By Kaleb Demissie
The Tigers continue their journey to become the best in the state by beating Bakersfield College, 45-7, at Wheelock Stadium on Sept. 17.
Offensively, the Tigers were unable to get anything started in the first quarter. Defensively, however, they were able to keep Bakersfield out of the red zone for most of the game.
After not scoring during their first possessions, adjustments were made. Quarterback Ian Fieber was subbed for Collyn Anderson.
The Tigers’ offense started to pick up when Anderson connected with Darius Hunter for a 42-yard reception, putting the Tigers near the red zone. A 19-yard rush by El Toro Allen, who put the Tigers in the red zone, soon followed the play.
Soon after, Seth Acda ran the ball to the 1-yard line, setting up the go ahead touchdown.
The Tigers were rolling once again when their defense was able to force a three and out, allowing the offense to get back on the field. After getting a minimum gain on first down, RCC decided to roll with a trick play. They almost scored, but the receiver was out of bounds.
Anderson was able to convert the third down on the following play, setting up the TD by Jacoby Herring.
Just before the half, the Tigers were able to squeeze in a 34-yard field goal made by John Hilfer. Going into halftime, RCC was up 17-0.
Returning from halftime, it seemed that it was another three and out by the Renegades, when a late flag was thrown against the Tigers defense, resulting in Bakersfield’s first down. Even after being given a new set of downs, Bakersfield was unable to get past the Tigers’ defense, forcing them to punt again.
Building off their momentum from the 2nd quarter, the Tigers scored in under three minutes, thanks to a 47-yard strike from Anderson to Erik Brown.
After the Tigers’ kick off, Bakersfield’s QB Cesar De Leon overthrew to his intended receiver, leading to an interception by RCC’s Zach Kupka who managed a 10-yard return to the Bakersfield 28-yard line. Following the interception, Anderson threw a 28-yard touchdown to Dominique Maiden. The score was 31-0.
Bakersfield got the ball back after the Tigers scored, only to go three and out yet again thanks to the Tigers’ superior defense. The Tigers were on the move again after Anderson connected with Darius Hunter for a 30-yard gain to the Bakersfield 24-yard line.
After a couple of plays and penalties, Acda rushed from 19-yards out for the touchdown, extending the Tigers’ lead to 38-0.
After being shut out for nearly three quarters, Bakersfield finally built a sustainable drive, resulting in a 24-yard rushing touchdown by Derrick Vickers. This would, however, be the last time Bakersfield would see the end zone.
As for the Tigers, they saw the end zone with a 5-yard rush from Tyree Range, making the score 45-7.
In the five minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the Tigers’ defense held Bakersfield to nothing and ran out the clock to secure a 45-7 victory.
There were a lot of impressive performances on both sides of the ball this game. Anderson 11/19 229 passing yards and 3 TD’s, Acda 175 rush yards on 23 carries and a TD, Interceptions by Tareke Lewis, Zach Kupka and James Reeder with 6 tackles and a tackle for a loss. Allen and Range were also very impressive at the running back spot, with Allen averaging almost 9-yards per carry and Range averaging 6-yards per carry and scoring a touchdown. The wide receiver’s had very productive night as Dominique Maiden, Eric Brown and Jacoby Herring all had touchdowns.
When asked about the Tigers performance, “It feels good, but we need to cut out the penalties. I’m not happy with that,” Coach Craft said.
When asked about next week’s matchup against Ventura, Craft said “That’s going to be a true test for our defense, because we haven’t went up against a team with an offense as nice as theirs.”
The Tigers will go on to play against Ventura College at Ventura on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m.