eenigenburg 2-11, Gamboni 1-2. H: Green 17-54, Salas 13-(-15), Henry 3-8, Valdez 1-13, Bayaca 1-1.
PASSING - B: J. Maran 11-18-0-207, Gambino 1-3-0-12. H: Salas 5-16-1-28.
RECEIVING - B: Glinton 3-62, Yurosek 3-36, Wallace 2-28, Gutierrez 1-25, Randle 2-56, Ronk 1-12.
W-L: BCHS 8-3, HHS 7-5.