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The Big Pine Warriors advance to the second round of CIF playoffs with a 34-20 win over the Calvary Baptist Cougars Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars played tough, meeting the Warriors TD for TD. With a 21-20 fourth-quarter score, Ryan Carringtonâ€™s interception turned the tide, kicking the Warriors into high gear.
â€śIâ€™m very pleased with the outcome,â€ť said coach Mark Tilleman. â€śThe kids put themselves in this position (in the playoffs) and they came through.â€ť
Next Saturday, the Warriors travel to Cuyama Valley to take on the Bears. â€śTheyâ€™re a good ball club,â€ť said Tillemans. â€śWe have a history with them in the playoffs; weâ€™ve been victorious on the road. We have things to work on on the defensive side, but weâ€™ll be ready.â€ť
Big Pine started Saturdayâ€™s game in normal Warriors fashion. Quarterback Isaiah Bacoch connected with Jesse Chirrick on a 30-yard pass play for a touchdown.
The Cougarsâ€™ offense ran into the immovable wall that is the Warriorsâ€™ defense on their first possession. A Cougars snap went high and wild; Colton Carrington recovered the loose ball, turning the ball back to the Warriors near mid-field.
Calvary Baptist got back into the game with a fumble recovery of its own, taking possession on their own 30-yardline and setting up a TD pass play, tying the score at 6-6.
Both teamsâ€™ defenses went to work into the early minutes of the second quarter. A Warriors sack turned the ball over on downs. A pass play to David Barlow put the ball into the Cougarsâ€™ Red Zone; Tyler Amisone finished the drive with a 5-yard TD run. With a successful point-after, Big Pine went ahead 13-6.
The Warriorsâ€™ onside kick set off a scramble for the ball. The Cougars nearly had it, but fumbled. When the scramble was over, Chirrick came up with the ball on Calvary Baptistâ€™s 3-yard line, setting up the second Amisone TD. The two-point conversion to Chirrick was successful and Big Pine took a healthy 21-6 lead.
With less than four minutes left in the half, the Cougars had the ball deep in their own territory. The quarterback connected with a wide-open receiver for a 68-yard play and the second Calvary Baptist TD. After two penalty-plagued two-point conversion attempts, the third one failed, bringing the Cougars within nine points at 21-12.
The Cougars got on the scoreboard early in the third quarter with a TD from the Warriorsâ€™ 29-yardline. This time, the two-point conversion worked and Calvary Baptist pulled to within one point of Big Pine at 21-20.
The balance of the third quarter was a defensive struggle. The Cougars held the Warriors to small gains on a long possession that ended in a fumble with the Cougars recovering the ball. Back-to-back Carrington sacks turned the ball back on downs, ending the quarter with the Warriors in possession.
Heavy pressure from the Cougarsâ€™ line forced a Warriors punt. Two Calvary Baptist plays later, Ryan Carrington intercepted a pass setting up the Warriors on the Cougarsâ€™ 31-yard line. On the first play, Bacoch connected with Amisone for a 35-yard TD. Big Pine pulled ahead 28-20.
The Carrington interception and Amisone touchdown fired up the Warriors and the home crowd. With eight minutes left in the quarter, Big Pine recovered a Cougars fumble, eventually turning the ball over on downs after eating valuable time off the clock.
The defense went back to work demolishing the Cougarsâ€™ passing game. The Warriors regained possession on downs in the Cougarsâ€™ Red Zone and Amisone leapt across the goal line for his fourth and final TD, sealing the deal with a 34-20 final score.
On to round two and the Cuyama Valley Bears.