Turnovers costly for Pirates in loss to Bakersfield

Turnovers costly for Pirates in loss to Bakersfield

BAKERSFIELD -- The long drive to Bakersfield wasn't as rough as the long drive FROM Bakersfield as the Orange Coast College football team lost to the host Renegades, 41-7, on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

Two costly turnovers by the Pirates (1-4) -- deep inside Bakersfield territory -- not only zapped out potential scoring drives, they both were returned for touchdowns by the hosts, putting a more lopsided score on the scoreboard than probably deserved.

Bakersfield (3-2) led 20-0, but OCC had the ball on the Renegades' 20-yard line before Jalen Simpkins returned a fumble recovery 80 yards for a BC touchdown and from there, the game was out of reach for the Pirates.

Coast found the end zone with 5:58 left in the game when quarterback Nathan West connected with CJ Williams on a 16-yard touchdown, continuing the second-longest streak of games without being shut out (123), dating back the 2005 season. The longest streak in Coast history is 125 set back from 1984-1996.

Another solid drive by the Pirates late in the game resulted in points for the Renegades as Justin Harrington picked off a Pirate pass near the BC goal line and raced back 98 yards for a touchdown. Coast had six turnovers (four interceptions, two lost fumbles) for the evening.

Despite what the scoreboard said at the end of the game, Coast managed to outgain the Renegades in total offense with 361 yards (BC had 270).

West finished with 184 yards passing on 10-of-27 passing. Ahmad Lewis led the OCC ground game with 54 yards on 10 carries, while Williams was OCC's top receiver with three catches for 65 yards.

On defense, Michael Archer led Coast with nine tackles, including a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss, while Zeke Alleman and Isaiah Dunston each had seven tackles and a combined 5.5 tackles for loss. 

BC's Jacob Irby threw for 190 yards on 8-of-21 passing with two touchdowns and also rushed for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Following this week's bye, the Pirates will return to action at Dick Tucker Field on Saturday, Oct. 13 against rival Golden West, beginning at 6 p.m.