Central rallies past Bakersfield in semifinals
Central High is becoming accustomed to slow starts on the football field. It might not be best for its fans, but so far it seems to suit the undefeated Grizzlies.
Just like it did last week week against Edison, Central rallied Friday night and beat Bakersfield in the Central Section Division I semifinals.
The Grizzlies took their first lead of the game in the third quarter when Trent Tompkins connected with a 67-yard touchdown to Jeremiah Hunter and Tompkins added an insurance touchdown on a 30-yard run in Central’s 46-34 victory at Deran Koligian Stadium.
“That was a great win for our guys,” Tompkins said. “Playing a great Bakersfield team and going down at the half going in that locker room … it’s a feeling you can’t really describe.”
Central (12-0) advances to the championship to take on Liberty-Bakersfield which eliminated Buchanan 24-23.
Central fell behind 6-0 to Edison before roaring back. Against Bakersfield, the hole was deeper and later.
The Drillers opened the second half with a touchdown for a 27-14 lead. Bakersfield’s unique option offense caused problems, but the Grizzlies just had too much offense.
.”We didn’t want our season to end,” Central coach Kyle Biggs said. “I told those guys, ‘If we don’t leave everything out on the field, this will be our last 24 minutes of our season.’ And to their credit, they didn’t want their season to end and came out and playing with their hearts out.”
Hunter credited Tompkins’ TD run as a big blow. “Once he scored, it took all the air out of them. He saw the hole and took it.
“Just glad we have him on our team.”
Tompkins accounted for five scores (two runs, three passes) and was 18 of 28 for 313 yards plus 15 rushes for 83 yards. Hunter caught seven passes for 139 yards and Quali Conley had 198 total yards and two TDs.