‘Gades start 1-1; round 3 at home

Leanne Cave

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The Bakersfield College Renegades (1-1) will return home Saturday to face the Los Angeles Pierce Brahmas (0-2) after a devastating 48-21 loss to Saddleback College on the road Sept. 9.
The match-up should be intriguing as both teams need a Western State Conference win to stay in the running for the WSC title race.
According to BC head coach Jeff Chudy, both teams have two things in common, youth and inexperience. L A Pierce assistant coach Ken Shaw echoed Chudy’s sentiments.
“The majority of our players are young and inexperienced,” Shaw stated.
However, the Brahmas will present some strength on the defensive side of the ball as they managed to recruit the No. 1 ranked high school defensive end from the state of Florida, Derek Strong of Plantation High.
“He does everything well,” Shaw said.
The ‘Gades hope to do things a little better at Memorial Stadium this weekend as they didn’t leave a very good impression of BC football in Mission Viejo last week.
“We took a step backward as a team last night,” Chudy said.
“Offensively we turned the ball over too many times. Four fumbles equals 28 points, and we gave up a punt return. We played like we were in a scrimmage. Defensively, we didn’t make the plays we were capable of making-very poor tackling,” he continued.
Saddleback took control of the game right from the start as they drove down the field on their first possession and scored. The extra point was blocked.
The ‘Gades first possession offensively was typical of the way things would go for BC the rest of the night, not much production.
But the Gauchos took advantage of every opportunity to score in the first quarter as they once again marched down the field and grabbed a 13-0 lead as quarterback Nick Nelson scored his second touchdown of the night and kicker Eric Carr kicked the extra point. Saddleback added seven more points to make the score 20-0 with 3:51 remaining in the first quarter.
The final score of the first quarter would be one of the bright spots for the ‘Gades in this contest.
BC cut the Gaucho lead to 20-7 when freshman quarterback Daniel Hoff completed an 82-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Gordon Cooper and kicker Teddy Dellaganna added the extra point.
The next bright spot for BC would come from a great special teams play early in the second quarter.
After a great defensive stand by the Renegade defense, Saddleback settled for a 29-yard field goal attempt. The attempt was blocked by BC’s Keith Thompson and defensive back Dustin Bell scooped up the ball and darted 71 yards into the end zone to bring the ‘Gades to within 20-14.
But the rest of the night belonged to the Gauchos as they added seven more points with 3:22 left in the first half to make the score 27-14, and never looked back.
In the second half, Saddleback continued its scoring attack as they outscored BC 21-7 to make the final score 48-21. Gaucho free safety, Rico Russo, sparked the crowd with a 49-yard punt return early in the fourth quarter, while BC freshman running back Terrell Young had four carries for 62 yards in the game and scored the final TD of the game for the ‘ Gades from 31 yards out.
Saddleback dominated BC in almost every phase of the game, 23-8 in first downs, 463-277 in total yards, and 253-78 in rushing yardage. The exception was in the passing yardage category where it was about even, 210-199 yards.
According to Hoff, BC quarterback, the problem may have been the ‘Gades never really got in sync with the game plan.
“We couldn’t get into a rhythm with our plays and we didn’t play together,” Hoff said. “We’ve got to get that rhythm and chemistry going and make the plays.”
The ‘Gades were definitely in sync in the season opener on Sept. 2 against the visiting Fullerton Hornets, as they hung on to win in double overtime, 31-24.
The ‘Gades drew first blood with 2:45 left in the first quarter as Dellaganna, freshman kicker, nailed an 18-yard field goal to give BC a 3-0 lead. But Fullerton, as always, came to Memorial to play as they put the next 10 points on the board and led at the half 10-3.
The third quarter was a defensive battle by both teams until the ‘Gades struck gold on a beautiful 72-yard touchdown pass from Hoff to wide receiver Attrail Snipes. Dellaganna kicked the extra point and the game was tied up at 10 going into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was a standstill until the last minute or so of the game. That’s when things got really exciting.
With 1:02 left on the game clock, Fullerton quarterback Luke Tracey scored on a nice 24-yard run, which capped an impressive 87-yard drive by the Hornets.
That’s when the ‘Gades showed some character and did not give up, even though there was less than a minute left in the game.
On a spectacular desperation pass and catch by Hoff and wide receiver T.J. Lee, the ‘Gades lived on to see another quarter or two.
The “catch” was an all-pro catch as Lee split the defenders and fell into the end zone for the touchdown. Dellaganna’s extra point was good, putting the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, Fullerton scored first on a 25-yard pass from Tracy to wide receiver Ray Magee. The extra point was good and the scoreboard read, 24-17.
Then it was BC’s turn. The ‘Gades scored when Hoff tossed a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Gordon Cooper. The extra point was good, were all tied up, 24-24.
Second overtime!
BC scored first this time when Hoff tossed a strike to Lee to put the ‘Gades up by six. The extra point was good and the ‘Gades led 31-24 with Fullerton having once last chance.
It looked as though it might go into a third overtime when Fullerton running back Josh Graves only had two yards to go to tie the score.
Putnam wasn’t going to have any part of that. While Graves was being stood up by the BC defensive line, Putnam stripped the ball and recovered to seal the victory for the ‘Gades.
Hoff summed up the game.
“It was a battle,” he said. “We came out and scored with 22 seconds left and showed some character. Brian came through for us by stripping the ball to get the win.”
If you missed it, the next home game is at 7 p.m. Saturday against L.A. Pierce at Memorial Stadium.

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