Cerritos Dominates Bakersfield in Opener, 35-0

Prior to their 2002 season opener against Bakersfield, the Cerritos College football team had several questions that needed to be answered. Well, after their dominating 35-0 win, they have answered those questions, along with several others that were never asked.

The Falcons rolled up 447 yards of total offense and thoroughly dominated the Renegades, who were coming off a 10-2 season and were ranked #1 in Southern California prior to the game. Cerritos posted a 21-19 win over Bakersfield last year.

Sophomore running back Jermaine Whiten (Cerritos) broke off a 50-yard scoring run on his second carry of the game for a touchdown, after running for 40 yards on his first. The Falcons amassed 254 yards on the ground, while the quarterback duo of sophomore Glenn DeBerg (Cerritos) and freshman Michael Keeling (La Habra) combined to complete 15-of-21 passes for 193 yards and two scores.

Defensively, the Falcons limited the Renegades to just 147 yards of total offense, with 96 of those yards coming in the fourth quarter, well after the game had been decided.

This Saturday, Cerritos will host College of the Canyons (1-0) at 7:00 p.m., who defeated Santa Ana, 52-14 last Saturday night. Last season, the Falcons and Cougars had their game postponed four weeks after College of the Canyons chose not to play after the September 11 tragedy. The Cougars kicked a field goal in overtime to record a 36-33 win.

Against Bakersfield, the Falcons showed their trio of running backs early, and all experienced a level of success. The trio of Whiten (who rushed for 133 yards on eight carries), sophomore Josh Herrera (La Habra) and freshman Carlos Velazquez (Long Beach Poly) each scored rushing touchdowns on the day, while sophomore Karim Lowen (Vic, British Columbia, Canada) had a solid day with 45 yards on just four carries.

The key to the team's success on the ground was the blocking of the offensive line. Tom Robinson (La Mirada), Anthony Guerrero (Downey), Richard Estrella (St. Paul), Clint Dato (La Habra) and Jamaal Todd (Long Beach Poly) controlled the line of scrimmage all game long, as the Falcons rushed for 254 yards. DeBerg (7-of-12, 89 yards) and Keeling (8-of-9, 104 yards) utilized eight different receivers, including sophomores Andrew Harris (Long Beach Poly) and Nathan Endemano (Whittier Christian), who each caught touchdown passes.

The defense shut down the Renegades all day and saw them cross into Falcon territory only once until the fourth quarter. The linebacking trio of Marcus Miller (Artesia), Justin Burks (Bellflower) and Ariel Cowen (Wilson, Hacienda Heights) played masterfully and plugged up any holes before the Renegade running backs could get through.

On the day, Bakersfield completed just 11-of-23 passes for 56 yards, as the secondary knocked down several passes and even picked off one pass. They could have recorded three more interceptions, but strong safety Doug Stewart (Long Beach Millikan), Miller and cornerback Mike Bragg (Mayfair) each dropped interceptions. Freshman defensive backs Mike Hicks (Western) and Eric Frierson (Paramount) also played solid games.

UP NEXT: College of the Canyons racked up 542 yards against Santa Ana last weekend, including 353 yards through the air… The were led by quarterbacks Jason Winn and Kyle Bauer, who completed 27-of-39 passes… On the ground J.J. Arrington rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries, while receiver Efren Lopez caught six passes for 100 yards, with Tyrell Smith chipping in with 109 receiving yards on five catches.


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