Renegades Wear Down Vikings In Opener

Defending Mission Conference champ Long Beach, ranked 24th in the <i>JC Grid-Wire</i> national rankings, opened their 2003 season against long-time Western State Conference power Bakersfield.  Both teams struggled to gain control of the line of scrimmage early on as the teams went scoreless in the first stanza.  As the teams settled down, the visiting Renegades wore down the Vikings and posted a 35-16 victory.

Long Beach, Ca.- As can be expected in a season opener, both teams experienced first-game jitters early as both quarterbacks were off target and receivers dropped passes.  LBCC was finally able to mount a drive, but it was snuffed out when BC DB Jerome Miller blocked a field goal with 7:45 left in the 1st period.  Later in the quarter, Miller squashed another Viking drive with a 19-yard interception return with 4:34 remaining.  The Renegades were unable to capitalize in the opening period as well, as PK Bryan Sullivan missed a 49-yard FG attempt at the end of the period.

As the second period began, LBCC CB Chris Weingarten delivered a resounding hit on the Bakersfield punt returner after the Vikings were forced to punt after the missed kick.  The lick seemed to wake both teams up and the quarterbacks settled down and began hitting their targets, especially Renegade QB George Valos, who finished the contest 19 of 29 for 305 yards with 4 scoring strikes and only one INT.  1st year LBCC coach Jerry Jaso (in his third year on the JC level after a successful stint as head coach at prep power Long Beach Poly) opened the contest rotating QBs, as Jason Washington and Justin Grimm both took snaps under center.  Jaso settled on Washington as the game wore on and the freshman QB from St. Mary's High in Oakland finished the game 10 of 25 for 194 yards and one TD. 

After a Renegade fumble at midfield, Washington hit WR Mike Willis -- a bounceback from Oregon -- on the very next play for a 49-yard gain to the one-yard line.  Viking RB Grant McCray then hit pay dirt from one yard out for the first score of the game with 10:10 left in the 2nd quarter.  The Renegades rallied to tie the score later in the stanza as Valos hit TE Derrick Hargrove with a pop pass over the middle from 26 yards out to tie the score.  The Vikings looked to take the lead heading into halftime, but once again Miller snuffed out a Viking scoring opportunity by blocking his second field goal of the game.

Bakersfield came out of halftime and took control up front, as they were able to both run and throw the ball for positive yardage in the second half.  Valos heated up, as the Viking DB's gave too much cushion and BC was able to score on long hauls.  Renegade WR Kenny Jackson, a 6-4, 195-pound sophomore from Florida, scored from 40 yards out on a beautiful slant pattern.  Less than two minutes later, Viking WR Aaron Jackson fumbled after a nice reception over the middle and Valos proceeded to hit WR Ismael Arrenaviz on a 64 yard scoring strike.  The Renegade wide-out split two LBCC defenders on his way to the end zone on a play that seemed to flatten Long Beach.

The Viking 2nd half was characterized by missed opportunities, bad execution, and undisciplined play.  On one key fourth down play, LBCC jumped off-sides to give the Renegades a first down and on another play, a bad snap sailed over the head of the Viking punter and out of the end zone for a safety.  Bakersfield methodically wore Long Beach down with a balanced attack in the 4th quarter, as freshman RB Rickey Herod closed out the BC scoring with two TD's of 3 and 17 yards.  LBCC closed out their scoring on a beautiful 6-yard fade from Washington to 6-7, 205-pound WR Markee White with 1:45 left in the contest.  White is a former QB at Long Beach Poly who should also contribute to the LBCC basketball squad this winter.

Scoring Summary

BC: 0-7-13-15=35

LB: 0-7- 3 – 6 =16

Team Statistics

First Downs: BC-21 LB-16
Rushing: BC-118 LB-61
Passing: BC-305 LB-240
Total Yards: BC-423 LB-301
T.O.P.: BC-36: 32 LB- 23: 28
3rd Down: BC- 9of 15 LB- 4 of 12

Statistical Leaders:

BC Rushing- Stewart: 13-40, Herod: 5-34-1, Hronis: 8-28, Jackson: 2-13, Kielkopf: 6-10

LB Rushing- McCray: 11-47-1, Ier: 4-27, Rahim: 2-11

BC Passing- Valos: 19-29-305-4-1

LB Passing- Washington: 10-25-194-1-0, Grimm: 1-5-46-0-1

BC Receiving- Jackson: 7-107-1, Arrenaviz: 4-118-1

LB Receiving- Willis: 4-141, White: 2-17-1, Wilson: 2-12 

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