In an era dominated by spread offenses and the passing game, and old-fashioned smash-mouth game broke out Saturday in Bakersfield. The Renegades combined for over 500 rushing yards but fewer than 300 passing yards, and each team had a running back surpass the 100-yard mark.
And Vickers was the key for the Renegades (5-2, 2-1), scoring his third touchdown of the night on a 23-yard run with 8:55 left. That pushed his season total to 14 touchdowns, which leads Southern California and is second in the entire state.
Cerritos (3-4, 2-1) had two more chances to answer after that touchdown, but ended each drive with a fumble. The Falcons had just entered the red zone when Bakersfield's Oluwaseun Ajayi stripped the ball from Kishawn Holmes and then recovered the fumble at the Renegade 11 with 5:31 left to stop one drive. Then on a 4th down play in the final seconds, Cerritos quarterback Nick Mitchell fumbled the snap and Mykeil Clayton recovered, clinching the victory for Bakersfield.
After a scoreless first quarter, Vickers scored Bakersfield's first touchdown on a 4-yard run early in the second quarter to cap a 9-play drive. But Cerritos quickly answered with an 8-play drive, with Holmes scoring on an 8-yard run to tie the score. Then just 1:07 later, Elijah Walker intercepted a pass thrown by Bakersfield's starting quarterback, Dalton Gallis, and carried it 22 yards into the end zone, going untouched to give the Falcons a 14-7 lead.
At that point, Cesar DeLeon replaced Gallis, and he promptly led the Renegades on a 6-play, 72-yard drive, tying the score with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jasmit Thind with 5:31 left in the half. DeLeon would play all but one play the rest of the game, though that one play would be a key play.
Vickers gave Bakersfield a 21-14 lead with his second touchdown run of the game, a 23-yarder with 9:10 left in the third quarter. But Holmes answered with a 1-yard scoring run to cap an 8-play, 80-yard drive, again tying the score with 13:12 left in the fourth quarter.
On Bakersfield's next drive, Bakersfield reached then Falcon 23 when DeLeon was tackled at the end of a run and lost his helmet. Unfortunately for the Renegades, that forced him to miss the next play, which was a 4th and 1 play. Gallis, on the bench since the pick-six, came out onto the field. There was some confusion with the play clock and, when game officials briefly halted play, DeLeon tried to go back in, but the referee loudly denied that move, announcing over the PA that he was still out for one play. With Gallis back in, Vickers was the man in motion and as soon as the ball was snapped he took the handoff and sped around the right side of the line for what turned out to be the winning score.
Vickers finished with 21 carries for 193 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he also had 5 catches for 49 yards and 2 kickoff returns for 39 yards for 281 all-purpose yards. DeLeon completed 7 of 11 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown after Gallis was 9 for 14 for 82 yards and 2 interceptions.
For Cerritos, Holmes had an outstanding game, the fumble notwithstanding, with 22 carries for 133 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mitchell was 12 for 22 passing for 116 yards, and he also ran 12 times for 94 yards, including a 50-yard dash that got the Falcons within 20 yards of tying the score in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, Holmes' fumble came two plays later, and the Falcons never quite caught up.
The win keeps Bakersfield very much alive in the National-North race, a game behind Ventura. The Renegades host Ventura on November 5th with a chance to pull even. Cerritos falls to 1-2 in conference and 3-4 overall.
Bakersfield Renegades 28
Cerritos Falcons 21
Saturday, October 22, 2016 – 6 pm – Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield
National Division – Northern Conference
B – Vickers 4 yd run (Young kick) 12:51 (7-0)
C – Holmes 8 yd run (Saldana kick) 9:27 (7-7)
C – E.Walker 22 yd interception return (Saldana kick) 8:20 (7-14)
B – Thind 10 yd pass from DeLeon (Young kick) 5:31 (14-14)
B – Vickers 23 yd run (Young kick) 9:10 (21-14)
C – Holmes 1 yd run (Saldana kick) 13:12 (21-21)
B – Vickers 23 yd run (Young kick) 8:55 (28-21)
First Downs: Bakersfield 23 (12 rush, 10 pass, 1 penalty), Cerritos 20 (12 rush, 7 pass, 1 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Bakersfield 41-245, Cerritos 44-274
Passing Yds: Bakersfield 165, Cerritos 116
Comp-Att-Int: Bakersfield 14-28-1, Cerritos 10-21-1
Return Yds: Bakersfield 103, Cerritos 81
Sacks-Yds: Bakersfield 0-0, Cerritos 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: Bakersfield 1-0, Cerritos 4-2
Penalties-Yds: Bakersfield 6-66, Cerritos 10-77
Time of Possession: Bakersfield 29:12, Cerritos 30:48
Rushing: B 1-Derrick Vickers 21-193, 2-Hill 8-33, 15-DeLeon 5-18, 5-Gallis 5-14, team 2-(-13); C 5-Kishawn Holmes 22-133, 3-Mitchell 12-94, 28-Hall 8-50, team 1-(-3)
Passing: B 15-DeLeon 7-11-0-83, 1 TD; 5-Gallis 9-14-2-82; C 3-Mitchell 12-22-0-116
Receiving: B 1-Vickers 5-49, 3-Bowman 3-43, 17-Tomlin 3-33, 8-Thind 3-22, 44-Willis 1-10, 2-Hill 1-8; C 8-Gasser 4-33, 18-Rosales 2-24, 81-Evans 2-17, 4-Crowder 1-15, 10-Chukwumezie 1-11, 28-Hall 1-10, 16-Rogers 1-6
Interceptions-Ret Yds: B none; C 6-E.Walker 1-22, 3-Cornay 1-0
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: B 30-Ajayi 1-0, 47-Clayton 1-0; C none
Punters: B 31-Katona 4-36.0 avg; C 38-Renaud –40.5 avg, 3-Mitchell 1-26
Kick Returns: B 17-Tomlin 2-64, 1-Vickers 2-39; C 2-L.Jones 2-43, 30-Carswell 1-16
Punt Returns: none
Missed FG: none
Notes: Both teams are now 1-1 in conference; Bakersfield entered ranked #8 South-National and improves to 5-2 overall while Cerritos entered ranked #9 and falls to 3-4. Gallis started at QB for Bakersfield but DeLeon replaced him after the pick-6 but returned for one play (when DeLeon lost his helmet)...Vickers' 3rd TD on a jet sweep. Mitchell's punt was a Cerritos Quick Kick. Cerritos had two chances to answer but each ended with a fumble; Ajayi recovered a Holmes fumble with 5:31 left at the BC 11 and Clayton recovered a Mitchell fumble with 12 seconds left at the BC 41. Vickers now has 14 TDs on the season, which leads the SCFA.