Football team trying to keep momentum

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor

The Bakersfield College football team has its first winning streak of the season after reeling off two consecutive wins. The Renegades beat Citrus College with the score of 17-14 in a close defensive game on Oct.11 before coming back to win a shootout against Moorpark College 50-47 on Oct. 18.

The shootout against Moorpark saw both teams score 50 points in just the fourth quarter with the Renegades pulling out a last second victory, scoring the winning touchdown just as time wound down.

Despite holding Citrus to under 300 total yards the previous week, the BC defense wasn’t able to stop the offensive attack of Moorpark. But the Renegade offense was able to bail them out by driving down the field time after time giving BC its first winning streak this season.

“We felt like we had been moving the ball and it was only a matter if we could protect and find the right guy to get the ball to. Thankfully, we did that enough,” said head coach Jeff Chudy.

With more than half of the season in the books, the football team finally looks to have what they have been missing all season long: momentum.

BC looked to have the game against Moorpark won when Parker Campbell kicked a 24-yard field goal that gave the Renegades a 43-40 lead with only 1:39 left to play. But on the ensuing kick, the Moorpark kick returner slipped past the BC special teams and returned the kick 94 yards, giving Moorpark a 47-43 lead with only 1:20 left.

With all three timeouts remaining, BC quarterback Tarek Yaeggi took the field with a chance to win the game. Yaeggi drove the Renegade offense downfield before hitting wide receiver Derrick Vickers on the game-winning touchdown with only 15 seconds left on the clock, sending BC to its second consecutive victory.

On the play, Vickers caught the ball short of the end zone at about the 5-yard line but would not be stopped, managing to escape a tackle before running into the end zone with the winning touchdown.

“He tried to grab my leg but I broke off and just kept going. I just spun off of him,” said Vickers.

Vickers had a monster game, finishing with 116 receiving yards on six catches while also hauling in a season high four touchdowns. The wide receiver also had 69 rushing yards on 16 carries.

Despite the special teams giving up what looked like a heartbreaking touchdown, there was no doubt in Vickers’ mind that BC would win the game.

“We had the fight and the intensity. I knew we were going to march down the field,” said Vickers.

When you add in the 99 receiving yards and touchdown from the previous game against Citrus, it looks as if Vickers is heating up at just the right time for the Renegades.

Not to be outperformed, BC quarterback Yaeggi threw for 350 yards and five touchdowns while driving the Renegade offense down the field time after time. On the game winning drive, Yaeggi never hesitated. He completed six straight passes before finding Vickers for the winning score. Not bad after being held to only 104 passing yards and two interceptions the previous week.

Running back Xavier Williams helped move the offense along finishing with a game high 112 rushing yards on 16 carries. Williams improved on an already impressive game from the previous week where he finished with 95 yards on 20 carries.

Along with Vickers, Marquise Johnson helped spread the field, finishing the game against Moorpark with a game high 156 receiving yards on 10 catches.

BC’s comeback and the stellar performance’s came only two weeks after the Renegades lost what was a gut-wrenching game against College of the Canyons. A touchdown as time expired sent BC to its third straight loss, but the team never gave up or stopped competing.

“These last games were a testimony to these guys hanging in there. It was a game of big plays. We just happened to make more and it was our night tonight. We made one more play than they did,” said Chudy.

With momentum building and players starting to perform, the Renegades have a chance to even their record and extend the winning streak to three by beating Cerritos College on Oct. 25.

In a season filled with its share of lowlights, stinging losses and surprising comebacks, the Renegades still have an opportunity to make some noise in division play and even finish with a winning record within the division.

All of this despite BC running into some rough patches this season, although excitement has been a constant throughout the up-and-down season and that’s something that isn’t lost on Chudy.

“It’s unbelievable. Thirty years of coaching at this level and I have seen two things I thought I would never see. With what happened two weeks ago and then us returning the favor,” said Chudy.