Football: Tough Red Zone Defense Carries Rustlers in 13-11 Victory Over Bakersfield

Football: Tough Red Zone Defense Carries Rustlers in 13-11 Victory Over Bakersfield

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA – The Golden West College Rustlers (2-2) defended their home turf against the visiting Bakersfield College Renegades (2-2) on Saturday afternoon. The Rustlers found a way to hang on, led by a stingy defense down the stretch, to defeat the Renegades 13-11.

Bakersfield put points on the board on the game's opening drive. Renegade signal caller, Josh Medina, found his wideout Shane Jones for an explosive 55-yard catch and run. However, the six play, 64-yard drive would stall inside the 10-yard line as the Rustlers held Bakersfield to a field goal.

The Rustlers offense got going midway through the first quarter, led by quarterback Beau Kalbacher, who finished the game 10-for-21 for 118 yards, one touchdown, and a pair of interceptions through the air. Kalbacher capped off a nine play, 80-yard drive with a 13-yard strike to Brailon Mouton, giving Golden West its first lead of the game. Golden West would botch the snap on the Kenny Fisher PAT, keeping the lead at 6-3.

On the ensuing drive, Medina led Bakersfield down the field, but again the Rustlers defense held strong in the red zone. The Renegades settled for another Nathan DeJager field goal to tie the game. Penalties plagued both teams for the remainder of the half as they went into the break tied 6-6.

The Renegades opened the scoring in the second half, taking advantage of great field position following a Golden West punt. Medina found Cameron Roberson streaking down the sideline for a 34-yard gain. Again, the Rustlers red zone defense came up big, holding Bakersfield to a field goal. DeJager split the uprights from 35 yards out to give Bakersfield a 9-6 lead.

Golden West answered with a touchdown on the opening drive of the fourth quarter. Tevon Valdez gashed the Renegades for a 51-yard run before being taken down inside the five. Wulfe Retzlaff punched it in from two yards out before Fisher added the PAT, giving Golden West a 13-9 lead.

The Rustlers defense held strong in the fourth quarter, holding Renegades backup quarterback Jacob Irby in check after Medina went down. Golden West got constant pressure on Bakersfield's freshman QB, holding him to four completions for 38 yards and an interception.

Renegades punter Carson Olivas pinned the Rustlers back inside their own five yard line with just over a minute remaining. Clinging to a four-point lead, the Rustlers milked the clock before lining up to punt from their own end zone. Fisher took a knee and the safety to avoid any chance of a blocked punt or long return, making it a 13-11 game with 30 seconds to play. With no timeouts remaining, Bakersfield's offense was unable to make a play, as Irby continued to face relentless pressure in the pocket. The game would end on an intentional grounding penalty as the Ruslters' sideline began to celebrate.

Golden West Football will wrap up non-conference play at College of the Canyons next Saturday, September 29 under the lights at 6:00 pm.

(Wes McCurtis, Statistician | wmccurtis@cypresscollege.edu)