When Bakersfield College running back Shane Jones had the football slip through his hands near his own end zone, and when BC quarterback Josh Medina did the same on the next possession (on El Camino’s side of the field), the Renegades almost let the game slip away, too.
Jones kicked the ball around at his feet before El Camino recovered at the 1-yard line, leading to a touchdown with six minutes left in the fourth quarter that brought the Warriors within five points. Medina couldn’t handle a high snap near midfield with two minutes left, nearly handing possession back to El Camino again.
But it was the El Camino mistakes that proved more important. Both of BC’s touchdown drives in the second quarter were aided by Warriors penalties. The game-winning score proved to be a 55-yard interception return for a touchdown by BC’s Jeremiah Johnson, which also came in the second quarter. The state-ranked No. 18 Renegades (1-1) held on for the 20-15 win over El Camino (0-2) at Memorial Stadium on Saturday for their first win.
“Not maybe how you would draw it up, but maybe for us we’ll gain something. I think we will,” Renegades coach Jeff Chudy said. “We’ll gain a lot from this. Obviously it was good to hold on and win.”
BC’s first score didn’t come until about nine and a half minutes left in the first half, when running back Elisha Ortiz took a sweep to the left side and stretched across the goal line for a 12-yard touchdown. One play earlier, El Camino defensive lineman Rooney Amisone III took down BC receiver Cameron Roberson by the facemask, moving the ball half the distance to the goal. The touchdown gave BC a 7-6 lead.
Ortiz struck again on the next possession, this time delaying his release on a swing route and cutting back toward the inside of the field once he caught the ball for the 15-yard touchdown reception. The Renegades started the possession at El Camino’s 30 because of a personal foul by the Warriors on the punt. BC’s Medina was sacked two plays into the drive but a face mask infraction gave BC the ball at the 20.
El Camino got the ball back after the score, only to gift it back to the Renegades. Warriors quarterback Aaron Thomas — who left the field in an ambulance at the end of the game with a neck brace on — threw a deep pass directly to BC safety Jeremiah Johnson and not close to any receiver. Johnson sped down the right sideline untouched for the interception return.
BC took a 20-6 lead with 3:55 left in the first half and did not score again.
“I don’t think there’s a lot of consistency,” Chudy said. “It’s pretty evident that the second quarter was a quarter we made a lot of progress in and after that it looked like we had a lot of work to do.”
The Renegades defense held El Camino to 3-for-15 on third down. Ortiz ran the ball 22 times for 77 yards and Medina ran nine times for 30 yards. Medina was 15-for-23 passing for 94 yards.
El Camino missed a 34-yard field goal that was not blocked and barely reached the end zone. The Warriors also missed a point after attempt.
BC running back Marcus Furlow was ejected from the game in the fourth quarter for a targeting penalty for a block he delivered during a punt return. He will have to sit out the first half of BC’s Week 3 game against Santa Monica.
No. 18 Bakersfield College 20, El Camino 15
At Memorial Stadium
EC - 0 6 3 6 - 15
BC - 0 20 0 0 - 20
EC - Berry 14 pass from Thomas (Valle kick fail)
BC - Ortiz 12 run (De Jager kick)
BC - Ortiz 15 pass from Medina (De Jager kick blocked)
BC - J. Johnson 55 interception return (De Jager kick)
EC - Valle 22 field goal
EC - Ferraulio 1 run (Ferrauilo pass fail)
RUSHING - El Camino: Graham 13-35, Prejean 8-31, Davenport 4-20, Hansen 1-4, Travai 1-3, Reyes 1-0, Ferrauilo 4-(-1), Denmark 1-(-5), Thomas 7-(-7), Clark 1-(-8). Bakersfield: Ortiz 22-77, Medina 9-30, Jones 9-24, Team 2-(-4).
PASSING - El Camino: Thomas 15-22-1-156, Ferrauilo 2-8-0-9. Medina 15-23-0-91.
RECEIVING - El Camino: Berry 8-48, Clark 4-77, Magee 2-21, Spencer 1-12, Graham 1-4, Coleman 1-3. Bakersfield: Ortiz 6-39, Roberson 4-8, Cooper 2-23, Rowel 1-9, Holland 1-7, Hartsfield 1-5.
W-L: El Camino (0-2). Bakersfield (1-1).