Stone, Banks Keep Bakersfield Atop WSC-North

Back-up quarterback Cody Stone entered the game in the 2nd quarter and passed for 205 yards, including a pair of touchdown tosses to Brandon Banks, to lead visiting Bakersfield (4-1, 3-0 in the WSC-North) to a 33-22 win over 5-time defending conference champions College of the Canyons (1-4, 1-2) Sat. night in Santa Clarita.

The win keeps BC in a 3-way tie for first place in the division, while COC drops to fourth place, likely ending the Cougars' run atop the division. 

The win also breaks a 4-game losing streak by Bakersfield to arch-rival Canyons, which included a narrow 24-23 loss last year in the regular season and a 48-26 loss in the playoffs last November.  And it was COC's first WSC loss at home of the new millennium; the Cougars' last home conference loss was against Ventura late in the 1999 season.

Early on, it looked like it might be a long night for Bakersfield.  On BC's first offensive series, starting quarterback Daniel Hoff was tackled in the end zone by COC's Nate Whittier.  But before Hoff hit the ground, David Gross of Canyons knocked the ball loose, and Chad Landry recovered the fumble for a Cougar touchdown just 4:12 into the game.  And after a short punt, Canyons got the ball back at the Renegade 38; on the next play, Andrew Miramontes threw to speedy Terence Scott for a long touchdown pass that made it 13-0 Cougars just 6:11 into the game.

On the ensuing kickoff, however, came the first of several big plays the Renegades would use to not only get back into the game but to go on to the victory.  T.J. Lee took the kickoff at his own 1-yard line, eluded some initial coverage, and burst down the left sideline untouched for a 99-yard touchdown return, cutting the Canyons lead to 13-7 and stopping the momentum.

Canyons added another field goal near the end of the quarter to extend its lead to 16-7, but even that was a moral victory of sorts for Bakersfield.  After a short punt – Ted Dellaganna's only kick of his six efforts not to travel at least 38 yards – COC got the ball at the Bakersfield 45.  Moments later, Thomas Kyle broke off a 20-yard run, and on the next play Miramontes threw to J.T. Wright for 12 more yards.  But after COC had a first down at the Bakersfield 13, a 5-yard penalty and three incomplete passes forced the Cougars to settle for a 35-yard field goal by Paul Weinstein.

And when the second quarter began, Stone entered the game for Bakersfield.  Hoff had been pressured relentlessly in the first quarter, and took several hard hits after releasing the ball in addition to the sack that gave COC the touchdown.  But Stone's mobility allowed him to avoid the pressure and find open receivers downfield.

At no time was that better-demonstrated than on Bakersfield's next touchdown.  After BC had cut the margin to 16-10 on a 30-yard field goal, neither team had scored again until late in the first half.  But as the second-quarter clock wound down, Bakersfield got the ball deep in Canyons territory after Kenny Graham recovered a Brian Stuart fumble at the Cougar 30.  Three plays later, Stone dropped back to pass.  Stepping to his left to avoid the pressure, Stone suddenly stopped and lofted a pass to a wide-open Banks in the left corner of the end zone to give the Renegades a touchdown with 23 seconds left in the half.  Will Johnson's extra point gave Bakersfield a 17-16 halftime lead.

Canyons took a lead in the third quarter, but it was extremely short-lived.  After a sensational catch by Jovonne Augustus gave COC a 43-yard gain and a first-and-goal at the Bakersfield 3, backup quarterback Ryan Whitcomb replaced Miramontes to give the Cougars one more rushing option.  The plan worked, as Whitcomb scored two plays later to give Canyons a 22-17 lead (a 2-point attempt after the conversion failed).

On Bakersfield's next play from scrimmage, the Renegades got the lead back.  Following a touchback on the kickoff, Bakersfield had the ball at its own 20.  And on first down, Stone threw a short pass to Banks, who sped towards the right sideline and past the Cougar secondary for an electrifying 80-yard touchdown play that put the Renegades ahead, 23-22. 

Canyons never scored again.  Following Brian Putnam's second interception of the game, which came after Daron Mackey deflected the ball, Bakersfield added another Johnson field goal to make it 26-22.  Then when Canyons got the ball back, Miramontes threw into double coverage in the right corner of the end zone.  Bakersfield's Keith Thompson made the interception, giving BC the ball back with 4:06 to play.

At that point, all the Renegades needed to do was to run out the clock.  But after a holding penalty and two short runs, it was 3rd and 17 at the 13.  Stone dropped back, but found nobody open.  Instead, he pulled the ball down and scrambled towards the right sideline.  By the time COC forced him into a dive, Stone had picked up 23 yards and the first down.  Three plays later, Pat Patterson further solidified the win with a 48-yard touchdown run, making it 33-22 and all but officially ended Canyons' run atop the WSC-North.

