Almost in unison, a trio Bakersfield College coaches slid their hands from their hips to their heads and hunched over. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty had backed the Renegades up in Moorpark’s territory.
Even when BC running back Elisha Ortiz danced through the middle of the field with a flashy spin move for a 21-yard touchdown run a few plays later to put the Renegades ahead by 24 in the fourth quarter, the coaches’ demeanors remained largely unchanged.
It was a blowout, 34-10, win for Bakersfield College at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night but an ugly one at that. BC was tagged with 20 penalties for 216 yards. Moorpark earned 19 infractions for 195 yards. The two teams combined for more penalties (39) than first downs (38). Seventeen of BC’s penalties came in the second half.
The constant flags created a stop-and-go game that partially overshadowed Ortiz’s four-touchdown performance. He accounted for all of the Renegades touchdowns on the night.
“It’s ridiculous, absolutely ridiculous,” an upset Bakersfield College head coach Jeff Chudy said after the game. “We’re killing ourselves. We’re getting behind the chains. It’s just ridiculous.”
BC improved to 5-1 and opened National Northern Conference with a win. Moorpark dropped its fifth game in a row to opponents ranked in top 20 in the state and fell to 1-5.
It was a bit of slow start for a Renegades offense facing the worst and second worst team in California in terms of yards (526.4) and points (49.4) allowed per game. Ortiz’s first touchdown came on a 7-yard reception where he was left uncovered in the flat with three and a half minutes left in the first.
Ortiz boosted what would have been just a 10-0 lead at the half for BC with a 4-yard run with two minutes left. He was stood up at the 1, but his linemen pushed him into the endzone.
“Elisah Ortiz was phenomenal,” Chudy said. “I thought he just did an outstanding job. He’s an exciting guy. Glad he’s playing for us.”
The Renegades third best defense in the state, by points allowed, lived up to its reputation until the flags started flying in heavier doses. Two personal fouls helped Moorpark to its only touchdown of the day in the third quarter to make it 24-10.
Even when BC scored, the coaches couldn’t have been happy for long as three kickoffs were sent out of bounds.
The mistakes were due to a passionate group that got too chippy at times, quarterback Brandon Jones said. Ortiz attributed it to a lack of focus.
“We still got a lot of things to clean up, as you can tell,” Ortiz added.
Late in the fourth quarter, Renegades offensive lineman Blake Brown shoved Moorpark’s Jalon Kitchen after a play. Kitchen responded by throwing Brown to the ground.
“If they want to get going, we’ll get going, too,” Kitchen yelled as he came off the field. And it was a clear sign that control on both sides was out of hand.
Chudy had smothered his players with the idea of discipline and accountability for the past two weeks. He ended Friday’s practice livid regarding BC’s costly mistakes. But on Saturday, even in a blowout win, it was even worse.
As Chudy walked off the field he had one final thought: “It looked like game one.”