Bakersfield Gets Past Cerritos

Brian Burrell passed for 241 yards and threw two touchdowns to Marquise Johnson, the second of which proved to be the difference in Bakersfield's 21-14 win over visiting Cerritos Saturday afternoon. The win keeps the Renegades' playoff hopes alive entering the season's final two weeks.

Burrell's second scoring pass to Johnson with 9:14 left gave Bakersfield (6-2, 3-1) a lead it would hold onto the rest of the game, but just barely. Cerritos drove keep into Renegade territory in the final four minutes of the game, and appeared to score the potential tying touchdown only to have the play negated by a holding penalty. On the next play, Chris Hannible knocked away a fourth-down pass to preserve the win for Bakersfield.

It was in some ways a tale of two halves, as Cerritos (4-4, 2-2) held a 14-7 lead at the break after possessing the ball for nearly 20 of the 30 minutes and holding Bakersfield to just 4 first downs. But in the second half, Cerritos held possession for more than 21 minutes, gained 13 first downs and held the Falcons scoreless.

The game started with Cerritos receiving the kickoff and quarterback Paul Lopez, elevated into the starting lineup after an injury to starter Morgan Fennell, throwing an interception on the Falcons' first play from scrimmage. But that turnover was negated by a penalty, a theme that would recur for both teams throughout the afternoon.

After that bit of good fortune - and two more breaks for the Falcons when Lopez recovered his own fumble on the next play and tight end Tristan Henderson recovered a fumble by Donald Livingston later on the drive - Cerritos drove to the Renegade 14 yard-line. But then Lopez was intercepted by Bakersfield's Cody Jones, keeping the game scoreless.

Bakersfield scored the game's first touchdown on a 59-yard touchdown pass from Burrell to Johnson with 2:52 left in the first quarter. Burrell hit the 6-2 freshman along the left sideline, and the Renegades suddenly had a lead. Tyler Schleicher's extra point made it 7-0.

Neither team scored until late in the second quarter, when Cerritos scored two touchdowns in the final 3:41 to take a 14-7 halftime lead. The sequence began when Bakersfield found itself pinned at its own 5 yard-line after a penalty on a punt return, and three plays later Austin Tijerina's punt out of the end zone traveled just 20 yards. That led to a quick, 7-play, 26-yard drive that ended with Dominique Small scoring on a 2-yard run to get Cerritos within a point at 7-6. However, on the conversion attempt, Marcos Torres' kick was low and into the line; big Clinton Carter appeared to be the Renegade who blocked the kick to keep Bakersfield in front.

Bakersfield had to punt three plays later after a nifty play by Cerritos' Jordan Allen, who threw Burrell for a 9-yard loss. After Tijerina's punt - a respectable 33 yards on this kick - the Falcons quickly drove down the field and took a lead on a 3-yard scoring run by Michael Jasper with 22 seconds left in the half. Cerritos elected to try for two points on the conversion, and Lopez threw a pass to Robert Abeyta in the end zone to make it 14-7.

Bakersfield resorted to a bit of trickery during a marathon 14-play drive to score the first touchdown of the second half. Running back Jalen Sykes twice picked up first downs on fourth down from the Wildcat position to keep the drive alive. And then running back Curtis McGregor rolled to his right and threw a halfback option pass to Brock Martin from 22 yards out to bring the Renegades within a point at 14-13 with 1:31 left in the third quarter. However, on the conversion, the snap was low, and Cerritos' Vailele Peko came around the left side of the line to block the belated kick, keeping the Falcons in the lead.

After a Cerritos punt, Bakersfield got the ball back at its own 29 and drove 71 yards in 12 plays for what turned out to be the winning touchdown. But it was anything but easy as Bakersfield was flagged for a 15-yard personal foul penalty along the way. And on what appeared to be a 9-yard touchdown pass from Burrell to Martin, Bakersfield was flagged for a holding penalty. On the next play, however, which was 3rd and goal from the 19, Cerritos was penalized for a late hit after what would have been an incomplete pass, keeping the drive alive. On the next play, Burrell threw the 10-yard touchdown pass to Johnson.

After a Cerritos punt, Bakersfield got the ball back with 7:22 left, but just over two minutes later Burrell was intercepted by Peko, who returned the ball to the Renegade 40 before falling to the turf with an apparent leg injury. A personal foul penalty on Bakersfield moved the ball to the 25. After Michael Jasper ran for 12 yards on the next play and 3 on the play after that, another personal foul penalty against Bakersfield moved the ball to the 5 yard-line for 1st and goal.

But Bakersfield managed to hold onto the lead, with the thanks of the untimely holding penalty on Cerritos. Jasper gained 2 yards on first down. Then Michael Garrison gained one yard on second down. Small was held for no gain on third down. Then each team used a timeout prior to 4th and goal. On the restart, Cerritos spread the field and had Lopez run the ball on a quarterback draw, and he reached the end zone only to have the play nullified by a holding penalty. On 4th and 12, Lopez' pass towards Manning in the right corner of the end zone was swatted away by Hannible with 3:12 left.

