Sykes and Curtis McGregor rushed for first-quarter touchdowns to put Bakersfield (11-2) in control of the game, but the defense created four key turnovers after that, two of which prevented scores by San Francisco (10-2) and two of which created touchdowns for the Renegades.
Bakersfield's offensive and defensive lines were both outstanding, particularly in the first quarter when the Renegades built their early lead and outgained CCSF, 180-16, in total yards. After playoff victories in which Bakersfield rushed for 407 and 211 yards against Ventura and Mt. San Antonio, respectively, the Renegades continued that theme with 295 yards against the Rams. And the Bakersfield defense sacked CCSF quarterback Andrew Spivey five times and had him scrambling out of the pocket at least a dozen more times.
And the Renegades won despite an outstanding effort by Kyani Harris, who caught and astounding total of 20 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns as San Francisco tried to pass its way back into the game. But the Bakersfield defense made key plays when it had to, intercepting Spivey twice near the goal line and stopping CCSF on downs three times in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
Bakersfield scored the game's first touchdown on a 9-yard run by McGregor with 6:13 left in the first quarter, which capped a 6-play, 65-yard drive. Sykes scored the Renegades' second touchdown of the game on a 42-yard run just over four minutes later, capping a quick, 5-play, 75-yard drive. At that point CCSF had punted twice after failing to gain a first down on either of its own possessions.
And it could have been even worse for San Francisco as Bakersfield drove to the Ram 26 after receiving the opening kickoff before the drive stalled. And while San Francisco punted the ball away twice, the outstanding Sam Irwin Hill booted punts of 52 and 57 yards, with no returns of either of those right-footed rugby-style kicks.
San Francisco finally gained a first down on its next drive, but had to punt again. This time Hill rolled to his left and kicked a rugby-style punt, but with his left leg! This kick went 43 yards, again with no return. Hill would punt once more just before halftime, using a traditional style of punt, and it went 48 yards with enough hang time to force Bakersfield return man Marquise Johnson to make a fair catch.
After a Bakersfield punt, CCSF finally put together a drive, entering Renegade territory and threatening to score. But after reaching the Regenade 13, the Rams lost the ball when Alfonso Jackson intercepted Spivey near the goal line with 10:58 left in the second quarter. That led to an 8-play, 80-yard drive for the Renegades, highlighted by a 31-yard run by Sykes and capped with a 14-yard scoring pass from Brian Burrell to Mike Dunn that made it 21-0 midway through the second quarter.
And moments later it got even worse for San Francisco when Spivey took his eyes off a shotgun snap and lost the ball. Bakersfield's John Oglesby picked the ball up off the turf at the CCSF 39 and took it the distance, giving the Renegades a commanding 28-0 lead with 5:50 left in the first half.
San Francisco finally got on the board when Spivey connected with Harris for the first of two 56-yard touchdown passes with 5:02 left in the first half. And the Rams had hopes of getting back in the game when the second half started as they received the kickoff.
But those hopes were dashed early on when a low snap eluded Spivey and Bakersfield's Joey Stuart recovered the fumble at the CCSF 22 just 1:37 into the third quarter. Two plays later, Burrell scampered around the left side and leaped high into the air and just across the goal line for a spectacular 21-yard touchdown run that made it 35-7.
San Francisco did manage a touchdown on its next possession, another 56-yard scoring pass from Spivey to Harris, that made it 35-14. But the Rams never scored again, thanks largely to a Bakersfield defense that was able to bend without breaking in the fourth quarter.
CCSF finally started limiting Bakersfield's rushing game, forcing a fumble by Sykes, which Broughan Jantz recovered, and two Renegade punts in the final 16-plus minutes. And four times the Rams got the ball in Bakersfield territory. But CCSF came away empty each time, and Bakersfield was never really in any danger of losing its large lead.
San Francisco drove to the Bakersfield 33 late in the third quarter, but Jackson grabbed his second interception of the game inside the Renegade 10 with 2:18 left in the quarter. Then after Jantz' fumble recovery at the Bakersfield 41, the Rams reached the Renegade 15, only to turn the ball over on downs after three straight incomplete passes.
Following a Bakerfield punt, CCSF drove to the Bakersfield 10 and appeared to score, but J.J. Hudson was called for offensive pass interference, negating his touchdown catch and halting the drive, which ended when Hudson was stopped for a 10-yard gain on 4th and 20 from the 27 with 8:42 left.
CCSF got the ball back one last time at its own 6 with 4:48 left and even converted a 4th down at its own 14, but turned the ball over on downs again at the Renegade 36 after three straight incomplete passes with 1:44 left, setting off the celebration on the Bakersfield sideline.
For Bakersfield, Sykes rushed for 180 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries to earn Most Valuable Player honors. McGregor added 68 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown. Burrell completed 9 of 19 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown, carried the ball 3 times for 49 yards and a score, and did not commit a turnover in an excellent game-management performance.
