In defensive lineman and defensive captain Tyrell Eddington’s words, Bakersfield College’s game against Ventura one week ago hurt. The defense allowed 48 points — more than head coach Jeff Chudy would have previously imagined possible — and 547 yards of offense.
The Renegades lost out on a National Northern Conference championship and its goal to make the state playoffs shifted from what could have been a certainty into a scenario that is partially out of BC’s hands.
“We took a tough one,” Eddington said.
But Bakersfield College (7-2, 3-1) has one game left in the regular season at College of the Canyons (7-2, 3-1) at 6 p.m. on Saturday. BC is ranked 10th in the state and Canyons is 13th. The Renegades need a win to stay in the playoff hunt with No. 7 Saddleback, No. 9 Mount San Antonio and Canyons among the other top contenders for Southern California’s at-large spot.
The defense has put last week behind it and wants to pick up its caliber of play
“We got to bounce back and come back even stronger,” Eddington said. “Our plan is to come back play even harder and dial it in like we did before. … I still feel pretty confident. We still got this game and a chance to go to the playoffs.”
For good reason, receiver Cameron Roberson called BC’s defense the best in the state two weeks ago. BC had allowed a state-best 12.1 points per game and 116.4 pass yards per game. Then Ventura’s top-tier offense bolted out to a 17-0 lead and 270 first-half yards. The Pirates had possession for 21:25 of the first 30 minutes of the game.
Ventura converted on 9 of its 17 third downs, including two third-and-15s. The Pirates picked up gains of 36, 28, 24 and 22 yards on third down. They had 12 plays overall of 15 or more yards and six of more than 20 yards.
Three times Ventura quarterback Jake Constantine threw 50-50 balls to his receivers, Chudy said, but Ventura came down with 100 percent of them.
“We didn’t sack the quarterback when we had him in our grasp,” Chudy said. “We missed open-field tackles.”
Eddington, a pass rusher, placed the blame on a lack of pass rush that gave Constantine too much time in the pocket.
The team analyzed the film one day later on Sunday but moved on from there, Chudy said. He was not interested in “rehashing old news” of the week prior come Thursday, but noted that Canyons runs a similar style offense with a mobile quarterback — Andrew Brito.
The defense has keyed in on Desean Holmes, who averages 83.7 receiving yards per game and RB Marlow, who has seven touchdown catches on the year, Eddington said. Eddington is hoping for a few sacks himself to disrupt the offense more than he did last game.
The Cougars’ offense is 13th in scoring (38.2 points) and fifth in yards per game (488).
“Our goal is to stop the run, then potentially stop the pass, too and shut them down,” Eddington said. “Make them quit.”
This time, BC’s playoff chances do depend on it.