Football team off to rough start


Amber Hayden

Quarterback Tarek Yaeggie (11) runs for positive gain against the Vikings during Saturday's game on Sept. 20

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor


After suffering a disheartening loss in the season opener, the Bakersfield College football team split their next two home games, winning a shootout against the Golden West Rustlers on Sept. 13 before crucial mistakes led to a loss against the Long Beach City College Vikings on Sept. 20.

Despite piling up a season high 541 total yards in their previous game, the Renegades offense was held in check against the Vikings as their total offense was down to 259 yards while losing 31-19.

A defense that bent but did not break against the Rustlers in a home opening victory couldn’t come up with the same stops against the Vikings.

BC had multiple opportunities on both sides of the ball to get back into the game and even take the lead, but crucial mistakes were made on both sides with the Vikings taking advantage.

The brief momentum the Renegades offense had with the 44-35 victory against the Rustlers was short-lived.

Both teams exchanged early touchdowns, and the Renegades managed to take the lead after the defense was able to pressure the Vikings into an illegal forward pass for a safety.

In the second quarter, with the Renegades driving in Long Beach territory and up 9-7, BC quarterback Tarek Yaeggi received a poor snap from his center with the football deflecting off his hands for a fumble, which the Vikings would recover.

On the ensuing series the Vikings would score and take a 14-9 lead and never looked back.

“We’re up 9-7 going in for the score, they’re on their heels and we lost momentum on that fumble,” head coach Jeff Chudy said.

In the third quarter, with BC at midfield and looking to score, a miscommunication led to another fumble as Yaeggi and fullback Triton Douglas had problems with the handoff, and once again the Vikings were there to pounce on the ball.

Same as before, Long Beach would score on the next series, taking a 24-12 lead.

“Same thing again,” Chudy said, “We kind of got momentum back in the second half, and then we fumbled again.”

Despite the fumbles, BC had a chance to take the lead early in the fourth quarter.

With the Renegades driving and only down 24-19, backup quarterback Cruise Adams, who entered the game after starting quarterback Yaeggi took a ferocious hit, found Derrick Vickers open with room to run at about the 40.

Vickers dropped the pass and BC went three-and-out. Once again the Vikings drove down the field scoring a touchdown and putting the game away for good leaving the score at 31-19.

On the day, Vickers had a solid game, catching eight passes for 88 yards with two touchdowns.

But the pass is something that the wide receiver knows he can’t dwell on.

“I turned my head before I had the ball in my hands,” Vickers said “I’ve just got to let it go.”

Marquise Johnson, who had 132 receiving yards on seven catches in the victory against the Rustlers, was held to only 42 receiving yards on one catch by the Vikings.

Before leaving the game, Yaeggi was 10 for 19 with 143 yards passing and one touchdown thrown. Backup Adams finished with 40 yards on 4 for 9 passing and threw for one touchdown.

The Renegade running attack, which had over 240 rushing yards in the win against the Rustlers, was held to only 76 rushing yards in the game.

Xavier Williams led the way with 92 yards on 20 rushing attempts. Those numbers while respectable, fall short of the 110 yards and touchdown that he had against Golden West.

The Renegades lost two fumbles and the quarterbacks were sacked a total of six times. Chudy felt that the football team was making mistakes that shouldn’t be happening in week three of the season.

“We’re a better football team than the score indicated, but we did enough wrong to warrant getting beat by Long Beach. We turned it over more than they did and that’s a thing we can’t be turning it over more than them. We’ve got to be on the other side of that,” Chudy said.

The BC defense did manage to cut down on the penalties after being flagged for more than 110 yards against the Rustlers. The Renegades were able to bring that number down to only 76 penalty yards in the loss to the Vikings.

“We cleaned some of those penalties up,” said the head coach.

After settling for both a win and a loss on the two game homestand, the Renegades look to even their record as they next travel to Santa Maria to take on Allan Hancock College on Sept. 27. BC has a week’s time to work on the missed tackles that the defense had and to figure out how to get the offense into a rhythm so that they can cut down on the fumbles.

“We’re going to look back and I think we gave this thing away,” Chudy said. “Fumbles killed us. Real momentum stoppers.”

After facing Hancock, the Renegades return home Oct. 4 for a 6 p.m. game against College of the Canyons.