Football team trying to find winning ways

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Football team trying to find winning ways

Amber Hayden

Amber Hayden

Amber Hayden

Tarek Yaeggie (11) throws a pass in the first quarter in attempt to reach a first down during their game on Oct. 4

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor

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A football season that began full of optimism and hope has slowly turned into a nightmare for the Renegades.

Bakersfield College lost a nail biter against College of the Canyons at Memorial Stadium on Oct. 4. The loss came a week after the Renegades blew an early lead in a loss to Hancock College on Sept. 27.

After trailing Canyons for most of the game, BC quarterback Tarek Yaeggi was able to find Khalin Smith for a 13-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter, momentarily giving the Renegades a 35-31 lead and also erasing the feelings of missed opportunities from a week prior.

But the momentum would quickly turn as Canyons still had an opportunity, taking over with 1:07 left to play and no timeouts. On the first play of the drive, a mistake by the BC defense allowed Canyons quarterback Devon Dunn to connect with his wide receiver, who had managed to slip by the defense before he was finally tackled down at the BC 16, a gain of 56 yards.

The defense would force two incomplete passes before sacking Dunn on third down, but a penalty for a personal foul gave Canyons a fresh set of downs with the ball at the BC 11. With 18 seconds remaining, a short pass had Canyons at the BC 4-yard line with the Renegade defense facing another third down. With the defense closing in around him, Dunn was able to avoid the rush and scramble into the end zone just as he was hit, giving Canyons the victory and sending BC to their third straight loss.

“You’ve got to give College of the Canyons lots of credit, they could’ve thrown in the towel after we had that late score,” said head coach Jeff Chudy. “We put ourselves in a position to win, but we didn’t get it done.”

Yaeggi, who missed the Hancock game due to injury, finished the game with a season-high 351 yards passing and three touchdowns to go along with two interceptions. Despite the loss, Yaeggi was able to get the BC offense back on track after only gaining 241 yards against Hancock.

“He really worked to get himself healthy, I’m pleased with the way we came back in the second half,” said BC offensive coordinator Carl Dean.

Trinton Douglas finished with over 109 yards on 29 carries, his second consecutive game with over 100 rushing yards after finishing with 107 in the loss to Hancock.

Douglas was the Renegades primary ball carrier because Xavier Williams did not dress for the game.

Penalties and a long touchdown pass hurt the Renegades a week after BC was unable to come up with big plays of their own against Hancock.

BC was penalized six times for false starts, and their quarterback was sacked five times. With BC starting to gain momentum after pulling within 3 early in the third, the defense was burned for a 74-yard touchdown pass that swung the momentum back in Canyon’s way.

Trying to end the losing streak will become an even bigger task as the Renegades are playing away for their next two games. Keeping Yaeggi healthy and cutting down on the penalties is something BC will work on in the upcoming week. Just don’t expect the same type of crazy finish like the one the Renegades experienced.

“In my 46, 47 years in this game, I’ve never been a part of something so crazy,” said Chudy.

Next up for the Renegades are away games against Citrus College and Moorpark College before returning home to play against Cerritos College on Oct. 25.

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