The Dos Palos Broncos turned in one of their best overall performances of the year, dismantling West High-Bakersfield last Friday evening in the Central Section Div. 5 playoffs, 45-13.
The victory sets up a semi-final match this Thursday evening. Dos Palos will host the Morro Bay Pirates of the Central Coast. Gametime at Frankian Field is set for 7 pm. Last Friday, the Pirates held off Golden Valley-Bakersfield, 28-25, to advance.
The Bronco defense shut down West’s veer offense, holding them to 96 yards rushing. Senior defensive end Felix Garcia led the way, coming up with seven tackles and one quarterback sack. Senior linebacker Daniel Robbins added another five tackles.
Offensively, Dos Palos relied on its running game to take an early lead. After Jesus Bon booted a 23-yard field goal in the first quarter, the Broncos found the endzone when junior running Drake Hennagan ran the ball in from nine yards out. Bon’s extra point kick gave Dos Palos an early 10-0 lead.
Dos Palos’ running game started to roll in the second quarter as Andre Flores scored twice on runs of three and 18 yards.
With Dos Palos holding a 24-0 lead, quarterback Peyton Van Worth hit wide receiver Sixto Ibarra, for a 44-yard touchdown pass. The Vikings got on the board late in the second quarter to give them some life on a two-yard run.
But any hopes of a West comeback in the second half were dashed when Ibarra took the kickoff at his 30-yard line, rambled up the field, and scored a 70-yard touchdown to put the game away. For good measure, Van Worth tossed a 58-yard touchdown pass to Flores midway through the third quarter.
Van Worth, a junior, finished with 208 yards passing and the two TDs. The Broncos totaled 267 yards rushing, with Flores finishing with 112 yards and Hennagan gaining 99 yards on only 11 carries.
“We finally played a complete game,” said Bronco head coach Rob Calvert. “We came out and played well on both sides of the ball. We established the run early, and Drake and Andre just had great games. Our defense was just swarming to the ball all night.”
The Bronco defense will have to turn in another excellent effort this Thursday when Morro Bay comes to visit. The Pirates run a spread offense that can light up the scoreboard.
“They have a running back who is averaging nine yards a carry,” Calvert said. “Their quarterback threw for 2,200 yards and about 20 touchdowns. They also have a wide receiver with 1,000 yards receiving. They are pretty balanced.”
Dos Palos and Morro Bay also have a common opponent. The Pirates beat Pioneer Valley 31-21, while the Broncos lost to PW early in the season.