Next test: L.A. Valley

By Leanne Cave

Rip Staff Writer

The Bakersfield College Renegades will travel to Los Angeles Valley on Saturday where they will take on the L.A. Valley Monarchs in what should be a crucial football contest. So far this season, the Monarchs have accrued a 2-1 record, their only loss to a tough Mt. San Antonio College team that is currently ranked No. 1 in Southern California.

“L.A. Valley is a very talented team,” said BC head football coach Jeff Chudy. “They played a great game against Mt. SAC, the best JC team in Southern California right now. As a matter of fact, they led at the half before Mt. SAC eventually came back and beat them, so we have our work cut out for us.”

Some of the work the ‘Gades will have to do in L.A. Valley is defend a perfect 3-0 record, which has not come easy the past three outings. The ‘Gades have managed to knock off the likes of Long Beach City College, Pasadena City College (on the road) and more recently the Raiders of Moorpark College.

The 42-20 victory over Moorpark on Sept. 18 was especially sweet because the Raiders had beaten BC two years in a row.

“This was the most exciting win so far this season,” said Tyler Saso, BC defensive tackle. “It was a win we needed as a team and to improve as individuals as well. They had beaten us the last two years, so it feels good to get the win.”

But the win wasn’t as easy as the final score indicates.

Moorpark actually scored first after a BC miscue in which the ball was hiked over the punter’s head, and the Raiders recovered the ball on the BC 6-yard line. Moorpark took the lead 7-0 when running back Jason Napoleon scored on an end sweep and the extra point attempt was good by kicker Mauricio Carranza.

The BC offense then went to work as Thomas Peregrin, freshman quarterback, completed 14 of 16 passes for a 168 yards in the first half and helped guide BC to a 14-point lead. Peregrin completed 24 of 34 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns overall.

The ‘Gades tied the score at seven when Peregrin completed a 19-yard pass to wide receiver Craig Owen. BC scored two more times before the half, a 10-yard pass from Peregrin to wide receiver Tajiddin Smith and an 8-yard run by Anthony Stewart with just under three minutes left. Sullivan kicked the extra points, and the ‘Gades led 21-7 at the half.

Even though both teams moved the ball, the score remained 21-7 at the end of the third quarter.

Moorpark scored early in the fourth quarter as quarterback Larry Dockery tossed a 32-yard strike to wide receiver Joe Shumpert, making the score 21-13.

The last five minutes of the game were action packed. It looked as though the ‘Gades had put the game away when Peregrin hit tight end Jeff Fielder on a 3-yard pass in the back of the end zone and a Sullivan kick made the score 28-13. But Moorpark would not be denied at least one more score as the Raiders moved down the field at will and scored on a 2-yard run by running back Jazen Anderson. The point after was good, and the Raiders were within striking distance at 28-20 with 1:38 remaining on the game clock.

It looked as though Moorpark was going to get one last chance when the Raiders defense forced BC into a desperate fourth-and-14 situation.

Enter Anthony Stewart.

With 20 seconds left on the clock, Stewart who had already rushed for over 150 yards, took the hand off and scored on a 35-yard run to seal the victory for the ‘Gades. BC put an exclamation point on the scoreboard on the ensuing kickoff when BC’s Ben Streaks recovered a Napoleon fumble and ran into the end zone.

There were a lot of things that the ‘Gades could feel good about in the end, but the contribution from Stewart, who is fourth string, had to feel the best. While Rickey Herod, Le’Andre Matthews and Thomas Stancil were benched due to injuries, Stewart racked a tough Raiders defense for 188 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns.

“Anthony Stewart did an outstanding job of running the ball for us,” said Chudy. “And Thomas (Peregrin) continues to make the connections he needs to get us the win.”