The Renegade Rip

BC defeats Pierce 32-19 in season opener

Gregory D. Cook

Gregory D. Cook

Renegades running back Quentin Cheatham makes his way past Brahmas corner back Nick Firestone.

Bakersfield College quarterback Brian Burrell connects to teammate Brandon Hobdy for a 64-yard strike. The touchdown kicked off BC's rout of Pierce, and they scored the next 25 points.

Zak S. Cowan, Editor in Chief

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The Bakersfield College Renegades defeated L.A. Pierce 32-19 with the help of strong defensive play and an explosive offense to kick off the season with a victory.

BC’s rush defense allowed just 57 yards and caused three fumbles in the team’s first game of the season.

Head coach Jeff Chudy said that he was pleased with what he saw out of his defense but that there are still major improvements that the squad needs to make to take their game to the next level.

“I thought we did some good things at times,” said Chudy. “The turnovers that we created were huge and definitely played a big part in the outcome of the game.”

Freshman quarterback Brian Burrell completed 16-of-30 passes for 234 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut for BC.

The passing game was inconsistent, especially toward the beginning of the game, but they made enough plays to come out on top.

“Our chemistry’s good, but I missed some open guys,” Burrell said. “So we definitely need to come back to work on some things and try to get a little better in every aspect of the game.

“There’s a lot of things I’ve got to improve on, but it’s good to get a victory on the first game.”

Burrell’s main target throughout the game was wide receiver Brandon Hobdy, who finished the game with 148 yards receiving on eight receptions and a touchdown.

“We always connect in practice, so we come out here on the field and we already know what we’ve got to do: connect,” said Hobdy.

Pierce’s starting quarterback, Jake Basmajian, passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns, but the majority of it came in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter when the game was decided.

During the first half, both teams had chances to blow the game wide open, but neither could capitalize.

After they stopped BC during their first offensive possession of the game, Pierce drove 76 yards to BC’s 14-yard-line during a long 14-play drive that took over six minutes off the clock, but was stopped and forced to attempt a 30-yard field goal that BC blocked.

In BC’s next possession, they drove all the way down to Pierce’s 2-yard line on a 53-yard connection between Burrell and Hobdy. Two plays later, BC running back, Jalen Sykes, fumbled the ball at the 5-yard line.

The first quarter ended without a point on the scoreboard from either team.

Early in the second quarter, Pierce struck first on a 52-yard connection between Basmajian and wide receiver Brandon Smith.

Basmajian stood back in the pocket free from any pressure as he delivered the bullet to Smith.

BC looked demoralized as their defense slouched off the field.

With 5:37 left in the second quarter, BC started its rally. In those final minutes of the first half, BC scored 16 unanswered points that included a 64-yard touchdown pass from Burrell to Hobdy to make the score 16-7 at the half.

“We have a lot of new faces on both sides of the ball,” Chudy said. “Offensively we have, other than our one wide out, no returning starters.

“So, there’s a learning curve with everything and we’re just getting our feet wet,” he said. “If we do things right, then we’re pretty decent, but when we don’t execute we can be as bad as anybody.”

Pierce started the second half the same way they ended the first.

The Brahmas lost three fumbles during their first three drives of the third quarter, and BC capitalized when running back Mustaafa Cobb broke a 32-yard touchdown with 8:59 left in the third quarter to push BC’s lead to 23-7.

In the fourth quarter, Burrell led his team to another scoring drive, this time passing to Darius Tubbs for a 16-yard touchdown that pushed the lead to 30-7 with just under 12 minutes left in the game.

Pierce went 11 plays in its next drive, pushing BC’s defense back to its own 34-yard line, but BC held strong and Pierce turned the ball over on downs.

Pierce scored 12 of its 19 points during the final 3:20 of the game, but the deficit was too large to overcome.

“Obviously, we have a long way to go,” said Chudy. “We didn’t do things right all the time and I was really disappointed in how we finished off the end of the game in those last three minutes.”

BC will face Saddleback on Sept. 10 at Memorial Stadium. Saddleback defeated Orange Coast College 44-20 in its first game.

“We’re going to have to play a lot better to play with [Saddleback], who are a good football team,” said Chudy. “Our hope is that we got our feet wet, so let’s take our game to another level.”

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BC defeats Pierce 32-19 in season opener