Facing the Falcons

Leanne Cave

The home opener originally scheduled for Sept. 15 between the Bakersfield College Renegades and the West Hills College Falcons will take place Saturday at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium. The game was postponed due to the terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C.

Even though West Hills assistant coach Scott Vokoun was saddened by the tragedy and said that postponing the game was understandable, the Falcons wanted to play BC early in the season.

“When you play a program like Bakersfield College, you hope to catch them early while they’re still making mistakes,” he said. “They aren’t doing that now.”

The BC coaches and players may beg to differ with Vokoun after two inconsistent performances back-to-back by the offense, especially in the passing game.

“West Hills is playing well,” said head coach Dallas Grider.

“They could easily be 3-1. The Falcons have only been out of one game this season, and that was to Santa Rosa. It’s good that we have each week to improve and get better. I’m glad we have the chance to play them.”

While West Hills has improved, BC’s offense has had some problems. The exception to that was the performance of running back Robert Thomas who led the ‘Gades to a 31-13 victory on Oct. 6 against a scrappy, determined East Los Angeles College team that fought to the end.

Thomas ran for four touchdowns, accounting for 28 of the 31 points showing on the scoreboard.

The lightning quick back has big play ability mixed with speed that was noticed by high school coaches while playing at Bonanza High in Las Vegas.

“My high school coaches use to say that when he breaks through, get ready to line up for the extra point,” he said.

Thomas credited the BC offensive line for the blocking up front. Grider agreed.

“Robert has God given talent,” he said. “But he was smart to praise his offensive line, because they provided the holes for him to run through.”

Other than Thomas’ exciting performance, the game once again belonged to the ‘Gade defense. The BC defense forced the Husky offense to punt in key situations and caused turnovers that squandered opportunities for East LA. BC defensive back Chris Browner intercepted a pass with a few seconds left on the clock to prevent any more scoring by the visiting team.

The game on Sept. 28 between the Ventura Pirates and BC was a closer battle than expected as the ‘Gades prevailed, 11-7.

This game was sloppy and uncharacteristic for the hometown fans as they witnessed a real lackluster performance by the BC offense.

The defense and special team play saved the day as two safeties accounted for four of the 11 points scored.

“We played alright,” said free safety Kenneth Qualls. “We’ll take the W.”