Late this afternoon, Bakersfield College football fans will know if today's matchup with City College of San Francisco will crack the list of all-time great Renegade games.
BC coach Jeff Chudy said he thinks that's a real possibility.
The 10-1 Rams are seeking their eighth state championship today with Bakersfield (10-2) seeking its first since the current California Community College Athletic Association playoff format began in 1997. Kickoff is 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.
These teams met in Visalia in 2000 for the state title with CCSF winning 31-13.
Ticket sales have been brisk, and Chudy said the showdown potentially makes this a special game in the history of BC and Kern County football.
"Give our players and San Francisco City credit, and let's give them something special," Chudy said as he pushed for higher ticket sales. "This is a chance for our community to step up to the plate. Ninety percent of our roster is local kids. Nine of our 11 starters on offense are local and nine of our 11 defensive starters are local.
"Support this and make it something special. It's been awhile since we've been in a state game and we're hosting it."
Memorial Stadium has hosted some memorable games in its 57-year history.
"I've been in that stadium as a player and coach with 20,000 in there," Chudy said. "It's a great memory. I want our players to have that kind of memory 20 years from now. Have people come up to them and say, 'Hey, you remember that game?'
"Like they talk about the Fullerton game, and some of those Taft-BC games.”
BC beat Fullerton 30-24 with a late touchdown and then a late fumble recovery to thwart a Fullerton last-minute drive in the 1988 Shrine Potato Bowl between 10-0 teams and the JC Grid-Wire national title on the line.
Memorial Stadium was at near capacity for that game, and again over the next several years when BC and Taft met in Potato Bowls prior to Taft eliminating football after the 1994 season.
Today’s game features defending state champion CCSF, making its third straight appearance in the state title game and the 10th since 2000.
The Renegades got to today’s game by winning two postseason games against teams they lost to in the regular season, Ventura and Mount San Antonio.
San Francisco had only one postseason game, and it was a wild one — a 41-36 win over American River of Sacramento. The Rams gave up a touchdown in the final 10 seconds that would have beaten them, but the score was nullified by a penalty. CCSF’s only loss was 31-21 to 10-1 Butte in the regular season finale that ended a Rams’ 21-game winning streak.
CCSF won some wild ones. Five of its wins were decided by seven points or less.
“They’ve had a bunch of barnburners,” Chudy said. “At the end of the day, they find a way to come out on top. A lot of that has to do with the 17 starters they have back from last year’s team that won a state championship.”
The Renegades have been peaking in recent games, highlighted by the playoff wins over two previously undefeated opponents.
“We’re playing extremely well,” Chudy said. “I like our mental energy. They’re extremely positive and having a lot of fun.
“That’s important when you get to this late in the season. We began practicing Aug. 9. Our first game was Sept. 1 and we’ve played 12 games since then, with two byes in a 15-week season. That’s like an NFL schedule.”
Today’s game matches two balanced offenses.
CCSF quarterback Andrew Spivey is 197-of-336 for 2,657 yards and 31 touchdowns with eight interceptions. BC’s Brian Burrell is 153-for-277 for 2,420 yards, 26 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
The Rams’ top running back, Kristoffer Olugbode, has 1,636 yards and 19 touchdowns. BC uses two backs extensively: Jalen Sykes (1,274 yards, nine TDs) and Curtis McGregor (863 yards, six TDs).
CCSF has five receivers with at least 16 catches, led by Kyani Harris (63 catches for 761 yards and 10 TDs).
BC has seven receivers with at least 10 catches, led by tight end Mike Dunn (33 catches, seven TDs) and wide receiver Marquise Johnson (26 catches, 10 TDs).
Defensively, BC is led by linebacker Grant Campbell (team-high 96 tackles), defensive end John Oglesby (76 tackles, five sacks) and linebacker Keylon Hollis (14.5 sacks).
CCSF defensive bac Broughan Jantz leads the Rams with 64 tackles and four interceptions. Defensive end Christopher Shewi-Martin has 61 tackles and a team-high 4.5 sacks.