Warriors Can’t Hang On at Bakersfield

Warriors Can’t Hang On at Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – El Camino College held a double-digit lead with less than five minutes remaining but could not hang on as Bakersfield scored a 21-17 comeback victory Saturday night.

For the second straight week, the Warriors (3-2) battled with a fellow team in the SCFA top-10 and held a 10-point lead on the Renegades (4-1) in the fourth quarter after scoring 17 unanswered points to take a 17-7 lead.

But the Renegades returned a punt 87 yards the other way for a touchdown with 4:22 left to cut the ECC lead to three. On the ensuing kickoff, Damien Bernard fumbled and the Renegades recovered on the ECC 25. 

Three plays later, the Renegades found the end zone on a four-yard touchdown pass to La Meshio Hill from Cesar De Leon to give the Renegades the lead.

The Warriors had two more opportunities to answer but the ensuing drive ended in a turnover on downs.

The ECC defense stopped the Renegades to give the Warriors one last possession with 43 seconds left from their own 24 yard line. The Warriors drove 29 yards and then fired a hail mary into the end zone as time expired, but the pass came up empty and ECC suffered its second straight defeat on the road.

Quarterback Cole Klayman went 21-for-31 for 169 yards for the Warriors while Jerman Gotoy also saw action, going 7-for-11 for 97 yards.

Johnell Jackson recorded the first 100-yard rushing game for the Warriors this season as he scampered for 114 yards on 17 carries including a 43-yard run in the third quarter that set up the Warriors first touchdown. Stephon Robinson led the receiving corps with 13 catches for 157 yards.

Justus Tavai led the defense with seven tackles and Shawn Richard recorded two quarterback sacks to go along with six tackles on the night.

The Warriors will be on a bye next week and will return to action Thursday, Oct. 12 as they host L.A. Harbor in the conference opener and homecoming game. It is also one of two Thursday night games played in the SCFA this season.