A good win in the first round of the playoffs came with a bad loss for the Bishop Union High School football team.
The top-seeded Broncos defeated visiting Viewpoint (Calabasas) 33-21 last Friday at John Schwab Field, but lost standout senior quarterback and defensive back Chance Callahan for the rest of the postseason due to a broken bone in his foot.
Callahan, who helped lead Bishop to the CIF-SS Northeast Division championship in 2010, limped off the field after what appeared to be a routine run and tackle midway through the third quarter.
This came minutes after Bishop’s Darren Spoonhunter was taken by ambulance after suffering a back injury. Bronco coach Bill Egan said Spoonhunter was at home Friday night; Callahan is out the season.
That makes it a tougher road for back-to-back titles Broncos, who face Desert Christian of Lancaster, a 57-12 winner over California Military Institute, in Friday’s second round. Kickoff is 6:30 p.m. at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster.
Kyle Batchelder took over for Callahan and will quarterback the Broncos, and Egan said Batchelder will hold his own.
“He reads the defense really well in our option plays,” Egan said. “He’s a good runner, and he can make some good passes.”
Batchelder, a junior, threw two interceptions against Viewpoint, but continued his solid running and defensive play.
Egan said Bronco practices Monday and Tuesday went “fantastic” but Wedesday the team was a bit ragged. “Thanksgiving will be better,” Egan said with a laugh. “I yelled at ’em. But the kids are working hard, and that’s what’s important.”
Bishop senior Jaime Ruelas will likely get more touches with Callahan out, and that’s usually a great thing for the Broncos. Ruelas had a monster game against Viewpoint, rushing for 227 yards on 13 carries, scoring four touchdowns, including sizzling dashes of 55 and 70 yards in the second half.
Joining Batchelder and Ruelas in the backfield will be juniors Evan Richman and Ryan Devore, with senior Gerry Castrillo getting some carries. Matt Babb and Cy Scott are the receivers, with the solid offensive line of center Schain Thomson, guards Jared Alden and Chris Froreich, and tackles Mario Cerros and Matt Doonan.
Thomson, the middle linebacker, leads the Bronco 3-3 defense, and Egan said Bishop will employ different twists defensively against Desert Christian. “We have to. They have two different offenses,” Egan said. “They’ll run the double wing and a spread formation. I think they’ll primarily run the double tights and try to keep the ball away from us.”
Doonan and Keith Tatum are the defensive ends, with sophomore Cam White getting the start at nose guard. Dustin Waasdorp and Cody McKinley will start at outside linebackers, with Ruelas and Castillo at strong safeties, Babb and Devore at cornerback and Batchelder at safety.
Egan noted Desert Christian has two 1,000-yards rushers in Keil Alcaraz and Chance Gusbeth (“two very good football players”), and the Knights were only other team in the Northeast Division besides the Broncos to be ranked No. 1 during the season.
“They’ve played some tough ballgames,” Egan said. “It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
NOTES: The winner of Bishop-Desert Christian will play the winner of Mojave at fourth-seeded Salesian. The Broncos would have a home against Salesian; a road game at Mojave … MaxPreps Freeman Computer Projections has Bishop beating Desert Christian 38-21 … The Broncos were to watch film at 8 a.m. Thanksgiving, with practice at 9 a.m. The team will leave Bishop at 11:30 a.m. Friday … Games in the Northeast Division lower bracket are No. 3 Boron at Kern Valley and California City at No. 2 Rio Hondo Prep. Other MaxPreps projections: Salesian 31, Mojave 27; Boron 35, Kern Valley 19; Rio Hondo Prep 35, Cal City 20 … Bishop is 10-1, riding a 10-game win streak since a season-opening loss to Sierra Canyon, the unbeaten No. 1-seed in the East Valley Division … Desert Christian is 8-2, the losses coming to Boron and Mojave, both still competing in the Northeast Division … Bishop won its second straight High Desert League title; Desert Christian earned an al-large berth out of the Desert Mountain League … Three HDL and three DML teams are still alive in the Northeast quarterfinals.