Eagles Soar Past Lemoore in Quarterfinal Playoff Matchup

Knight Jarecki, Contributor


The second-seeded Bakersfield Christian Eagles defeated the Lemoore Tigers by a final score of 49-7 Friday night. The Eagles dominated the Tigers despite not having tight end Ben Yurosek, who was controversially ejected in the second quarter.

Coming into the matchup Lemoore (5-6) was coming off of a win against West in the CIF Central Valley Division 3 playoffs. The Eagles had a bye week after being awarded the two seed in the bracket.

The action kicked off in the 1st quarter when BCHS scored on their opening drive on a 1-yard touchdown rush by senior running back David Stevenson. Stevenson was able to gain 56 yards on the ground in the opening drive. After a Chris Gutierrez interception, David Stevenson found the end zone once again on a 14-yard scamper for his second touchdown of the night, putting the Eagles up 14-0 with 1:08 to go in the 1st quarter. With 13 seconds left in the first quarter, Stevenson again found the end zone after reading the quarterback’s eyes and picking him off for a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown, his 3rd touchdown of the game.

Early in the second quarter, a scrum broke lose between players from both teams. The brawl led to coaches rushing onto the field and four ejections, three on Lemoore and one for Bakersfield Christian. The ejection for BCHS was the senior tight end Ben Yurosek, who is committed to playing college football next year at Stanford. This scuffle resulted in a 15-minute delay in play before action resumed.

With 4:14 left in the 2nd quarter, Lemoore found the end zone as Lemoore starting quarterback Chris Taylor threw a jump ball up for Will Schalde for a 20-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone to cut the Eagles lead to 21-7. After an apparent touchdown pass from Dominic Gamboni to freshman, Kreyshawn Kizzy was called back due to a juggle, Gamboni found Senior Chris Gutierrez on a 39-yard touchdown pass to push the score to 28-7 in favor of the Eagles. Junior Jess Wattenbarger added to Eagles lead on a 26-yard touchdown run, making it a 35-7 game with 2:43 left in the 3rd.

In the 4th quarter, the Eagles scored two touchdowns, a 36-yard touchdown pass from Gamboni to Gutierrez and a 30 yard rush from Randy Raymond while shutting out Lemoore to make the final score 49-7.

CIF rules state that after a player’s first ejection, they would then be ineligible for the next game. However, the Eagles appealed Yurosek’s ejection. They won the appeal after showing video evidence that Yurosek was not involved in the play giving the star tight end eligibility for Friday’s matchup.

Lemoore finished their season with a final record of 5-7 ending in the quarterfinals. Bakersfield Christian (8-3) advanced to the semi-finals with a matchup against the 3 seeded San Luis Obisbo Tigers (10-1). The one-seeded Kingburg lost to CVC on Friday, giving the Eagles home-field advantage throughout playoffs. The Eagles will play the Tigers on Friday at 7 pm at BCHS.