WILMINGTON — Bakersfield College football coach Jeff Chudy couldn’t have written a better script for his Renegades after a heartbreaking loss at home last Saturday.
After the Renegades lost to No. 3 Riverside by two points a week ago, BC utilized an early scoring drive and touchdowns by the defense and special teams in a 47-6 dismantling of L.A. Harbor College on Saturday in Wilmington.
“Our guys came down and played with a purpose,” Chudy said. “It was an attitude game. It was good win for us.”
BC came out with an 11-play, 75-yard drive that took 3:30 off the clock that ended with a 2-yard touchdown run by Elisha Ortiz.
“We came out and the first drive was a great drive, obviously,” Chudy said. “We thought we had an opportunity to take advantage of some returns, punt returns especially.”
That’s when freshman Cameron Roberson showed that speed that made him a state qualifier in the 100 and 200-meters at the CIF State Track and Field Championships in June as a senior at Garces.
Roberson broke across the field, beating the initial pursuit just as he headed up field with a perfect line of defenders in front before the former high school state track speedster broke through for the 96-yard touchdown return.
“He put himself in the right position,” Chudy said. “It was a nice play for him.”
Roberson said he saw a wall of blockers in front of him before breaking away.
“When I turned the corner I saw a lane and it was sweet sailing from there,” Roberson said.
Roberson also caught four passes for 96 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Jones, who was 13 of 17 passing for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
It was the first punt return for a touchdown for BC since 2012 when Marquise Johnson had a 71-yard returned for a score. Chaz Adams also had a 75-yard punt return for a touchdown earlier that same season.
Ortiz led BC (3-1) with 82 rushing yards and three scores.
“Our game plan allowed us to succeed and to get the ball down field,” Roberson said. “We took advantage to some of the holes in their defense and it paid dividends in the end.”
The defense for BC may be the highlight the past two weeks in the turnover battle.
After a four-turnover performance a week ago against Riverside, the Renegades defense had three more takeaways against Harbor (1-3), each one a little more impressive than the next.
Defensive back Ernest Harris went vertical for an interception in the first half that led to the Jones to Roberson touchdown pass.
“I’ve been up that high before, but I’ve never come down with it before,” Harris said. “That was pretty special to me.”
Then as Harbor was threatening in the third quarter after a BC fumble, Harbor’s quarterback Demetrius Reed fumbled the ball as the ball sailed into the waiting arms of Harris, who has four takeaways in the last two games.
“He’s a heck of a player. He covers a lot of ground and has a ton of talent,” Chudy said. “He’s one of those guys that is a student of the game and is a really coachable kid. He’s all what you want in a football player. He’s the whole package.”
Then in the fourth quarter, defensive back Bobby Robinson intercepted a pass three-yards deep in the end zone and took it back for a touchdown.
Officially recorded at 100 yards in junior college football, Robinson ties a school record with the return.
“I was just watching the quarterback and doing my job and the ball came to me and I happened to get it out of the air,” Robinson said. “I was getting gassed, but I had to finish the run and get those points.”
Zion Williams led BC with 10 tackles and Desmond Ramseur had eight tackles and forced the fumble that was recovered by Harris.
Coleman Olivas led BC with six catches for 33 yards and Jeffrey Jones caught a touchdown pass for the second consecutive game on a play-action pass on fourth down from the 4-yard line in the first half.
BC hosts El Camino on Saturday before a bye week leading into homecoming and conference opener on Oct. 14 against Moorpark.
“The first drive was a statement and the two punt returns really set the tone,” Chudy said. “It was really cool.”