With all the controversy over the summer surrounding the Bakersfield College football team, with their state championship being stripped and a two year playoff ban, BC still managed to go into Santa Ana College and knock off the Dons 24-9.
“We’re excited and nervous,” BC head coach Jeff Chudy said before the game against Santa Ana. “When you have a new face at the quarterback position we’re probably going to have to pair it down a little bit. The biggest thing right now is getting the quarterback to manage the game.”
Chudy said he’s hoping his defense will carry the team early on and set the stage because they are more experienced on that side of the ball. “We’re looking for those guys not to panic,” he said when asked about the returning defensive players.
“We have a lot of guys that played a lot last year (on defense) that were freshman and are now starters and it’s kind of the strength of our team right now.”
When asked about the things that have happened over the summer with the state championship being stripped, Chudy said that his number one concern is focusing on Santa Ana and taking care of business there.
BC was able to hold the Dons to three field goals and was able to come away with two takeaways, intercepting Santa Ana quarterback Mike Chislock twice. BC quarterback Martin Darrik’s only touchdown of the game came in the first quarter with 32 seconds remaining when he connected with sophomore wide receiver Martin Brock on a 62-yard pass.
Though Chudy was really pleased with the win, he still feels that the team needs to get better in certain areas of the game, specifically speaking on his team’s execution.
“Santa Ana has a quality football team,” Chudy said when asked about his team’s performance. “Our guys competed extremely hard, we had some execution errors here and there but I thought we competed really hard. I thought we gave great effort, but sometimes giving great effort alone just isn’t enough.”
Chudy believes that his team will improve as the season progress.
“It’ll be interesting to see how some of these new guys perform,” Chudy said before the game, when asked about the new players on the team. “You are always anxious to see how some of these freshman will handle the situation and the limelight. Hopefully they’ll handle it really well.”
BC freshman running back Preston Hodges didn’t disappoint, rushing for a game high 116 rushing yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Hodges was able to officially put the game away in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 50 yard run with 26 seconds remaining in regulation.
“We came into this game saying we got to block and protect the ball offensively and minimize penalties,“ Chudy said. “We had one turnover in the redzone that really hurt us. We realize how important that stuff is.”