Renegades win season opener 36-19
After a first half that went back and forth, the Bakersfield College football team was able to take a touchdown lead into halftime. The Renegades managed to pull away thanks to a big third quarter and the performance by starting quarterback Brian Burrell as BC beat Santa Ana 36-19 on Sept. 1 at Memorial Stadium.
The Renegades came up big in the third quarter when they outscored the Dons 14-0 and also held their offense without a first down for the whole quarter.
BC also outgained the Dons 500-395 yards for the game.
BC head coach Jeff Chudy commented on the game.
“I thought we did outstanding and did great for our first game,” he said. “We have a lot of freshmen running around like deer in the head lights and I thought Burrell did a nice job managing the game. His poise gives us a lot of confidence.
“I thought defensively we were a little on our heels the first half, but we did a great job and I thought our coaches did a nice job making some adjustments, and most importantly the players executed those adjustments. I was proud how our guys responded because Santa Ana is a good football team, so it’s a good win.”
BC got a big performance from Burrell, who threw for 370 yards on 26 of 38 and also had four touchdowns. The Renegades also got good performances from wide receivers Brock Martin and Chaz Adams. Martin had eight receptions, 120 yards and one touchdown and Adams had five receptions, 126 yards and two touchdowns.
BC started the game off fast with a fumble recovery on the very first play for the Dons offense, and that led to a BC field goal. After a quick three-and-out by Santa Ana, BC got the ball back and took it in for a touchdown. Santa Ana was able to respond by scoring 10 straight points of their own.
BC broke the tie with a 48-yard touchdown pass from Burrell to Martin that capped off a 75-yard drive.
With 2:41 left, Santa Ana tried to score to tie the game before the half, but on third-and-goal Santa Ana quarterback Hayden Gavett’s throw was tipped and then intercepted by BC linebacker Ozzy Sombo.
That defensive stop helped the Renegades get some momentum going into the half, and they took advantage in the third quarter. In the second play of the second half, BC running back Curtis McGregor broke a tackle at the scrimmage line and then reversed the field and took it for 48 yards to the Santa Ana 14-yard line to set up another score for BC.
BC scored that touchdown on an unusual play, and this time it was Burrell’s pass being tipped in the air by his own receiver, and into the hands of a wide-open BC receiver, Adams, in the back of the end zone.
“We got some lucky plays, but you know it works and they still count the same,” said Burrell.
The Renegades defense was able to get another quick three-and-out, and it led to another Burrell touchdown. Only this time they chose to do it the conventional way with a 64-yard touchdown pass from Burrell to Adams. That touchdown gave the Renegades the cushion they needed.
Burrell commented on his first game since injuring his collarbone last year and on how the team did.
“It went good,” said Burrell. “We got the win so I’m happy about that. It’s fun to be back out there and I think everyone else was enjoying it as much me.
“I thought we did good, but we still have a lot of improvements to make. We got to start the first half better, and I’ll put that on me. I didn’t do very well in the beginning, but we got a lot of room to improve on all areas of the game.”
Chudy added that he told the team after the first half to just keep its composure and to just to take a step back to make some adjustments.
“They did some things we didn’t see off film,” he said. “They did some things defensively that we were surprised by and offensively they play in a hurry-up offense and we hadn’t played them since 1973, so we had to make some adjustments.
“We just took a step back and had the guys be in the right spots, and that helped us in those first two drives in the third quarter.”
He added that he still wants the team to improve on every area specifically on returning the ball and doing a better job blocking during field goals.
BC is scheduled to play at Mt. SAC on Sept. 8.