Huskies Late TD Leads to 27-24 Win in Bakersfield
by Cerwin D Haynes
Last week's upset win against Canyons put the National Northern League on notice that any whispers of East LA College's 2021 demise was indeed exaggerated. And the Huskies knew the momentum would only be as good as their next game as they faced the Renegades of Bakersfield College at Memorial Stadium. A back-and-forth affair would be settled on an eight-yard TD run by Rudy Garcia with 2:07 left in the game plus a followup four-down defensive stand. ELAC (5-4, 2-2 NNL) defeats Bakersfield (2-7, 1-3 NNL) 27-24, and will travel to Ventura College next week to face the unbeaten Pirates in the regular season finale.
Down 24-20 in the fourth quarter, Bakersfield looked to build on their lead as they put together a lengthy drive that would advance to the ELAC 19. But the Huskies defense stiffened: an incomplete pass on second down, and stopping a third down rush attempt three yards from the sticks left the Renegades to attempt a 32-yard FG.
The Huskies would block Peter Delis's kick to keep Bakersfield lead to four. Avery Bass recovered the ball at the ELAC 16, and the offense went to work.
Jaden Mason would rush 10 yards on first down to the ELAC 26. Another fresh set of downs, but Guy McCarthy would lose four yards on a run attempt, and Garcia's pass to Tyson Schilling was incomplete. 3rd down and 14 now, and with the game and postseason possibilities hanging in the balance, the Huskies needed to come up not just a clutch play for the game but perhaps the season.
The Pack answered the call: Garcia hiked the ball, bought himself a few seconds behind the line evading Bakersfield's pressure, and lofted a pass down the middle of the field that found the hands of Jaden Mason for a 36-yard catch.
Now in Renegade territory, Garcia decided to use his legs to advance the ball. Consecutive QB-keeper runs of 10, 12, and four yards - plus a personal foul on Bakersfield - landed ELAC at the the Bakersfield eight yard line, first and goal. Garcia would use his legs once more, darting left, and found the endzone. Ensuing extra point gave the Huskies a 27-24 lead with 2:07 left.
The Renegades would start the next drive at their 35 needing a lot of yards in a short amount of time. And the Huskies would have none of it: they would only yield three yards on a second-down short pass completion as they turned Bakersfield over on downs. With 1:21 left and the ball, ELAC would take up the victory formation for three downs to run out the clock.
- ELAC would outgain Bakersfield in total yardage, 352 to 270, with a 197 to 64 edge rushing the ball.
- Pedro Amousou lead East LA's rush attack with 82 yards on eight carries. QB Rudy Garcia tallied 81 yard on seven carries to go along with 155 yards passing.
- Jonathan Perkins lead the Huskies defense with nine solo tackles. ELAC also tallied seven tackles for loss and two sacks.
The Huskies will visit Ventura College next Saturday to conclude the regular season. The Pirates reside at the top of the NNL and are undefeated, coming into today tied for second-best ranking in the state. With a win next week, ELAC can finish the regular season at 6-4, and with high-profile wins make an awfully strong case for a bowl bid.