A handful of big plays on offense and defense were enough to carry Bakersfield College to a workmanlike season-opening victory, 21-6 over Allan Hancock on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Renegades (1-0) played a brilliant first half in searing heat, holding Hancock to 4 rushing yards and using big plays on offense to build a 21-0 halftime lead.
The victory came despite 101-degree heat at kickoff and 16 penalties that cost BC 141 yards and a scoreless second half. Hancock (0-1) actually surpassed that total with 13 penalties for 143 yards and three turnovers.
But when play was legal, the Renegades were the better side. BC used quarterbacks Cesar De Leon and Brandon Jones almost equally, and to equal effect.
De Leon was 6-for-13 passing for 95 yards. He helped the Renegades strike first when he threw a short pass to Cam Roberson, who raced 52 yards for the opening touchdown with 4:10 to play in the first quarter.
Jones, who first played at Ventura College after leading Bakersfield Christian to a 2013 state championship game, completed 3 of 8 passes for 83 yards and scored his first touchdown for BC, a 2-yard keeper to stretch the lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter. Jones then hit Jakell Tomlin with a 12-yard laser touchdown on third down with 55 seconds left in the first half.
Each quarterback also threw one interception.
BC didn’t score in the second half, but the defense didn’t let up much, allowing Hancock (0-1) one short touchdown and forcing three turnovers. The Gades killed the last 4:03 on the clock with a drive that ended up with a victorious kneel-down at the Hancock 2-yard line.
The Renegades flashed the depth coaches have boasted about all preseason. Eight defensive players had at least three tackles, led by Desmond Ramseur’s 11, and consistent backfield pressure disrupted Hancock’s pro-style offense.
On offense, freshman Elisha Ortiz led the way with 65 rushing yards on 12 carries; Lameshio Hill had 33 yards and Jones 22. Chance Cooper caught two passes for 64 yards, including a 55-yard deep ball from Jones; Tomlin caught four receptions for 41 yards.