Pasadena Wins Conference Opener

Just like last week, Eldrin Jones (PHOTO) had a strong game at quarterback, Joshua Morgan rushed for over a hundred yards, Derek Mack led a strong defensive effort and interim head coach James Kuk remained undefeated as Pasadena topped Bakersfield, 31-28, October 4 in the opening game of the National Division Northern Conf. schedule.

Jones, who led the Lancers to a win over Riverside in his first start of the season last week, completed 19 of 25 passes for 210 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also rushing for 81 yards and a score.  Morgan, who had 119 yards rushing against Riverside, had 144 yards on the ground against Bakersfield and scored a pair of touchdowns.  Mack, who had an interception against Riverside, blocked a pair of kicks against Bakersfield.  And Kuk managed to keep any turmoil surrounding the coaching situation from being a factor as the Lancers won their third straight game.

In this one, the lead went back and forth throughout the first half, with Pasadena taking a 24-20 lead at the break after a 3-yard scoring run by Jones in the final minute of the second quarter.  But in the second half, Pasadena led all the way, extending its advantage to 31-20 when Morgan capped a 7-minute drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.  And though Bakersfield drew to within three points late in the fourth quarter, Pasadena’s Titus Mack recovered the onsides kick after that Renegade touchdown and the Lancers ran out the clock without letting Bakersfield have an opportunity on offense again.

The game started out well enough for Bakersfield, as the Renegades put together a 7-play, 76-drive after receiving the kickoff and took a 7-0 lead after Nick Gauthier threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to William Randle just 4:25 into the game. 

But Pasadena struck back quickly, with Taurus D’antignac breaking loose for a 74-yard return of the ensuing kickoff, taking the ball to the Renegade 4 before a touchdown-saving tackle by Bakersfield’s James Williams.  That tackle turned out to be important, as Pasadena gained just one yard before settling for a field goal attempt.  Anthony Bermudes came on for the Lancers and kicked a 20-yard field goal, the first field goal of the season for Pasadena, cutting Bakersfield’s lead to 7-3.

On the kickoff following the field goal, however, things got worse for Bakersfield when Felepe Holiday forced a fumble by Chuckie Covington, and Bermudes recovered the loose ball for the Lancers at the Bakersfield 40.  Three plays later, Jones threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Morgan to give Pasadena a 10-7 lead.  Then a Bakersfield punt gave Pasadena the ball again.

Moments later, however, Bakersfield went back into the lead when Gerrit Otten intercepted a Jones pass at the Lancer 25 and returned it for a touchdown to put the Renegades ahead, 14-10.  Pasadena went back in front early in the second quarter on a 4-yard pass from Jones to Owen Dixon, but Bakersfield re-claimed the lead when Bruce Frieson scored on a 2-yard run to cap an 8-play drive with 4:51 left before halftime.  That made it 20-17.

On the conversion after Frieson’s touchdown, Pasadena’s Derek Mack broke through and blocked the kick.  Marcus Jackson picked up the loose ball and was headed for an easy 2-point score for Pasadena, but a penalty on Pasadena for an illegal block - well behind the play - wiped out the return and kept the score 20-17.

Nonetheless, Pasadena went in front before the quarter ended when Jones scored on a 3-yard keeper to cap a 9-play drive with 32.3 seconds left in the half.  That made it 24-20.  And then in the third quarter, Morgan’s 10-yard run to cap the 11-play, 7-minute drive made it 31-20.

Pasadena seemed in control of the game, but Bakersfield drove deep into Pasadena territory midway through the fourth quarter with a chance to make it a one-score game.  On came Arturo Villa to attempt a 31-yard field goal that would have made it 31-23.  But Derek Mack came in from the left side of the line and blocked the kick - his second kick block of the game and fourth of the year - to keep Pasadena ahead by 11 at 31-20.

Bakersfield eventually did close the gap to just three points when Frieson capped a short drive with a 1-yard scoring run with 2:37 left.  That came five plays after an interception by Jacob Cross, which came just two plays after an interception by Pasadena’s Roman Pula.  But after that final touchdown, Bakersfield attempted the expected onsides kick, and Pasadena’s Titus Mack recovered the ball.  With just 2:37 left and Bakersfield out of timeouts, the Lancers needed just one first down to run out the clock, and a 27-yard run by Morgan sealed the win.

For Bakersfield, Frieson had a strong game with 133 yards and 2 touchdowns on 23 rushes.  Andre Smith Jr. also had a strong effort with 96 yards on 8 carries.  And Otten, who not only returned the interception for a touchdown but later blocked a punt, stood out on defense.