Bakersfield was unable to run out the clock and eventually had to punt, but Cerritos got the ball back with 32 seconds left at its own 41 with no timeouts remaining. Two short passes got the ball across midfield, but on the final play of the game Lopez was flushed from the pocket and tackled for a short gain by Keylon Hollis, finally clinching the Bakersfield victory.

For Bakerfield, Burrell completed 13 of 27 passes for 241 yards, 2 touchdowns and one interception. Sykes led all rushers with 68 yards, coming on 22 carries. Tight end Mike Dunn had 4 catches for 80 yards; Johnson had 3 catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns while Martin had 3 catches for 71 yards and a score. McGregor had the big touchdown pass on the option play. And Carter not only blocked the extra point but had one of the three quarterback sacks for Bakersfield; he and Hollis were visible standouts for the Renegade defense.

For Cerritos, Lopez completed 10 of 21 passes for 160 yards. Jasper rushed for 63 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, while Garrison had 52 yards on 18 attempts. Manning had 4 catches for 82 yards. Allen and both Pekos - defensive back Vailele, who had an interception and a blocked extra point, and defensive end Kyle, who was a visible standout all afternoon and had at least two tackles for loss, were outstanding on defense.

The win keeps Bakersfield in the hunt for one of the four playoff berths in the Southern California regional entering the final two weeks and games against Allan Hancock and Pasadena. Cerritos, meanwhile, falls to .500 both in conference play and overall with games remaining against Canyons and Moorpark.

Bakersfield Renegades 21, Cerritos Falcons 14

Saturday, October 27, 2012 - 4 pm - Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield
National Division - Northern Conference

1st Quarter:
B - M.Johnson 59 yd pass from Burrell (Schleicher kick) 2:52 (7-0)

2nd Quarter:
C - Small 2 yd run (kick blocked) 3:41 (7-6)
C - Jasper 3 yd run (Abeyta pass from P.Lopez) 0:22 (7-14)

3rd Quarter:
C - Martin 22 yd pass from McGregor (kick blocked) 1:31 (13-14)

4th Quarter:
C - M.Johnson 10 yd pass from Burrell (Martin pass from Burrell) 9:14 (21-14)

Team Statistics:

First Downs: Bakersfield 17 (8 rush, 8 pass, 1 penalty), Cerritos 18 (7 rush, 8 pass, 3 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Bakersfield 37-90, Cerritos 44-136
Passing Yds: Bakersfield 263, Cerritos 160
Comp-Att-Int: Bakersfield 14-28-1, Cerritos 10-21-1
Return Yds: Bakersfield 110, Cerritos 83
Sacks-Yds: Bakersfield 3-15, Cerritos 1-1
Fumbles-Lost: Bakersfield 0-0, Cerritos 2-0
Penalties-Yds: Bakersfield 10-89, Cerritos 8-73
Time of Possession: Bakersfield 31:25, Cerritos 28:35

Individual Statistics:

Rushing: B 29-Skyes 22-68, 3-McGregor 9-15, 2-Burrell 5-8, team 1-(-1); C 33-Jasper 10-63, 21-Garrison 18-52, 24-Small 5-11, 16-P.Lopez 8-5, 2-Caiquo 1-4, 22-Livingston 2-1
Passing:   B 2-Burrell 13-27-1-241, 2 TDs; 3-McGregor 1-1-0-22, 1 TD; C 16-P.Lopez 10-21-1-160
Receiving:   B 85-Dunn 4-80, 84-M.Johnson 3-76, 6-Martin 3-71, 3-McGregor 3-29, 29-Sykes 1-7; C 4-Manning 4-82, 83-Carrillo 2-27, 7-Abeyta 2-22, 22-Livingston 1-25, 88-Henderson 1-4
Sacks-Yds: B 11-Hollis 1-8, 94-Carter 1-5, 55-Lejander 1-2; C 51-Moala 1-1
Interceptions-Ret Yds: B 16-Jones 1-30; C 32-V.Peko 1-3
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: none
Punters: B 13-Tijerina 6-30.3 avg; C 38-Umeh 5-44.6 avg; 16-P.Lopez 1-32
Kick Returns: B 29-Sykes 2-39, 7-Burns 1-31; C 6-Gumbs 2-63, 32-V.Peko 1-17
Punt Returns: B 84-M.Johnson 2-10; C 32-V.Peko 1-0
Missed FG: none

Notes: Bakersfield entered ranked #4 in the South and #16 in the nation ( and improves to 6-2 overall, 3-1 in National-North. Cerritos entered ranked #9 in the South and falls to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in conference. Carter blocked the extra point for Bakersfield. McGregor's TD pass to Martin was on a halfback option to cap a drive on which Sykes twice gained 1st downs running from the Wildcat formation. V.Peko blocked the extra point for Cerritos. Lopez appeared to score the potential tying TD for Cerritos with just over 3 minutes left but his 2-yd run on 4th and goal was negated by a penalty; 8-Hannible batted away a pass intended for Manning on the next play to save the win for Bakersfield.

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