VENTURA — At least three Bakersfield College coaches jumped up and down on the sideline, some running on the field to praise the Renegades players. The 11 BC players on the field celebrated with whoever else each one could find. Eventually, most of those in white and red swarmed toward third string quarterback Josh Maran.
Maran had just entered the game for his first meaningful minutes of the season and completed a pass to running back Elisha Ortiz on a fourth-and-3 wheel route for a 38-yard touchdown. The score cut the Ventura lead to 20-10 late in the third quarter. It gave BC life.
But it was just one play.
Outside of Maran’s touchdown pass — BC’s only touchdown of the game — the Renegades offense was largely out of sync and ineffective. Starting quarterback Josh Medina, who was battling a hamstring injury, coughed up the ball at the 6 on a pitch (officially a fumble to Elisha Ortiz). Backup quarterback Jacob Irby threw an interception in the end zone. As a result, state-ranked No. 16 Bakersfield College (3-2, 0-1 National Northern) lost to No. 5 Ventura College (5-1, 1-0), 23-10, at the Ventura College Sportsplex on Saturday.
“That first half, that was kind of our half to score some points and we didn’t,” BC head coach Jeff Chudy said. “We came out in the second half and we just sputtered. Can't do that against a good team. We gotta circle the wagons. It’s a tough way to start your conference.”
Twice in the first half, BC switched quarterbacks in or near the red zone. Medina started the game. He “looked good” and “felt great” prior to the game, according to Chudy, after missing BC’s last game against Orange Coast on Sept. 29 because of a left hamstring injury.
Medina had to scramble and throw the ball away on third down from the 15 with the Renegades down 7-3 early in the second quarter. A fourth down penalty on Ventura kept the drive alive but it was Irby who retook the field.
Medina stood on the sideline with his left hand clutching his left leg.
Ventura’s Jaylen Watson grabbed Irby’s pass and Irby walked off the field shaking his head.
A roughing the kicker penalty on the Pirates and another personal foul helped the Renegades, with Irby at QB, get down to about the Ventura 20-yard line late in the second quarter. BC was down 10-3 at the time. Medina came back in. On third down from the 6, he ran left and pitched the ball late to Ortiz, who had a defender closing in on him. The ball bounced off Ortiz and at his feet before Ventura’s Watson picked it up.
“We just left a lot of points on the field,” Chudy said.
At halftime, one of the BC coaches told Maran that he’d go in if Medina got hurt again. After two three-and-out drives, Maran took the field. Receiver Cameron Roberson got the drive started with a kickoff return to Ventura’s 45. Maran finished it off with the fourth down pass to Ortiz.
The 38 yards on the touchdown eclipsed the 16 passing yards the Renegades had up to that point.
“He was a spark,” Chudy said when asked why Maran entered the game when he did. “... Something for him to build on.”
Maran came back out for the next drive, down 23-10 after a Ventura field goal. Medina, who finished 5-for-13 for 16 yards, and Irby, who was 1-for-2 for no yards, a sack and an interception, did not see the field again.
Maran hit Roberson for a 27-yard completion but that was all he could get going. The next possession, BC punted from about the 50 with 5:30 left down 23-10.
There were times when receiver Shane Jones would motion across the formation and Ventura’s defense would correctly call out that Jones was getting the ball, Maran said, showing how well coached the team was.
Maran’s interception came on a fourth down play with 1:32 left when the game was all but over.
He finished the game 7-for-12 passing for 91 yards with an interception and a touchdown.
“I had a lot of incompletions and that pick right there that’s not a good way to end the game,” Maran said. “It’s a little salt in my mouth.”
No. 5 Ventura 23, No. 16 Bakersfield College 10
BC - 3 0 7 0 - 10
VC - 7 3 10 3 - 23
BC - De Jager 37 field goal
VC - Jackson 6 run (Henzi kick)
VC - Henzi 37 field goal
VC - Nease 3 run (Henzi kick)
VC - Henzi 32 field goal
BC - Ortiz 38 pass from Maran (De Jager kick)
VC - Henzi 26 field goal
RUSHING - Bakersfield: Ortiz 17-108, Medina 4-16, Roberson 1-6, Maran 2-6, Martin 2-5, Jones 1-1, Irby 4-(-1). Ventura: Nease 20-131, Domann 7-106, Jackson 15-39, Alston 1-24, Gholar 6-21, Vanderjagt 1-(-2), TEAM 1-(-3).
PASSING - Bakersfield: Medina 5-13-0-16, Irby 1-2-1-0, Maran 7-12-1-91. Ventura: Domann 10-17-0-82, Vanderjagt 10-15-1-111.
RECEIVING - Bakersfield: Roberson 6-52, Ortiz 4-35, Rowel 2-12, Jones 1-8. Ventura: Brooks 6-24, Nease 4-19, Jordan 3-63, Houston 3-43, Benson 1-16, Alston 1-13, Jackson 1-12, Thomsen 1-3.
W-L: Ventura (5-1, 1-0 National Northern), Bakersfield College (3-3, 0-1 National Northern).