The Bakersfield Drillers will take on the Frontier Titans this Friday night at Bakersfield’s Griffith Field. Bakersfield has won the first 2 meetings between the schools, including a 42-35 win last season. Frontier High School opened its doors in 2006 and this is the first year they will be making the jump from Division II to Division I in the CIF Central Section. Both teams play in the Southwest Yosemite League (SWYL), a league that Bakersfield dominated last season.
The Bakersfield Drillers are fresh off an impressive 13-0 season in 2011. What’s even more impressive is the Drillers ran the table with a team that started 7 sophomores and a freshman. The Drillers won the CIF Central Section championship but were snubbed from being picked for the state semifinals. The 2012 Bakersfield team has 15 returning starters to give the Drillers plenty of experience as they feel the pressure of being the early season favorite to win the Central Section. Bakersfield lost the Californian Player of the Year in quarterback Chris Hannible. Junior Asauni Rufus has stepped up into the starting quarterback role and seems to be doing just fine. Juniors Jeremiah Reddick and Derrick Vickers will fill in the void left in the backfield by Silas Nacita. Senior James Hosey is also a factor in the backfield after transferring from Frontier. Playoff hero Kevin Hayes returns at wide receiver along with fellow senior Kyle Pope. Defensively, Shaq Garrett returns from his arm injury that ended his 2011 season in the playoffs. Marcus Bruce, now a sophomore, returns as well after stepping in for Garrett and providing valuable minutes for the Drillers. Reddick will be at linebacker, along with the team’s leading tackler in senior Kenny Trueba. Dallas Daris, Jermaine Ervin and Hayes will man the secondary. The Drillers are out to a hot 6-1 start to the 2012 season and are tied in 2nd in the Division I standings. They lost to Liberty 2 weeks ago in their SWYL opener.
The Frontier Titans went 5-6 in 2011, losing in the quarterfinals of the Division II playoffs. The Titans dominated most teams last season, but could not find the ways to win key games. The offense loses quarterback Eddie Torres who has decided to focus on baseball as well as James Hosey who has transferred to Bakersfield. Junior Evan Moore will be the starter at quarterback. In the backfield, 230-pound senior Triton Douglas is back at running back. Senior Justin Cash and junior Troy Banks will replace B.J. Nard and Kyle Nixon at wide receiver. The offensive line may be the brightest spot of this Titan offense. The line returns 3 3rd-year starters and it will be regarded as one of the best in the section. Defensively, up front the Titans return Colton Foster, Augie Alcantar and Garrett Brown. Douglas and Adam Huyck will man the linebacking corps while Cash and Matt Bushnell lineup in the secondary. The Titans faced a daunting early season schedule but managed to come out with a respectable 4-3 record. More importantly, they are 2-0 in league play.
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