Renegades dominate #2 Moorpark

On paper, the showdown between #7 Bakersfield College and #2 Moorpark would be a tightly contested game that would give the winner a foot up in the WSC North Division race.

But it was quite evident from first snap to final gun that the Gades were too physical, and too fast for the visiting, and previously undefeated Raiders. By land and by air, the Gades piled up more than 300 yards of offense in the first half alone, and picked off an incredible 6 passes in the game to tame the potent Moorpark passing assault. After rolling to a 27-0 halftime lead, the Gades cruised to an easy 41-10 victory, setting up a showdown in two weeks against a tough Hancock team who is also undefeated in league play. But the Bulldogs will have their chance at Moorpark next week. A win by the Raiders in that game will keep their playoff hopes alive.

1st Half

Both teams traded interceptions early, and Moorpark got the first break of the game when the Gades were whistled for a pass interference that was about 12 yards over everybody's head into the end zone. The Gade defense stiffened, and instead of settling for a field goal, Raider QB Cam Merrill threw over the middle into the end zone where it hit Gades DB Ryan Ibarra in the back. Ibarra had great coverage, but could have been flagged for not turning around. It didn't take long for the big play offense to come through for BC when RB J.R. Rogers used his sprinter's speed to fly down the left sideline, then cut back up the middle on his way to a 62 yard TD and a 7-0 lead.

On Moorparks' next possession, under heavy pressure, Merrill threw a wobbler that was picked off by BC's fine corner, Kenny Graham.  T.J. Lee then took a pass in the flat from Gade QB Cody Stone, and while being tackled, had the presence of mind to lateral to Brandon Banks who took it some 40 yards to paydirt. But the refs decided that it was a forward lateral and brought it back, much to the chagrin of the 2800 fans in Memorial stadium.

The teams ended up exchanging punts, and at the start of the second quarter, Stone saw that the Morpark D was guilty of encroachment, so he launched a pass down the left sideline where T.J. Lee caught it in stride for another long score of 52 yards, giving BC a 14-0 lead. On Moorpark's next possession, Merrill threw deep, but Graham looked more like the receiver chasing it down in front of the receiver leading to his second pick of the day. It was Rogers again who took a shovel pass 58 yards for yet another long score, giving the Gades an early 21-0 lead.

Moorpark seemed to be in a state of shock, dropping passes, and sustaining procedure penalties. They then gave up a good punt return by Banks, and added a personal foul in their frustration. But the Raider D bucked up and forced a punt. The Raiders needed to get untracked and stop the bleeding. Merrill starting using his talented receivers, Tony Washington and Conrad Meadows, to start a drive downfield. But Merrill was taking too many hits, and after being sandwiched by two Gades defenders, came up lame with a probable hamstring tear.

Although Merrill is one of the top rated QBs in the league, his backup, Freshman Kyle Blum, actually has a bigger arm and is a good prospect. The receivers didn't help him though, dropping another pass and they had to punt. The refs, who seemed to be in la la land a good portion of the game, started to mark the punt out of bounds at the Gade 10. The ball actually went out before getting to the 20. After a conference, they seemed to split the difference and give it to them at the 17. Stone ran for 29 yards on a QB draw out near midfield, then hard running fullback Pat Patterson took a another draw up the gut, where he ran over defenders, then continued on his way after having his helmet ripped off by his facemask. That gave them a 1st and goal at the 5, where Stone kept it on an option to give the Gades a 27-0 halftime lead.

2nd half

It didn't take long for Bakersfield to strike on a big play again as Stone hit Attrail Snipes on a 27 yard pass to make the score 34-0. Moorpark finally put some points on the board when kicker Felipe Macias hit a 39 yard field goal to make it 34-3. The Raiders were trying to get another score, but Safety Brian Putman picked it off in the endzone to further frustrate the visitors. The Gades caught Moorpark off guard, and faked a punt, running it from midfield for 19 yards and a 1st down. The Raiders held, but at the end of the 3rd quarter, Putman again picked off Blum. But a Stone pass was picked off when the Tight End had it bounce off his hands into the arms of DB Shelton Laydell. The Gades were guilty of pass interference against Conrad, getting them into scoring position. Then Blum hit Conrad again on the sideline, and the slippery little receiver put two brilliant moves on three DBs, and tight-roped down the sideline on a 24 yarder to bring the score to 34-10. Rogers closed out the game on another long play, scampering 40 yards for the final score, making it 41-10. The last quarter had the Gades running the I formation to eat clock, and substituting freely.


A disappointing performance by the Raiders for long time head coach Jim Bittner. The cannon that goes off after every Renegade score is still ringing in his ears. "It was an ugly game." Merrill and Blum just didn't have the time to get their high powered passing game on track. The WR duo of Tony Washington (4 catches, 53 yards) and Conrad Meadows (6 catches, 97 yards) were not enough offense with the running game being completely stifled. The QBs were hurried into throwing 3 interceptions a piece, which really killed them. The Raiders will definitely see a post season Bowl game, but they may have to beat a strong running Hancock team next week to have a shot at the playoffs. With Merrill a probable non player next week, the Blum to Washington and Meadows connection will have to play brilliantly. Along wit T.J. Lee, Meadows is one of the conference's better shake and bake, run after the catch receivers, and Washington runs excellent out routes. The Raiders will lay it all out on the line next weekend.

For Bakersfield it was a gratifying win. This freshman dominated team is not the same team that struggled against Fullerton and were beaten by top ranked Saddleback. The offensive line, which has only one sophomore, is starting to gell, and the defense is starting to finish their tackles off better. It was a brilliant defensive scheme that Coach Jeff Chudy used against the Raiders. "We wanted to stop their passing game. We  didn't play with enough intensity in the 3rd, but that will happen when you jump out big." They dared the Raiders to run, and doubled up on the outside receivers which led to three interceptions by safety Brian Putman, and two by corner Kenny Graham (PHOTO). J.R. Rogers ended up with 166 yards on 18 carries and is starting to play much better after a slow start. Fullback Pat Patterson is a load and had 75 yards on only 7 carries. Stone ended up 12/20 for 192 yards and 3 TDs. The also young defensive line of Ron Jones, Daniel Calvin, and Aaron King dominated and out-muscled an overmatched Raiders offensive line and accounted for about 7 sacks. The Gades travel to Ventura next week before a big showdown in Santa Maria the following week with Hancock, which will be for the conference championship and a guaranteed berth in the playoffs.

Team Statistics

Bakersfield - Moorpark

Rushing :  298 - 46

Passing:  193 - 253

Total offense:  491 - 299

Penalties:  12/104  - 44/80


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