Heading into its biggest football game of the season, Bakersfield High will be without two of its best players.
Talented senior Isaac Jernagin, who committed to Nevada earlier this year, and his younger brother Ian will not play Friday when the Drillers (5-4, 3-1) are scheduled to take on first-place Liberty (8-1, 4-0) with a chance at sharing the Southwest League title.
They're not expected to return for the Drillers' postseason either, as both have left the program.
Ian, a sophomore running back with the team, suffered a hair-line fracture of his ankle in the third quarter of the game against Centennial on Friday. The injury will require 4 to 6 weeks of recovery, likely ending his season.
The circumstances surrounding Issac’s absence is not as clear-cut, but Bakersfield High coach Michael Stewart and Jernagin’s father, Dejon, indicated Tuesday in separate interviews that Isaac’s decision to leave the team was, if nothing else, in the best interest of both parties involved.
Isaac, a starting wide receiver and defensive back for BHS, leads the Drillers in receiving, but had no receptions in last week’s 10-3 victory over the Golden Hawks. He did have a 26-yard touchdown catch in a 34-20 victory over Frontier the week before.
Isaac Jernagin had 521 rushing yards on 34 carries and scored seven touchdowns on the ground last season, according to MaxPreps.com. He added 12 receptions for 125 yards and two TDs through the air.