This one wasn't supposed to be this close.
Bakersfield College held Allan Hancock in check for 31/2 quarters Saturday afternoon, but survived a scary finish to post a 17-14 win in the Renegades' final home game of the season.
"You don't want it to be that close," said BC sophomore middle linebacker Grant Campbell, who played his final home game in Bakersfield. "Our defense stepped up at the end."
Hancock took over on its 19 with 2:12 remaining and no time outs left. A 36-yard pass from quarterback Troy Prober to wide receiver Breon Briggs put the Bulldogs at the BC 31.
Three plays later, it was fourth-and-5 at the 26 and Hancock sent place-kicker Marcus Uribe out to try a potential game-tying 43-yard field goal.
Then the chess match started.
Twice BC coach Jeff Chudy called timeouts, trying to affect Uribe's concentration.
Hancock then sent its regular offense back out on the field to try for the first down, which forced Chudy to call his final timeout to ensure his proper defenders were in place.
Prober's pass to wide receiver Shane Henderson was broken up by BC defensive back Cody Jones to turn the ball over on downs with 1:27 left. BC then ran out the clock.
Uribe's longest successful field goal this year is 34 yards.
"We were hoping to get to him," Chudy said of the two initial time outs he called. "He's got a strong leg. But we saw that when he was in the same situation against Cerritos -- needing a field goal to tie -- he missed it.
"I guess they thought it (the pressure) got to him."
BC (4-5 overall, 2-3 National Northern Conference) led 17-0 entering the fourth quarter.
BC quarterback Cruise Adams had a 1-yard touchdown run and a 23-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brock Martin, and Parker Campbell kicked a 27-yard field goal and two extra points for the Renegades' scoring.
Hancock got some life when the Bulldogs drove 90 yards for their first score, a 1-yard plunge by Prober with 7:34 left in the game.
BC still led 17-7 at that point and appeared to be in command as it ran off three minutes on its ensuing drive and reached the Hancock 40.
But freshman running back Preston Hodges, who has had fumble issues this season, lost his seventh fumble of the season, which was picked up by Hancock cornerback Troy Garland and returned 32 yards to the BC 30-yard line.
Three plays later Prober found Henderson in the end zone, who outleaped BC safety Chris Hannible to make the 11-yard touchdown reception. Uribe's extra point made it 17-14 with 3:07 remaining.
BC went 3-and-out on its next possession, setting up the last-ditch drive by Hancock.
"We had to stop them," said BC sophomore cornerback Kevin Elijah, who was converted to defense from wide receiver after breaking his right hand earlier this season. "Cody made the play we needed."
Elijah, playing with a cast on his right hand, had an excellent game in his first start of the season.
Offensively, BC sophomore running back Kwame Johnson had a season-high 147 yards on 27 carries. Hodges had 87 o 20 carries.
"It was a good feeling to win our last one at home," said Johnson, who missed two games earlier this season with a high ankle sprain. "The blocking was there."
Aside from the Adams to Martin touchdown, BC's passing game was quiet. Adams was only 5-of-11 for 39 yards.
The BC defense thwarted Hancock's ground game.
Hancock running back Joel Enriquez, who came into the game second in the NNC with an average of 98.5 rushing yards per game, had only 40 yards on nine carries. Hancock had only 103 net rushing yards.
The BC defense also had key interceptions that halted Hancock drives inside the red zone.
Hancock reached the BC 18 late in the second quarter when Elijah intercepted an Anthony Maez pass at the 13. And the Bulldogs reached the BC 11 late in the third quarter when safety Joey Stuart intercepted a Maez pass at the 5.
Fullback Triton Douglas, who came into the game with only 37 rushing yards this season, had 50 yards on five carries, mostly on third down plays that went for first downs.