On paper, Bakersfield College’s matchup with Santa Monica looked like just a tune-up before finishing out the regular season against two state-ranked opponents.
And fewer than 15 minutes into the contest, it became obvious that’s exactly what it was. BC led 17-0 at the end of the first quarter with an interception and a recovered fumble already to its name.
By the end of the 60 minutes, the Renegades (7-1, 3-0 National Northern Conference) had cruised to a 48-0 win over Santa Monica (1-7, 0-3).
It was BC’s biggest win of the year and more of the same for Santa Monica. The Corsairs have been outscored 134-7 in their last three games.
It was also BC's largest margin of victory since 2010, when the Renegades beat Antelope Valley 63-7. That same season, BC beat Citrus 54-6 as well.
On top of that, it was was the Renegades' largest margin of victory resulting in a shutout since the 2003 season, when they beat Santa Barbara by the same 48-0 score.
“We got a good win,” BC head coach Jeff Chudy said Saturday night. “A lot of guys got to play which is a good thing. ... Hopefully we kind of keep that upward momentum going.”
Bakersfield’s Cameron Roberson ran in a touchdown and scored on a punt return. Five different Renegades players scored touchdowns, including starting quarterback Brandon Jones, who threw for one and ran for another.
The defense held Santa Monica to 164 yards of offense for BC’s only shutout of the year. The Renegades snagged two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
“Our defense is the best defense in the state,” freshman wide receiver Cameron Roberson said. “Week in and week out there are games where we struggle and we can’t put a drive together and they have our back. They force turnovers and shut teams out.”
BC is on the road for its final two games of the regular season against two of the toughest opponents it’ll face this year. The Renegades head to state-ranked No. 10 Ventura on Nov. 4, and then will play at No. 14 Canyons on Nov. 11.
The Renegades scored a touchdown on their first drive thanks to a triple-option run finished off by Roberson on a pitch from Jones. The quarterback threaded the needle to freshman Chance Cooper who got two feet down in the end zone later in the first quarter.
Santa Monica managed to drive into BC territory just twice in the first half. One of those times was because of a failed trick onside kick from the Renegades after their second touchdown. The Corsairs started that drive on the BC side of the field and promptly fumbled the ball away.
Two plays into the second quarter, BC matched its season high with its fourth sack of the evening.
After Roberson returned a punt 53 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, the public address announcer already began reading out the dates, locations and times for BC’s final two regular season games of the year.
Roberson caught it on the run amid three defenders and sprinted to the left sideline before cutting back across the center of the field to put the Renegades ahead 31-0 with 9:48 still to go in the half.
The kicker had tackled Roberson on his first two returns.
“I was telling people I have to get me one,” Roberson said. “The first two, it was all a matter of one cut. When the ball went up I honestly was a second away from calling a fair catch … luckily with great blocking I was able to break a few tackles.”
He had more punt return yards (96) in the first half than Santa Monica had offensive yards (75).
BC backup quarterback Cesar De Leon limped off the field in the third quarter. Jones came back in for an eventual touchdown run by La Meshio Hill and third stringer Andrew Hansen took over later in the third.
Hansen threw a nice pass to Kenneth Holmes down the sideline for 39 yards in the fourth.
Even as the third- and fourth-string players entered the game, the Renegades didn’t give up a score. Backup running back Malik Barkley notched a fourth quarter touchdown.
The lack of a dropoff was what Roberson was most proud of.
“We wanted to see guys compete and they did compete,” Chudy said. “We’re grateful to be in the situation we’re in. You hope you’re in an opportunity where November games mean something and we got the biggest game of the year for us next week.”