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Jernagin sets Garces single-game rushing mark as Rams rout BCHS

Tulare Union at Garces FB02

Garces' running back Ian Jernagin works for yardage as Tulare Union. Jernagin faced far less resistance on Friday, running for a program-record 381 yards in a 58-12 win over Bakersfield Christian.

After tying the Garces single-game rushing record, Ian Jernagin ran into his first significant obstacle all night.

Jernagin plowed forward for one yard late in the fourth quarter to give himself 381 rushing yards for the night, breaking the previous Garces Memorial record by the narrowest of margins as the Rams took down Bakersfield Christian 58-12 Friday night.

Jernagin, who kick-started a stretch of 51 unanswered Garces points with a 65-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, equaled the previous record of 380 set by Sheldon Croney in 2013 when he exploded for 51 yards late in the fourth quarter.

He appeared to shatter the mark on the ensuing play, only to have a 37-yard touchdown run -- which would have been his fifth of the night -- nullified by a holding call.

BCHS offered resistance for one of the first times all night on the next play, as two defenders greeted Jernagin as he took a handoff. But showcasing the elusiveness that's made him a high-level Division-I prospect, he dodged initial contact and was able to fall forward for one record-setting yard.

The achievement was lost on Jernagin in the moment, as the back says he was unaware he'd set it until afterwards.

"I didn't even know until after the game," said Jernagin, who also had touchdown runs of 3, 48 and 13 yards. "Coaches told me how many yards I had and I was just as surprised as everyone else."

Jernagin got plenty of support from running mate Zamir Hall, who added 82 yards on just six carries. The Rams finished with 473 yards rushing as a team.

Replacing an injured Travis Plugge, backup quarterback Julian Smith completed just six passes, but three went for touchdowns. He connected with Dom D'Amato from 23 and 25 yards out in the first half and with Zion Hall from 25-yards out in the second.

Hall also keyed a dominant defensive effort for the defense, finishing with two interceptions. After giving up an 80-yard opening-drive touchdown, Garces didn't allow BCHS to cross the 50 again until the third quarter.

But, unsurprisingly, Jernagin was the star afterwards.

"The kid deserved it," Rams coach Paul Golla said. "He had a phenomenal game. The O-line deserved it, the kids deserved it. They all deserved it."

Dealing with injuries and a brutal spring schedule, the Rams finish 2-3 and believe they will have considerable momentum going into the fall.

"It's going to be an amazing year next year after what we just did tonight," Jernagin said. “It just feels amazing. Me and my linemen, me and my team, we just put in a lot of hard work and it definitely paid off tonight."

Kresean Kizzy had two touchdowns for BCHS, scoring on a 28-yard pass and a 40-yard fumble recovery in the first quarter. The emerging sophomore star scored seven touchdowns in three games for the Eagles, who finish the spring 1-2.