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Explosive Bulldogs headed to playoffs
Sultana 0 6 0 0 — 6
Oak Hills 7 14 20 7 — 48
O — Mastandrea 12 pass from Brammer (Goodman kick)
O — Kokesh 2 run (Goodman kick)
S — Robbins 16 run (kick failed)
O — Kokesh 29 run (Goodman kick)
O — Mastandrea 40 pass from Brammer (Goodman kick)
O — Gilmer 33 pass from Brammer (kick failed)
O — Kokesh 35 run (Goodman kick)
O — Fletcher 32 run (Goodman kick)
OAK HILLS • With only two regular season games remaining entering Friday, Oak Hills junior running back Brett Kokesh felt like there was something missing.
The shifty back couldn’t complain too much about the way his first season as a starter was going, but he was admittedly anxious to have a big game.
Kokesh had the type of game he was looking for Friday night, rushing for 121 yards and three touchdowns to lead an explosive Oak Hills offense in a 48-6 rout of Sultana at Oak Hills Stadium.
The Bulldogs (8-1, 3-1 Mojave River League) clinched a playoff berth with the victory.
Kokesh needed only 13 carries to rack up his gaudy statistics. His touchdown runs came from 2, 29 and 33 yards out, and he added two more carries of at least 10 yards.
“I think I had a better game than usual, but I could’ve done better,” Kokesh said. “I’ve been trying to put in a lot of work. ... When I got the ball, I just saw the seam and tried to run.”
Kokesh wasn’t alone in making big plays. Five of the Bulldogs’ seven touchdowns came on plays of at least 29 yards, and they had 14 plays of at least 12 yards.
Sophomore quarterback Nolan Brammer had arguably the finest game in his young career, completing 8 of 12 passes for 189 yards and three scores. Tyrone Gilmer hauled in three catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, Gino Mastandrea had two touchdown receptions and De’Zhontaey Fletcher ran for 102 yards and a touchdown in mopup duty.
“We kind of knew how they were going to play us,” Kistner said. “They gave us some holes and we felt pretty good with our one-on-one matchups on the outside.”
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs’ defense delivered its second straight dominant performance led by a strong effort on the defensive line.
Junior defensive end Kennedy Emesibe had a pair of sacks and two more tackles for a loss as the Bulldogs harassed Sultana quarterback Andrew Robbins all night. Robbins was sacked four times and the Bulldogs dropped Sultana ballcarriers for a loss 11 times.
“Coach told us that if we came out hard then there was no way (Sultana) could beat us,” Emesibe said. “We knew if we could just come out strong that it (would be) a mismatch.”
Sultana (4-5, 0-3 MRL) made its way inside the Oak Hills 30-yard line on each of its first three drives, but each time the Bulldogs and turned the Sultans away. Oak Hills forced a turnover on downs the first two drives, and Phillip Hernandez picked off his sixth pass of the season to end Sultana’s third drive.
Meanwhile, the Oak Hills offense scored touchdowns on three of its first five possessions. The Bulldogs led 21-6 at halftime and 41-6 by the end of the third quarter.
“I think we played like (poop) in the second half,” Sultans coach Blake Robbins said. “We couldn’t catch the ball, we couldn’t block, we couldn’t make a tackle. We had guys just falling off tackles left and right. We were missing tackles and that’s been our story.”
Oak Hills is done with its league slate and will face Burroughs in its final game before the postseason. Kistner said he does not plan to rest his starters because the Bulldogs are fighting for a good postseason seed. Sultana will face Hesperia in the Key Game next week and is clinging to slim hopes of a wild card berth.