BC wins first two games of season

Leanne Cave

Special to the Rip

After a hard-fought 33-31 victory over the No. 1 ranked El Camino College Warriors on Sept. 8, the Bakersfield College football team (2-0) will travel to Serra High School on Saturday to take on the Cougars of L.A. Southwest College.
While this contest may not have the glamour and excitement of the No. 1 and 2 matchup of last Saturday, the Cougars will provide a test for the Renegades.
“They are 1-1, they are talented and they score a lot of points a game,” BC head football coach Jeff Chudy said. “It will be the first time we have traveled this season so it will be ‘gut check’ time for us.”
While it may be “gut check” time when the Renegades play the Cougars, it took a lot of heart and courage in the last three seconds for BC to upset the Warriors.
Revenge also may have played a factor in the last two minutes as the Renegades were most likely fighting flashbacks of the overtime loss to El Camino in the 2006 Southern California Championship game.
With three seconds remaining on the game clock, down 31-27 and 10 yards away from the end zone, BC quarterback Jacob Bower threw a pass to BC tight end Seth Damron in the corner of the end zone, resulting in a 33-31 victory.
“I’m a role player, which means I try to get other players open. It is a play that normally doesn’t come to me,” Damron said.
“This time Bower happened to throw it to me and I made the catch. The defender was trying to take it away, but I just squeezed it and rolled over to the ground. I am just thankful to God to have the opportunity to make the catch.”
“We are pretty proud of our kids,” BC offensive coordinator Carl Dean said.
“They hung around and made plays. They showed a lot of character and didn’t give up.”
With so much talent on the field for both teams, there were numerous opportunities to make big plays for a number of players on offense and defense.
“I don’t recall a game where there was that much talent on the field at one time,” BC Athletic Director Jan Stuebbe said.
“It was such a good game. Our team has so much character.”
El Camino, led by sophomore quarterback Boo Jackson, scored on four touchdowns and a 35-yard field goal by place-kicker James Cullen, who also had four extra points, bringing his game total to seven.
Jackson connected on two touchdown passes, one to running back Jeremy Francis for 16 yards and another to Verran Tucker for 18 yards.
Jackson completed 18 of his 28 passes for 300 yards and rushed for 33 yards. Running back Tavares Pressley had two rushing touchdowns for El Camino as he scored from four and seven yards out.
Led by Bower, the Renegades were successful on key passes that moved the chains and on the four occasions BC scored.
With the Renegades trailing 14-3 in the first quarter, Bower completed a 65-yard TD pass to wide receiver Attrail Snipes right in stride to bring the Renegades within four points.
In the second quarter, after a score by the Warriors, Bower lit up the scoreboard with a 45-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Brandon Banks.
El Camino led at the half 21-17.
In the second half, the BC defense banded together and forced the Warriors to turn the ball over, allowing the Renegades to outscore El Camino 16-10 in the third and fourth quarters.
“It was a great team effort,” Chudy said. “We were down 10 to 11 points, and we stuck together as a group. The defense settled down in the second half and played a lot better.”
Bower finished a great night of passing as he threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Banks in the third quarter and tossed the winning 10-yard strike to Damron.
Bower had 340 passing yards in 28 attempts and added four touchdowns to his credit. Banks had 127 yards receiving and two touchdowns, while Snipes had 93 yards and a touchdown.
Worthy of mention are the efforts of place-kicker Arturo Villa and wide receiver Dashan Miller.
Villa nailed two field goals for BC from 32 yards and 37 yards out.
On the final drive of the game, Miller made two key catches for 27 and 23 yards. The Warriors committed a personal foul penalty on that drive that set up the 10-yard winning score.
In the season opener at Memorial Stadium on Sept. 1, the Renegades beat the Reedley College Tigers 35-23.
BC amassed 618 yards of offense and the Tigers had 398 yards against the Renegade defense.
BC wide receiver Brandon Banks caught 13 passes for 228 yards and two touchdowns and Bower completed 26 passes for 436 yards and three touchdowns.
Wide receiver Attrail Snipes caught a 56-yard touchdown strike from Bower.
The running game for BC netted 182 yards and sophomore running back Ben Estill escaped defenders to score from 26 yards out.
Running back Pat Patterson also scored for the Renegades on a 2-yard run. Villa converted on all extra points attempted.
Reedley had a safety in the second quarter, which made the score 14-2.
In the second half, the Tigers scored on touchdown passes of 74 and 50 yards from quarterback Darius Reynolds.
On defense, Reedley scored when free safety Maurice Harvey picked off a Bower pass and ran 82 yards into the end zone.
AJ Forestiere made all extra points attempted by Reedley.
The next contest for the Renegades will be Saturday at Los Angeles Southwest Serra High School. Game time is at 1 p.m.
“We have a long way to go,” Chudy said. “We have a big bull’s eye on our backs now. We have to take one game at a time.”