East Bakersfield tops Monache 26-21

A 'battered' Monache High School football team fought tooth and nail with East Bakersfield for four quarters but ultimately came up short in a 26-21 loss to the Blades Friday night at Jacob Rankin Stadium on homecoming night.

The Marauders (1-4) were short-handed but still battled, putting the Blades (4-1) on the ropes early in the fourth quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by Aidan Galvan. Anthony Valencia's PAT sailed through the uprights and Monache took a 21-20 lead.

“That's what's amazing,” MHS head coach Shane Focke said. “We're missing eight starters combined on offense and defense. And to play that team, as good as they are, as late as we did, leaving it all on the table — fantastic effort. Fantastic effort.”

East played a merciless game and they allowed Monache just one minute to celebrate before the Blades' Nathan Martinez scored a game-winning, 78-yard touchdown run. East missed the PAT but the six points were enough for the win.

The Blades scored on three of their first four drives, with 41- and 71-yard receptions in the first quarter and then a 66-yard reception in the second.

Monache stuck with East in the beginning with Sullivan Focke's 33-yard touchdown pass to TrayVon Bradford answering the Blades' first touchdown. But a blocked PAT kept the Marauders playing from behind. Monache cut East's lead to six in the final two minutes of the first half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Galvan. Galvan also ran the ball in for a successful 2-point conversion.

The Marauders did struggle on offense with fumbles — one lost and one recovered — and interceptions. Quarterback Sullivan Focke threw three interceptions including a critical one in the fourth with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left to play.

On defense players stepped up big time for Monache. One of the biggest surprises was seeing just how well the Marauders were able to get to East's quarterback. The team racked up at least eight sacks with Galvan, Taven Avila, Rodrigo Tapia, Jacob Vasquez, Esgar Madrigal all getting to the quarterback at least once.

Regardless of the score, coach Shane Focke was proud of his team and what they showed they could do even with a couple of players missing.

“We're a battered, mashed unit,” coach Focke said. “We weren't as short-handed in any game as tonight. And that's what's so amazing, is how tough we played these guys. We, oh man, we played our hearts out. Couple of mistakes here and there and that game is a different score in our favor. So, I need our kids to believe we are good. We are very good.”

Monache has a bye next week and open East Yosemite League play, Thursday, Oct. 3, at Tulare Union.

“We're going to get healthy and we're going to be dangerous,” Focke said.  

East played a merciless game and they allowed Monache just one minute to celebrate before the Blades' Nathan Martinez scored a game-winning, 78-yard touchdown run. East missed the PAT but the six points were enough for the win.

The Blades scored on three of their first four drives, with 41- and 71-yard receptions in the first quarter and then a 66-yard reception in the second.

Monache stuck with East in the beginning with Sullivan Focke's 33-yard touchdown pass to TrayVon Bradford answering the Blades' first touchdown. But a blocked PAT kept the Marauders playing from behind. Monache cut East's lead to six in the final two minutes of the first half on a 1-yard touchdown run by Galvan. Galvan also ran the ball in for a successful 2-point conversion.

The Marauders did struggle on offense with fumbles — one lost and one recovered — and interceptions. Quarterback Sullivan Focke threw three interceptions including a critical one in the fourth with 2 minutes, 23 seconds left to play.

On defense players stepped up big time for Monache. One of the biggest surprises was seeing just how well the Marauders were able to get to East's quarterback. The team racked up at least eight sacks with Galvan, Taven Avila, Rodrigo Tapia, Jacob Vasquez, Esgar Madrigal all getting to the quarterback at least once.

Regardless of the score, coach Shane Focke was proud of his team and what they showed they could do even with a couple of players missing.

“We're a battered, mashed unit,” coachFocke said. “We weren't as short-handed in any game as tonight. And that's what's so amazing, is how tough we played these guys. We, oh man, we played our hearts out. Couple of mistakes here and there and that game is a different score in our favor. So, I need our kids to believe we are good. We are very good.”

Monache has a bye next week and open East Yosemite League play, Friday, Oct. 3, at Tulare Union.

“We're going to get healthy and we're going to be dangerous,” Focke said.  

Recommended for you