Trailing 14-7 at halftime to the Cerritos College Falcons, the Bakersfield College Renegades saved their best football for the second half. BC Scored a couple of touchdowns on two long drives, and then made a goal-line stand with under four minutes left in the game to preserve the win.
After allowing a go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard run by Falcons running back Michael Jasper with 22 seconds left in the half, it seemed as if Cerritos had all the momentum going into halftime. But the Renegade defense made sure that was not the case in the second half, as they held the Falcons scoreless, and with only five first downs and 47 net yards.
While the BC defense did its part, the Renegades offense got it together, starting with their second possession of the third quarter.
BC drove 76 yards in 14 plays and pulled to within 14-13 on a play that caught the Falcons defense off-guard. Curtis McGregor threw a 22-yard option pass for a touchdown to wide receiver Brock Martin, and it was the first passing attempt this season by a BC player other than quarterback Brian Burrell. The extra point attempt was blocked, and it kept the Falcons in front 14-13 with 1:31 left in the third quarter.
After the BC defense held the Falcons again, the Renegades went 71 yards in 13 plays on their next possession for the go-ahead score. Marquise Johnson caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Burrell with 9:14 left and Brock Martin added a 2-point conversion reception to give BC the final tally of 21-14.
But the game was still in doubt when Cerritos, thanks to a short punt and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against the Renegades, got possession on the Renegade 25-yard-line with just 5:09 left in the game. To make matters worse, a face-mask penalty helped the Falcons get a first down at the five.
BC head coach Jeff Chudy was pleased about the teams show of resiliency, “We talked all week, we talked Thursday, Friday, before the game today, at halftime — that this would be a four-quarter game, and at the end of the day, it would be decided on who could persevere. Our guys played extremely well. … I’m elated our guys hung in there. It was great to see us make a goal-line stand at the end.”
On the game’s most critical possession, the Falcons ran it twice for three yards, and an incomplete pass made it fourth-and-goal from the 2-yard-line. Cerritos quarterback Paul Lopez then ran a quarterback draw into the end zone. It was called back however, on an offensive holding penalty, and it cost the Falcons 10 yards. Lopez then threw a pass into the end zone that was batted away by safety Chris Hannible.
Cerritos got the ball back with under a minute left, but the BC defense held again.
The Renegades will play again next Saturday at Allan Hancock College.
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