Home opener pits ’Gades against Ventura

Leanne Cave

The Ventura College Pirates will come to town on Saturday hoping to catch the Bakersfield College Renegades off guard in the home opener for BC at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.

Head coach Dallas Grider said that while the Pirates are a young football team, they should be as scrappy as always.

“This will be a good game,” Grider said. “Ventura beat Santa Barbara and played tough against two good Mission Conference teams, but came up short. It goes to show that we (the Mountain Conference) aren’t strong enough to beat the Mission Conference teams. We came the closest to beating a Mission team, Cerritos, but fell short.”

Ventura coach Terry Morris is excited about the matchup againt the ’Gades.

“(We) feel good about playing a national power like BC,” he says. “They are a measuring stick to where we are. We have a real young team and we will do the best we can.”

So far the ’Gades are 1-1 this season, while Ventura is 1-2.

After the 21-19 setback to Cerritos College and the cancellation of the expected home opener against West Hills, the ’Gades took matters into their own hands when they played Moorpark on Sept. 22 and totally dismantled the hometown Raiders, 49-3.

This was especially sweet for the ’Gades following the Cerritos loss because they beat up the highly touted Raiders on their home field. They stomped the home team in every phase of the game; offense, defense and special teams.

It looked as if it was going to be a repeat of the Cerritos game in the first quarter as Moorpark came out smokin’ with a good passing attack and some tough running that led to a 30-yard field goal by Moorpark kicker Christian Thomesen. This gave the Pirates the lead 3-0 with 6:54 left in the first quarter.

But the second quarter was all BC as the offensive exploded for 35 points. The dynamic quarterback duo of Kevin Bryan and Dennis DuBois combined for 185 yards and three touchdowns to lead the way.

Robert Thomas, who gained 132 yards rushing for the day, dazzled the crowd with an elusive 62-yard touchdown run and the ’Gades never looked back. Receiver Sammy Moore caught a 41-yard aerial strike from DuBois and tight end Russell Handy grabbed three catches on the day, one a 10-yard touchdown pass from Bryan.

The offensive show was exciting.

“It feels good to execute the option like we did,” Moore said. “Both quarterbacks have a different style, both have good arms, can run and can execute the option. Our offense is a more complete package.”