Renegades rumble past Raiders for first win of the season

Mohamed Bafakih, Online/Sports Editor

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And on the seventh week, Bakersfield College’s football team conquered its first win of the season with a decisive 31-15 victory over Moorpark on Oct 17.

The homecoming showdown brought two teams that started the season 0-4, but teams that needed to finish the last quarter of the season on a good note.

Moorpark (1-5 overall, 0-2 National Northern Conference) came in looking to continue to build on its first win on Oct. 10 – a 24-14 victory over Palomar – while BC (1-6, 1-2 NNC) knew its back was on the wall as it remained the only team in the conference coming into Saturday with a winless record after dropping to an 0-5 team in Citrus at home the previous week, 24-14.

Attendance also dropped to 1,700 in the game against Citrus on Oct. 10 – something Memorial Stadium hadn’t really been accustomed to in its 60 years – especially not in the midst of the stadium’s 60-year anniversary.

This, however, was the moment players and fans both wanted and needed.

Homecoming, the second-to-last home game in front of 3,065, Terrance Young (two weeks removed from a nonthreatening nerve damage injury that’ll keep him out for the rest of the season) serving as co-captain pregame and on the sideline…there was every reason for this game to end the way the Renegades wanted it to – with a win.

The opening drive for Moorpark started blemish-free, particularly on the ground, but ended up empty.

A total of 46 rushing yards, 26 passing yards, three third-down conversions, and one fourth-down conversion on 19 plays in 8 minutes and 38 seconds to move the ball to the BC 2-yard line.

The Raiders couldn’t capitalize in perfect position, however, as the Renegades’ defense forced a three-and-out in goal-line situation forcing Moorpark to kick a chip-shot field goal from 20 yards out which was blocked by BC’s Solomon Ajayi.

The opening quarter remained scoreless, but the momentum on the Renegades’ side following the blocked field goal attempt carried over for the remainder of the game.

The second quarter was a dominant effort by BC as they outscored the Raiders 17-0 behind BC’s running backs and a mobile Dalton Gallis under center – who nearly outrushed Moorpark’s offense with 70 yards rushing and one of those rushing attempts amassing for a 16-yard touchdown.

“We haven’t checked out; we just had some mental mistakes along the way that cost us in the fourth quarter,” head coach Jeff Chudy said. “Our guys came out with a sense of purpose, and I’m really proud of them.”

The difference ultimately was BC setting the tone early and conituing to add points on the board, making late rallies for the opposition tougher.

BC’s running game, which hadn’t been impressive until Saturday, was in full effect.

The rush offense, which only had one game with more than 100 yards rushing (119 vs. Allan Hancock in Week 4), totaled 327 against Moorpark.

“That’s one of those treasures that you want to have,” Chudy said on the importance of the running game being effective. “Our o-line blocked, our wideouts blocked, it was a good team effort.”

Moorpark came in giving up 169 rushing yards per game, and on the flip side came in averaging 165 yards on the ground, but was outrushed, 327-74.

It was Curtis McGregor carrying the heavy load who broke through for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries, while freshman Isaiah Sharp followed suit before injuring his left knee (MRI scheduled on Tuesday, per offensive coordinator Carl Dean…status update on therip.com).

Sharp, who finished with 55 yards on 10 carries, cleared the end zone first as BC’s first touchdown came following his big 21-yard run to set himself up for a 1-yard score early in the second quarter.

Less than midway through the second quarter, BC nailed its first field goal of the season – a 30-yard attempt by Julio Galvan and two minutes later following a Moorpark three-and-out, McGregor set himself up for a rushing touchdown following a 47-yard run by the third rotational back, Cory Frison, who was the second-leading rusher on the night for BC with 90 yards on 14 carries.

BC’s defense kept Moorpark from getting on the board until early in the fourth quarter.

They didn’t commit costly penalties nor gave up big plays as the longest play for Moorpark was a 36-yard reception for Aaron Lacombe from Kado Brown, who replaced Christian Hammack at the 429 mark in the third quarter after completing six of his 13 passes for just 50 yards.

Brown did go 11-for-17 for 126 yards and two touchdowns to help Moorpark get on the board, but it was too little, too late as BC’s defense held the Raiders to 15 points – a 16-point turnaround from the average points the Renegades give up

“I think we played really good team defense,” Chudy said. “After that first drive we really hunkered down and put some pressure on them…I think we out-executed them and made it hard for them to find open guys.”

The defense totaled five sacks (half from linebacker Gabe Arteaga), eight tackles for loss, and gave up 250 yards of total offense – 153.5 yards less than the defense’s average prior to the homecoming matchup.

BC’s next challenge will be against Cerritos (6-1, 3-0 NNC) on Oct. 24 before entering its bye week.

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