For Bakersfield, Stone finished 9 of 15 passing for 205 yards and 2 TDs.  He also had 31 yards rushing on 8 carries (46 yards on 6 carries if two sacks are subtracted out).  Patterson and J.R. Rogers each rushed for 83 yards.  Attrail Snipes had 5 catches for 86 yards, while Banks had 3 catches for 114 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 

For Canyons, Miramontes finished 14 of 33 for 206 yards and a touchdown, but also had 2 interceptions.  Kyle had 47 yards rushing on 7 carries, but 37 of those came on two long runs.  Except for those two bursts, the COC running game managed just 27 yards for the night.  Stuart, who entered the game as the WSC's second-leading rusher, had a nightmare of a game with 6 carries for 2 yards and a fumble, and one pass reception for a 2-yard loss.  But there were several strong performances by COC players, including Scott, who had 6 catches for 112 yards and a TD, and defensive lineman Steve Cenatus, who had 3 sacks.


Bakersfield Renegades 33, College of the Canyons Cougars 22

Saturday, September 30, 2006 – 7 pm – Cougar Stadium - Valencia – WSC-North


1st Quarter:    

C – Landry recovered fumble in end zone (Weinstein kick) 10:48 (0-7)
C – Scott 38 yd pass from Miramontes (kick wide right) 8:49 (0-13)
B – Lee 99 yd kickoff return (Johnson kick) 8:29 (7-13)
C – FG Weinstein 35 yds 3:29 (7-16) 

2nd Quarter:   

B – FG Johnson 30 yds 4:48 (10-16)
B – Banks 15 yd pass from Stone (Johnson kick) 0:23 (17-16) 

3rd Quarter:   

C – Whitcomb 1 yd run (run failed) 4:18 (17-22)
B – Banks 80 yd pass from Stone (pass failed) 3:44 (23-22)

4th Quarter:

B – FG Johnson 42 yds 5:21 (26-22)
B – Patterson 48 yd run (Johnson kick) 1:11 (33-22)


First Downs:  Canyons 12 (3 rush, 8 pass, 1 penalty), Bakersfield 14 (8 rush, 6 pass)
Rushes-Yds:  Canyons 26-60, Bakersfield 38-179
Passing Yds:  Canyons 206, Bakersfield 212
Comp-Att-Int:  Canyons 13-35-3, Bakersfield 11-21-1
Return Yds:  Canyons 202, Bakersfield 212
Sacks-Yds:  Canyons 4-29, Bakersfield 2-15
Fumbles-Lost:  Canyons 2-1, Bakersfield 3-1
Penalties-Yds:  Canyons 5-34, Bakersfield 13-130
Time of Possession:  Canyons 26:57, Bakersfield 33:03


Rushing:  Canyons 3-Kyle 7-47, 8-Whitcomb 7-30, 15-Stuart 6-2, 6-Miramontes 6-(-19); Bakersfield 3-Rogers 17-83, 39-Patterson 8-83, 8-Stone 8-31, 28-Velez 1-8, 10-Hoff 3-(-14)
Passing:   Canyons 6-Miramontes 14-33-2-206, 1 TD; 8-Whitcomb 0-2-1-0; Bakersfield 8-Stone 9-15-1-205, 2 TDs; 10-Hoff 2-6-0-7
Receiving:   Canyons 1-Scott 6-112, 11-Augustus 2-57, 12-Austin 2-22, 48-Wright 2-16, 3-Kyle 1-1, 15-Stuart 1-(-2); Bakersfield 5-Snipes 5-86, 11-Banks 3-114, 7-Lee 3-12
Interceptions-Ret Yds:  Canyons 30-Monroe 1-2; Bakersfield 9-Putnam 2-42, 13-Thompson 1-0
Fumble Recoveries:  Canyons 45-Landry; Bakersfield 21-Graham
Sacks:  Canyons 46-Cenatus 3, 27-Whittier ½, 92-Gross ½; Bakersfield 98-Wyatt 2 
Punters:  Canyons 14-Chalmers 6-39.3 avg; Bakersfield 18-Dellaganna 6-39.0 avg
Kick Returns:  Canyons 3-Kyle 4-117, 1-Scott 1-38, 34-Guillory 1-13; Bakersfield 7-Lee 3-126
Punt Returns:  Canyons 30-Monroe 4-32; Bakersfield 6-Bell 2-33
Missed FG:  Canyons none; Bakersfield 35-Johnson 44 yds (wide right)

Notes:  Bakersfield entered 3-1, 2-0 in WSC-North and ranked #10 in the South.  Canyons entered 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the WSC-North.  Hoff started at QB for BC; Stone entered in the 2nd qtr and played the rest of the way.  Miramontes started at QB for COC; Whitcomb saw action at WR before playing much of the 2nd qtr at QB.  On COC's 1st TD, as Whittier tackled Hoff in the end zone, Gross knocked the ball loose and Landry recovered for the TD.  Banks' long TD came on the next play from scrimmage after COC had taken the lead.  45-Mackey deflected the ball on Putnam's 2nd int.  COC still had a chance until a 23-yard scramble by Stone on 3rd and 17 late in the game; Patterson's TD came 3 plays later to seal the win.  The win breaks a 4-game losing streak by BC to COC (including a playoff game last season).  The loss is COC's 4th of the season, the most the Cougars have had since 1999 and the most they have had in the regular season since the program was resurrected in 1998.


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