BC stuns Ventura, face Chaffey in bowl game


Elias C. Ahumada

Daniel Ojeda, Sports Editor

Despite a less than stellar start of the season, the Bakersfield College football team finished the regular season on a five-game winning streak, securing a bowl game at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 22 and finishing with a 6-4 record.

The Renegades’ defense, which had trouble finding its footing earlier this season, came up big in BC’s last two games.

Against Pasadena City College on Nov. 8, the Renegades’ defense held Pasadena to only three points while sacking the quarterback four times and recovering two fumbles as the Renegades controlled the entire game to win 28-3.

The win gave BC a winning record for the first time this season and set up a showdown with division leader Ventura College on Nov. 15 with a bowl game at stake.

From the onset of the game against Ventura, tensions were high as players from both teams had a shoving match early in the first quarter that led to a Pasadena player being ejected. The Renegades’ home crowd also got into the game as they exchanged “We are BC” chants with “We are VC” chants by the Ventura fans that made the trek to Bakersfield.

On the field, the BC defense was able to come up with enough stops when the Renegades needed them while Triton Douglas carried the offense rushing for 124 yards and two touchdowns as BC won a nail biter by the score of 25-19.

With the victory still in doubt and with Ventura driving late in the fourth quarter, BC defensive tackle Dominique Banks broke through the Ventura offensive line to sack the Pasadena quarterback on fourth down, forcing Ventura to turn the ball over to seal the win for BC.

“The center was small. I came off the block and pushed him back about four yards,” Banks said.

Before the sack sealed the win, Ventura was facing a fourth and 18 and was about to punt but a high snap and pressure from the Renegades’ defense forced the Ventura punter to scramble, and, miraculously, he was able to run for 24 yards to pick up the first down.

Despite the blunder, the defense never panicked and forced a turnover on downs.

“We did what we needed to do to get it done at the end. No one panicked. It’s a tribute to the players and our coaching staff,” said head football coach Jeff Chudy.

Ventura was able to reach the red zone six times, but the BC defense held the offense to only one touchdown and four field goals, the last of which put Ventura up 19-17 with 10:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Starting at its own 25-yard line, the BC offense drove right down the field covering 75 yards. Then with the game on the line, BC quarterback Tarek Yaeggi found tight end Khalin Smith open for a 13-yard game winning touchdown. The Renegades would go up 25-19 after successfully converting a two-point play.

Yaeggi had a rough start to the game, throwing three interceptions in the first half but would settle down to throw for 135 yards on a solid 10-for-17 passing attempts with one touchdown.

Running back, Douglas seemed to carry the offense at times, despite having a run of only 15 yards as his longest rush; he would barrel through defenders and helped the offense reach the first downtime after time.

The crowd of over 3,400 Renegade fans was very aware of Douglas’s power and would stand to cheer every time he touched the ball, as it seemed like it would take two to three Ventura players just to bring him down.

With the win, the Renegades close the regular season on a five-game winning streak and are heading into Saturday’s bowl game against Chaffey College of Rancho Cucamonga riding high.

The Renegades have peaked at the right time, and the players seem to have a better understanding of what everyone’s role is.

“If everyone does their job, someone will make a play. It’s just a matter of knowing your role and doing your job,” said Chudy.

Now as a reward for not giving up earlier in the season, the Renegades get a chance to continue the winning streak against Chaffey, which has an identical record to BC.

“I’m just happy for our players who have come a long way and stayed the course. This team has been together through the ups and downs early on and have done an amazing job just sticking together,” Chudy said about his reaction on receiving an invitation to a bowl game.

Chaffey comes to Memorial Stadium on a hot streak as well, winning four of their last five games. This will be the first football meeting between both teams but the Renegades are ready for the challenge.

“We don’t know much about them,” Chudy said. “They’re a quality football team and they played a quality schedule with a signature win against Long Beach.”

The Renegades look to finish the season off with a bowl win as they host Chaffey College in the Western State Bowl game on Nov. 22 at 4 p.m. at the Memorial Stadium.