BC stumbles as Falcons soar

Leanne Cave

After a 35-0 clawing by the Cerritos Falcons in the season home opener Sept. 14, the Bakersfield College Renegades will travel to Coalinga Saturday and attempt to put the pieces back together against the Falcons of West Hills College.

This will be a test to see just how much ability the 2002 BC football team possesses.

“We are a very young team,” head coach Dallas Grider said. “We’ve got to take the positive aspects from the game and move on.”

The ‘Gades were totally beaten in every phase of the game by the well-balanced Falcons on their home field. For the 4,698 fans that anticipated the ‘Gades to come out clicking on all cylinders, the game was unusual. It was like a flat tire, a total blow out.

“This may be the best Cerritos team in the last 20 years,” Grider said. “We won’t schedule them again this season,” he added jokingly.

For Cerritos, it was total domination right from the start as it took an early 14-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. The first score of the game was an impressive 50-yard touchdown run by Cerritos running back Jermaine Whiten who scampered down the sideline untouched by the defenders.

And it didn’t get any better for BC, as Falcon quarterback Glenn DeBerg threw a perfect 48-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Andrew Harris for the second score of the first quarter. The Falcons executed their offensive game plan well in the first half, lighting up the visitor’s side of the scoreboard two more times and led 28-0 at the half.

“Bakersfield College is a first-class program,” said Cerritos head coach Frank Mazzotta.

“We were a little surprised. We just came out early and had them on their heels. What a lot of people might not know is that we have shut them out three of the four times we have played them.”

It was the first collegiate start for George Valos, starting quarterback for the ‘Gades, since 1998, when he played for Azusa Pacific University.

“It felt good to be back on the field,” Valos said. “It took a little while to get things going, we just didn’t get the opportunities to score. They were a very good team.”

The Falcon offense did only manage seven more points in the third quarter, but the 35-0 score was more than the ‘Gades could overcome.

If there was any bright spot for BC, it was exciting kickoff returns by freshman Ismael Arrenaviz.

The Foothill High School graduate put up a 39.25-yard average on his returns and looks promising as a receiver as well.

Defensively for the ‘Gades, Kyle Hager, Daniel Johnson, Josh Saso and Joe Smith led the way making some defensive plays.

“Cerritos is a good team,” Hager said. “The first game is always hard and we weren’t together as a team. We played like we weren’t all on the same page. This game against West Hills will be better for us.”