‘Gades set to battle Moorpark

Leanne Cave

The Bakersfield College Renegades will host Moorpark College on Saturday after two consecutive weeks of playing the pesky Falcons of Cerritos and West Hills.

The ‘Gades suffered a 35-0 home loss to Cerritos but managed to escape with a 28-21 victory over West Hills on the road to improve to 1-1.

Even though the ‘Gades are a young team, the defense stepped up when it had to in the waning minutes. They stoped a West Hills’ drive that could have tied the game and prevented the first win of the 2002 season.

The Falcons proved that they could score as they put up 21 points in the first three quarters of the contest.

Defensive coach Jeff Chudy put things in perspective for his young defense.

“We’re kind of like the no-name defense of the 1972 Miami Dolphins,” he said. “We have a lot of young players that are playing together for the first time (freshmen players). We have got to tackle better and eliminate the big play. We were very fortunate that we came away with the win. We made the plays we had to in the end.”

The offense may have been just what the defense needed, time to rest.

“We were happy that the offense kept the drives going and kept the defense off the field,” Garrett Harker, middle linebacker, said. “It made the defense’s job easier.

Harker was referring to the fact that the offense put up a balanced scoring attack.

The ‘Gades scored on three touchdown strikes through the air and showed that BC could produce some running game as well.

Running back Leon Thomas scored on a one-yard run in the first four minutes of the game to take the opening lead.

The quarterback duo of George Valos and Nathan Baker proved that opposing defenses can expect some lightning strikes as they combined for 13 completions for 267 yards and three touchdowns.

In the third quarter, when Valos was blindsided and knocked out of the game, Baker entered and picked up where Valos left off as he threw the go ahead TD score to Ismael Arrenaviz to put the ‘Gades up for good.

Arrenaviz continues to dazzle the crowd with his speed as he outraced the Falcon defenders three times to catch touchdown strikes of 27, 66 and 73 yards. The freshman receiver caught four passes for 174 yards for the game.

The 73-yard touchdown was a timely come from behind score when it counted the most.

West Hills had just tied the game 21-21 in the fourth quarter when lightning struck the Falcons.

“There aren’t many players with that kind of speed and quickness,” Head coach Dallas Grider said.

Another bright spot was the kicking of freshman Chris White of East High.

After missing extra points on the first three scores, the freshman stepped in and nailed a 40-yard field goal to make the score 21-14.

It was an overall good team effort by a very young BC team.

The Renegades will be tested again on Saturday when they face Moorpark at 7 p.m.