Friday’s Central Section quarterfinal game for the Kingsburg High football team started on a promising note.
The Vikings scored a safety against host Bakersfield Christian and then added a 4-yard Bo Jackson touchdown to take a nine-point first quarter lead. But then the Eagles (10-1) scored all of the remaining points in a 48-9 victory against the Vikings.
The setback ended the season for Kingsburg (7-5).
“It's always tough to see the season come to an end,” Kingsburg coach David Wilson said. “When it comes to playoff football, only one team gets to end the season with a win, and unfortunately that was not in the cards for us this year. It was a great effort. The final score was not a great indicator on how hard the Vikings played.”
Things appeared promising for Kingsburg at the outset, as it took a 9-0 lead after one quarter.
“We started the game just how we had planned it,” Wilson said. “I felt our game plan was sound and was working for about 2 ½ quarters, but too many turnovers and big plays did us in at the end.”
The statistics are telling. Kingsburg was outgained 303-136 and had five turnovers to one for Bakersfield Christian. The Vikings also incurred 15 penalties for 130 yards (Bakersfield Christian had 11 for 100).
Jackson rushed 15 times for 51 yards and one TD. Donte Harris ran for 85 yards on 15 carries and scored twice for the Eagles. Bakersfield Christian quarterback Braden Wingle completed 19-of-31 passes for two touchdowns, with one intercepted.
Jackson led Kingsburg on defense with five tackles, Seth Costi had 4 ½, Cole Dias four and Jett Jackson (brother of Bo) two.
Despite the loss, Wilson was pleased overall with the Vikings’ effort and their season.
“I can’t say enough how proud I am of our program,” he said. “From top to bottom the effort was off the charts. Our program is always driven by the kids. Their work and effort is what makes Kingsburg football what it has been and what it will be in the future. We are going to miss our seniors, but the Vikings will be back.”
Kingsburg finished in fourth place in the Central Sequoia League with a 2-3 record, behind first place Dinuba (5-0) and co-second place Central Valley Christian (3-2) and Selma (3-2). The Vikings fell to their rivals Selma 27-0 on Nov. 10.
Bakersfield Christian will meet San Joaquin Memorial in the section semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday. The Eagles made it to the regional finals last season where they edged Selma 28-27 and then fell to Campolindo-Moraga 31-7 in the CIF-State 4-AA playoff bowl title game.
The Eagles are coached by Darren Carr, the brother of former Cal State University, Fresno QBs David and Derek Carr. Derek Carr is now the starting quarterback for the Oakland Raiders.
David assists Darren with the Eagles. The former Stockdale High QB was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft who played more than 10 years in the NFL.
Before landing at Bakersfield Christian, Darren was an assistant coach to Paul Golla at Bakersfield High for seven seasons.
The brothers' father, Rodger, has been involved with the Bakersfield Christian program as the quarterbacks coach.
In the other section semifinal game, No. 1 seed Tulare Western will meet No. 5 Tehachapi. The section title game is on Dec. 1.