Renegades' bold upset bid falls just short at Ventura

·4 min read

Oct. 24—The Bakersfield College Renegades played their most complete defensive game of the season Saturday night. They forced four turnovers, held a rushing offense that had accumulated 400 yards a week earlier to just 128, and twice pushed their opponents from first and goal to back outside the 20-yard line.

But against one of the top teams in the state, the unbeaten Ventura College Pirates, their offense just didn't have enough.

With 36 seconds remaining, BC quarterback Dexter Frampton threw four straight incompletions from the Pirates' 34, and Ventura held on to win 23-17. The drive followed a fumble recovery by leading tackler Brock Mather on a fourth-and-2 option pitch that could have won the game for the Pirates.

Ventura quarterback Jordan Pachot (29-of-41 for 258 yards) threw touchdowns to Mark Ferrell and Alex Tili, but was intercepted three times, twice by Dylan Tooker, to give the Renegades life. For BC, Isaac Jernagin had 108 total yards and a pair of rushing scores.

The Pirates (7-0), who averaged 54 points in their first six wins, were very clearly in a different sort of game from the get-go. The Renegades (4-3) marched down the field on their opening drive, converting a key third down when Frampton found Jackson Sanchez for 29 yards down the middle to set up a touchdown for Jernagin.

Then Ventura, after a fourth-down conversion by Julian Kelly (their leading rusher with 15 carries for 71 yards), stalled outside the red zone and missed a field goal.

The Pirates were steadier on their next drive, with Pachot passing for 80 yards on six completions and a touchdown to Tili on a swing pass out of the backfield.

With the game tied, the Pirates got another chance right away when Tooker fumbled the ensuing kickoff. But he promptly intercepted Pachot's next pass.

BC made it down to Ventura's 20-yard line, but Frampton was picked off in the end zone by Donyai Dixon. The Pirates responded with a field goal to take the lead at 10-7. Then they added a touchdown from Pachot to Ferrell boost their lead to two scores.

Taking over on their own 12 with just under three minutes left in the half, the Renegades got an offensive surge from some unlikely sources: Anthony Marchione caught a 17-yard pass and Braden Gordon ripped off a 24-yard run. Peter Delis missed a field goal, but Dixon was penalized for hurdling the line, and despite a sack on Frampton with no timeouts left, Delis was able to rush onto the field and convert a 31-yard attempt.

Ventura got the ball after halftime, but Pachot made another mistake, throwing high on a short pass to a receiver who took a big hit. The ball popped up in the air and Tooker snagged it.

After a pair of punts, Frampton found Jernagin on a deep post down the field for 54 yards. The drive stalled, but the Pirates jumped offsides on another Delis field goal attempt, leading to a fourth and 2 from the 3. Jernagin took a pitch from Frampton, hit the edge and dove for the pylon to score the tying touchdown.

Ventura took the lead back on Alberto Arroyo's second field goal on the last play of the third quarter, and he added a third early in the fourth.

Then BC, still trailing by just one score, made what could have been a game-ending turnover. Frampton was sacked from behind by Angelo Jewell and fumbled. Ventura would just need a few yards for an Arroyo field goal to boost its lead to two scores. But Pachot was intercepted by Mario Martinez on BC's 1-yard line with eight minutes left.

Even with Richard Lara briefly replacing Frampton, BC got off to a great start to a prospective 99-yard drive. The backup quarterback hit Jernagin for a third-down conversion, had a couple of nice read-option runs, and even found Xavier Marshall for seven yards on a fourth and 6 on his own 30.

Frampton returned on a third and 15, and his completion to Sanchez came up short, but the Pirates were penalized on yet another fourth down. However, on the next play, Frampton threw high for Jaylen Blizzard and was picked at the 50 by Daquan Benjamin with just two minutes left.

BC still had three timeouts but would need to stop Ventura on three straight plays. Derek West lost seven yards on two carries, but Pachot completed a low pass over the middle to Ferrell for 15 yards to set up a fourth and short. That's when Chuck Wick dropped an option pitch, giving the Renegades an unexpected second chance.

They just couldn't do anything with it. Markel Yeast was called for pass interference to bring the Renegades to the 34, but Frampton missed passes to Marshall, Marchione twice and Blizzard on fourth down to end the game.

Ventura travels to Allan Hancock next Saturday, while BC will host Long Beach.

Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.

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