TEHACHAPI — Tehachapi did exactly what it wanted to do Thursday in the opening round of the CIF Div. 3 playoffs.
That was run the football. Then, when visiting South High figured out what the Warriors wanted to do, Tehachapi ran again.
It was the “three yards and a cloud of dust” mentality for the Warriors as they totaled 220 yards on the ground and had no problems with the Rebels as they cruised to an easy 34-8 victory on their home field.
With about two minutes remaining in the game a huge roar was let out by the partisan Tehachapi crowd after it was announced that Fresno High had upset Independence, 26-21, meaning Tehachapi would host next Friday’s game against the other Warriors.
The Rebels (5-5) had no answer for Tehachapi’s run game, in particular Garrett Curry and Hayden Palmer. Both Curry and Palmer scored a pair of touchdowns to help lead the Warriors into the next round.
Curry was the blue-collar workhorse for Tehachapi (6-5) as he finished with 77 yards on 21 carries. Palmer carried 18 times for 51 yards. All of Tehachapi’s total offense came on the ground.
The Warriors only led 7-0 at halftime as they got a touchdown in the first quarter following a 3-yard run by Palmer. However, Tehachapi blew the game wide open with a 20-point barrage in the third quarter, including Palmer’s other touchdown run and one each from Patrick Grimes and Curry.
Prior to a late 67-yard touchdown run by South’s Deveon Williams, when the game was already out of reach, Tehachapi’s defense had only allowed 72 yards of total offense to the Rebels at that point.