BC wins second straight with 43-20 home victory over San Bernardino Valley

Sep. 17—It wasn't perfect and Bakersfield College certainly made its share of mistakes, but several big plays on defense proved to be the difference maker on Saturday night.

The Renegades forced four turnovers and returned two interceptions for touchdowns to pave the way for a 43-20 victory over San Bernardino Valley, the team's second straight win at Memorial Stadium.

"We were able to capitalize on a few turnovers, two of which turned into defensive touchdowns so whenever you can get plays like that I think it just helps the momentum overall," BC head coach R. Todd Littlejohn said.

That momentum was stalled a bit by three 'Gades' fumbles, 135 yards in penalties, a muffed punt, two missed field goals and an errant extra point.

"We needed them, needless to say," said Littlejohn with a laugh, referring to his team's big plays. "You know we sputtered at times offensively and in some of the special teams and things, but that's why you play as a team because while one might not be doing as well as the other, one or two have to pick up, so thankfully our defense was able to do that tonight."

Bakersfield (2-1) opened the scoring when Jakwon Lamb stepped in front of a pass from SBV's Isaiah Vasquez and returned it 59 yards for a score just 1:46 into the game.

The Renegades built the lead to 13-0 thanks to a 63-yard punt return by Dantonio Hackworth that moved the ball to the Wolverine 19. Five plays later, Jordan Norwood scored on a 2-yard run with 3:11 left in the opening quarter. Bradyn Ornelaz's PAT hit the post.

The BC defense forced another punt, but two 'Gades' returners collided trying to secure the ball and SBV recovered at the Bakersfield 8-yard line.

Two plays later, Delano Green scored on a 1-yard run to trim the Renegades' lead to 13-7.

Ornelaz booted a 20-yard field goal on the final play of the first half to give his team a 16-7 advantage and set up a wild third quarter.

Bakersfield scored on its first three drives of the second half, capped by a 33-yard touchdown run by Norwood that gave the Renegades a 36-14 lead with 5:26 left in the third quarter. Norwood had 86 yards rushing on nine carries.

With the game starting to get out of hand, both teams were hit with personal foul penalties and had to be separated on occasion following plays.

"Whenever you have two competitive teams playing against each other, and both scraping for a win, that happens — and it's unnecessary because it cost us in certain situations," Littlejohn said. "And as I remind our guys, there are plays, like the unsportsmanlike stuff that can potentially cause you this game and the next, so you have to be smart. We got way too many penalties, actually (they were all in the second half), it kept drives alive, (and was) just unnecessary."

The Wolverines (1-2) tried to stay close and scored two touchdowns in third quarter, as well, on its first possession of the second on a 35-yard scoring pass from Vasquez to Isaiah Hughes to make it 23-14, and in the final minute of the quarter on a short run by Antoine Fowler to pull within 36-20.

Down by two scores, SBV was driving again early in the fourth quarter when Donovan Foster intercepted a Vasquez pass and returned it 77 yards for a touchdown to close out the game's scoring.

"It's very important, as I always tell the players, it's the next win, and we just want to be 1-0 every time," Littlejohn said. "Of course if you can win at home, now statistically you have five wins and if you steal a couple on the road as well, so really, really crucial overall, and winning at home in front of our fans and things like that is always a good thing."

Offensively, 'Gades quarterback Carson Woods finished 16 of 29 for 220 yards and a 19-yard touchdown pass to Dom D'Amato on their first possession of the second half. D'Amato had three catches for a team-high 48 yards.

Jalen Hankins also had a big night offensively with 62 yards rushing and a 15-yard TD run on 16 carries, and two catches for 47 yards.

Defensively, Bakersfield had five sacks and 12 tackles for a loss. Will Kanavalov had two sacks, while Logan Bowers and Miles Poole had eight tackles apiece. Defensive lineman Joe Dabney had an interception and a tackle for a loss.

The Renegades travel to play Antelope Valley next Saturday, looking to continue the momentum of two straight victories.

"Defensively, just continuing to force some turnovers, I know we turned the ball over on offense and I'll have to look at that as well, but any time you can get multiple guys, and in this case you have Joe Dabney a D-lineman getting an interception ..." Littlejohn said. "Now it makes practice even more important and guys have a little bit of a bounce in their step, as well as how they approach practice for next week."