Strathmore’s undefeated season ends in loss to Bakersfield Christian

Strathmore Spartans fall to Bakersfield Christian Eagles 19-29, ending undefeated season

STRATHMORE – The Strathmore Spartans’ undefeated 11-0 season came to an end Friday night in the talons of the Bakersfield Christian Eagles, who defeated the Spartans 29-19 on their home field.

With their star running back Carlos Moreno cheering his teammates on from the sidelines, crutches under his arms and his leg in a brace after being carried off the field in agonizing pain from a scary knee injury last week, the Spartans had to find their offense elsewhere. Senior quarterback Jaylen Oats seized the moment and scrambled for 50 rushing yards and a touchdown, with two more scores in the air on 189 passing yards.

Though the Spartans put up a fight in the first half, penalties stacked up in the second and Strathmore never really gained much momentum for the remainder of the game, with the Carr family-coached Eagles burning most of the fourth quarter on one drive.

Spartans coach Jeremy Blackwell, who played ball with David Carr 20 years ago at Fresno State, said he’s proud of his Spartans despite being a bit outmatched.

“We were way more heavily penalized than they were, which means we were probably a little outmanned. They weren’t a whole lot of self-inflicted penalties…in general, I thought we were pretty clean, we were making a living in the first half on turnovers,” Blackwell said. “Tonight we got dealt this hand, and [the Eagles] are a good football team…I’m kind of thankful that our guys are in the ranks with some of those elite teams that are small schools here in Tulare County.”

Blackwell said his team’s performance this year has without-a-doubt earned a top spot in Strathmore football lore, and said he’s grateful to be able to put on a show for such gracious fans and community who packed the stadium to see their Spartans play.

“Nobody has ever played as intense a schedule as these guys have played. No matter what, they have to always be in the debate for one of the greatest teams of all time,” Blackwell said. “We love football and Strathmore loves football. Strathmore is a little baby football town like west Texas or something.”

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