With the win, Pasadena improves to 3-2 overall and will face Ventura next week.  Bakersfield falls to 1-4.

Pasadena Lancers 31, Bakersfield Renegades 28

Saturday, October 4, 2008 - 6 pm - Robinson Stadium - Pasadena

1st Quarter:    
B - Randle 25 yd pass from Gauthier (Villa kick) 10:35 (0-7)
P - FG Bermudes 20 yds 7:38 (3-7)
P - Morgan 9 yd pass from Jones (Bermudes kick) 6:14 (10-7)
B - Otten 25 yd interception return (Villa kick) 1:13 (10-14)

2nd Quarter:   
P - Dixon 4 yd pass from Jones (Bermudes kick) 8:55 (17-14)
B - Frieson 2 yd run (kick blocked) 4:51 (17-20)
P - Jones 10 yd run (Bermudes kick) 0:32.3 (24-20)

3rd Quarter:   
P - Morgan 10 yd run (Bermudes kick) 1:14 (31-20)

4th Quarter:    
B - Frieson 1 yd run (Randle pass from Gauthier) 2:37 (31-28)

Team Statistics:
First Downs:  Pasadena 22 (12 rush, 10 pass), Bakersfield 18 (12 rush, 4 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds:  Pasadena 39-209, Bakersfield 36-248
Passing Yds:  Pasadena 210, Bakersfield 59
Comp-Att-Int:  Pasadena 19-25-2, Bakersfield 5-13-2
Return Yds:  Pasadena 136, Bakersfield 139
Sacks-Yds:  Pasadena 2-13, Bakersfield 1-5
Fumbles-Lost:  Pasadena 2-0, Bakersfield 2-1
Penalties-Yds:  Pasadena 11-89, Bakersfield 6-37
Time of Possession:  Pasadena 35:58, Bakersfield 24:02

Individual Statistics:
Rushing:  Pasadena 20-Morgan 20-144, 14-Jones 14-81, 44-Pula 1-1, 55-Falldorf 1-0, 27-Daniels 1-(-1), team 2-(-16); Bakersfield 23-Frieson 23-133, 2-A.Smith 8-96, 22-Peralta 1-11, 7-Gauthier 3-6, 31-Jackson 1-2
Passing:   Pasadena 14-Jones 19-25-2-210, 2 TDs; Bakersfield 7-Gauthier 5-13-2-59, 1 TD
Receiving:   Pasadena 12-Carraway 5-62, 3-Pines 5-39, 1-Dixon 4-50, 20-Morgan 2-31, 13-T.Mack 2-14, 17-Stokeling 1-14; Bakersfield 14-Randle 2-37, 9-Pollard 2-12, 1-Madu 1-10
Interceptions-Ret Yds:  Pasadena 4-Palmer 1-1, 44-Pula 1-(-7); Bakersfield 29-Otten 1-25, 54-Cross 1-15
Fumble Rec:  Pasadena 19-Bermudes
Sacks-Yds:  Pasadena 30-Aguilar 1-9, 54-Ferns 1-4; Bakersfield 13-Covington 1-5
Punters:   Pasadena 39-Blevens 3-35.0 avg + 1 blk; Bakersfield 16-Mahan 4-41.3 avg
Kick Returns:  Pasadena 22-D’antignac 1-74, 4-Palmer 2-26, 14-Jones 1-25, 44-Pula 1-4;
Bakersfield 13-Covington 3-60, 2-A.Smith 2-40
Punt Returns:  Pasadena 2-Jackson 1-7, 13-T.Mack 3-5; Bakersfield 22-Peralta 1-4, 13-Covington 1-(-5)
Missed FG:  Pasadena 19-Bermudes 50 yds (wide left); Bakersfield 18-Villa 31 yds (blocked)

Notes:  National Division-Northern Conference opener for both teams.  Pasadena improves to 3-2 overall and is now 3-0 under interim head coach James Kuk; Bakersfield falls to 1-4.  D’antignac’s huge kickoff return set up Pasadena’s FG, the first FG of the season for the Lancers.  Then on the ensuing kickoff return, 25-Holiday forced a fumble by Covington, which Bermudes (the kicker) recovered; that set up Pasadena’s 1st TD.  8-Derek Mack blocked the extra point for Pasadena; Jackson picked up the ball and was headed for a 2-pt conversion for the Lancers but that part of the play was nullified by penalty.  D. Mack also blocked the field goal.  Otten blocked the punt for Bakersfield.  Cross’ interception set up Bakersfield’s last TD.  After that score, Bakersfield tried an onsides kick but Titus Mack recovered for Pasadena and the Lancers ran out the clock.

JC Football Top Stories