Garces seeks first win in matchup for Coach Ogilvie Trophy

Through 72 years of playing football, not many rivalries for the Garces football top the one happening Friday night.

For the 48th time, Garces will play Tehachapi, this week on the road with F/S at 5 p.m. on Thursday and JV kicking off at 5 pm. on Friday with varsity set for 7:30.

Since 2007, the two football programs have played for not just bragging rights, but also for the Coach Ogilvie Trophy, which is awarded annually to the victor of the game.

Garces leads the series 7-3 over that span and holds an all-time record of 25-20-2 over the Warriors. 

Gary Ogilivie is a 1955 graduate of Garces after he led the Rams to the program’s first Central Section championship as the starting quarterback his junior year in 1953.

Ogilivie returned to campus a decade later in 1963, and over the next six seasons, he led Garces to a 34-21-4 record with one league title and the first section championship game appearance for the Rams since his playing days.

During his tenure as the football coach at Garces, Ogilivie was an inspiration to many on campus, including John Fanuchhi, who returned to the program as well.

Then, in 1970, Ogilivie took over as the head coach at Tehachapi, where the Warriors went 68-12 during his seven seasons as the head coach. Tehachapi won four league titles and one Southern Section championship under Ogilivie. His winning percentage of .850 still stands as the highest in program history. 

Like he did at Garces with Fanucchi, Ogilivie coached his successor when former player Steve Denman, who later became the only 300-game winner in Kern County history and just the eighth in California history.

Both teams come into Friday’s action winless, with the Rams falling to Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial 28-21 in the 54th Holy Bowl on Saturday.

Joesph Campbell’s return sparked the offense after a slow start in the first half. Jalen Smith scored on a 1-yard run midway through the third quarter and Campbell, who threw for 251 yards, connected on two 35-yard fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Phillip Bradford. But the Panthers scored the game-winner with 1 minute, 46 seconds left in the fourth quarter to beat the Rams (0-3).

Tehachapi (0-4) has won just two of the last 13 games and has lost six consecutive after a 48-15 loss at Highland on Friday. 

Garces has beaten Tehachapi seven of the previous eight meetings, including a 35-7 home win last season. 

Known simply on both campuses as “The Coach,” it’s fitting that the perpetual trophy should be in Ogilivie’s name in the long-standing rivalry.