LONG BEACH — The few words Bakersfield College head coach Jeff Chudy could find to describe his team’s final performance of the season weren’t flattering at all: “lack of focus,” “lack of execution,” “mind-boggling.”
“I don’t know what to tell you,” he said to finish it off.
There wasn’t much that would fully explain what happened other than that the Renegades simply didn’t show up.
Bakersfield College continued its collapse to end the season with a 37-10 dismantling by Long Beach City College in the Patriotic Bowl at Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday. BC lost just once in the first eight games of the season before losing its last three.
The Renegades didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter when they were already down by 34 points. And it only came as a result of a forced fumble and return down to the 6 by Cristion Brown.
“We put in so much work all those months, June, summer, and you play to win ball games,” said backup quarterback Cesar De Leon. “To end like this, it kind of sucks.”
Three weeks ago, the Renegades were in prime position for a state playoff berth. A win at Ventura would have meant a conference championship. Instead, the result was a 10-point loss brought closer by a touchdown on the last drive of the game.
The coaches and players pledged to fix the mistakes that wound up plaguing BC the next week at Canyons in a game that still had playoff implications.
On Saturday, BC played its worst game of the year.
“It’s been a good year,” Chudy said. “Not the way we wanted to finish. We got a lot of stuff to work on.”
Long Beach dropped 37 in three quarters on the once top-ranked BC defense. The Renegades’ offense posted its worst point total (10) of the season and worst yardage total (150) since a September 2015 game against Long Beach.
Starting quarterback Brandon Jones scrambled nearly each time he dropped back to pass, prompting the coaching staff to call designed rollouts. De Leon took over in the second quarter and suffered the same fate.
He stayed in the game until his fourth quarter touchdown pass, which he was drilled in the head on. It was one of several hits to the head he took in the game.
“I didn't even know if (Coleman Olivas) caught the ball,” said De Leon, who had a headache after the game. “I just kind of threw it, got hit and ran to the sideline. I heard our guys cheering.”
Long Beach blitzed more than BC expected, De Leon said, and it worked to perfection.
The Vikings’ Cedric Byrd caught two touchdown passes and quarterback Grant Lowary threw for 335 yards.
Chudy, the BC head coach, spent the game with a headset on in the press box and did not appear to go to the locker room during halftime. He declined to explain why, saying, “That has nothing to do with the game. It didn't have anything to do with what happened.” He’s usually on the sideline during games.
The one play Chudy thought was emblematic of the entire game was a blocked punt in the second quarter. BC punter Carson Olivas was at the back of his own end zone but the Vikings were in a return formation and not going for the block.
Long Beach defensive lineman Gilbert “Bubba” Valera — an Independence graduate from Bakersfield — was untouched as he clipped the kick with his hand. Semj Parker caught it out of the air at the 10 and waltzed into the end zone for a 21-0 lead.
“That should never happen,” Chudy said. “... I think that in itself just sums it all up.”