And the Renegade defense had many standouts. Oglesby garnered Defensive Player of the Game honors, returning the fumble for the touchdown in the second quarter. Jackson had the two key interceptions. Keylon Hollis had two of Bakersfield's five quarterback sacks. And big Clinton Carter had a sack and was a visible presence much of the afternoon.
For San Francisco, Harris had a truly outstanding game with the 20 catches for 266 yards and a pair of 56-yard touchdown catches. Spivey completed 27 of 50 passes for 357 yards and 2 touchdowns, though he was also intercepted twice deep in Bakersfield territory. But the Ram rushing attack was limited, as Kristoffer Olugbode, who entered the game with 1636 yards and 19 touchdowns, had just 63 yards on 14 carries and no touchdowns against Bakersfield.
The win gives Bakersfield its 6th state championship. The others were in 1953, 1959, 1961, 1976 and 1988 so this is the Renegades' first win in an actual state championship game. Bakersfield finishes 11-2 with 9 straight wins, with impressive playoff wins against previously-unbeaten Ventura, 5-time defending SoCal champion Mt. San Antonio and now perennial powerhouse San Francisco.
Despite the loss, the appearance in the championship game continues a remarkable Northern California dynasty for City College of San Francisco and coach George Rush. The Rams have now appeared in 13 of the 16 state championship games since the event was established in 1997, all of which has happened under Coach Rush. The Rams have won 7 state championships for Rush, including 6 wins in the state championship game and one more in 1994 when the Rams finished atop the poll and then beat NJCAA champion Blinn (TX) in what was officially an exhibition game.
Bakersfield Renegades 35, City College of San Francisco Rams 14
Saturday, December 8, 2012 - 2 pm - Memorial Stadium, Bakersfield
California State Championship Game
1st Quarter: B - McGregor 9 yd run (Schleicher kick) 6:13 (7-0)
B - Sykes 42 yd run (Schleicher kick) 2:09 (14-0)
2nd Quarter: B - Dunn 14 yd pass from Burrell (Schleicher kick) 7:10 (21-0)
B - Oglesby 39 yd fumble return (Schleicher kick) 5:50 (28-0)
SF - Harris 56 yd pass from Spivey (Vultaggio kick) 5:02 (28-7)
3rd Quarter: B - Burrell 21 yd run (Schleicher kick) 12:36 (35-7)
SF - Harris 56 yd pass from Spivey (Vultaggio kick) 12:05 (35-14)
4th Quarter: No Scoring
Team Statistics: First Downs: Bakersfield 21 (11 rush, 8 pass, 2 penalty), San Francisco 19 (3 rush, 14 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Bakersfield 49-295, San Francisco 30-43
Passing Yds: Bakersfield 134, San Francisco 357
Comp-Att-Int: Bakersfield 9-19-0, San Francisco 27-50-2
Return Yds: Bakersfield 50, San Francisco 58
Sacks-Yds: Bakersfield 5-21, San Francisco 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: Bakersfield 1-1, San Francisco 4-2
Penalties-Yds: Bakersfield 4-40, San Francisco 11-73
Time of Possession: Bakersfield 32:04, San Francisco 27:56
Rushing: B 29-Skyes 25-180, 3-McGregor 19-68, 2-Burrell 3-49, team 2-(-2); SF 21-Olugbode 14-63, 9-Spivey 14-(-9), team 2-(-11)
Passing: B 2-Burrell 9-19-0-134, 1 TD; SF 9-Spivey 27-50-2-357, 2 TDs
Receiving: B 6-Martin 3-63, 85-Dunn 2-29, 3-McGregor 2-25, 19-Adams 1-10, 84-Johnson 1-7; SF 11-Harris 20-266, 15-Hudson 4-59, 13-Epps 2-23, 7-Thompson 1-9
Sacks-Yds: B 11-Hollis 2-9, 5-Campbell 1-8, 38-Sombo 1-2, 94-Carter 1-2; SF none
Interceptions-Ret Yds: B 15-Jackson 2-15; SF none
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: B 45-Oglesby 1-39, 23-Stuart 1-0; SF 47-B.Jantz 1-0
Punters: B 13-Tijerina 5-45.6 avg; SF 36-Hill 4-50.0 avg
Kick Returns: B 29-Sykes 1-7, 7-Burns 1-6; SF 15-Hudson 4-58, 10-Carter 1-11, 25-Wilson 1-6
Punt Returns: none
Missed FG: B 22-Schleicher 40 yds (short/wide right); SF none
Notes: Bakersfield wins its 6th state championship. The others were in 1953, 1959, 1961, 1976 and 1988 so this is the Renegades' first win in an actual state championship game. Bakersfield finishes 11-2 with 9 straight wins. San Francisco finishes 10-2 and was making its 13th championship game appearance in the 16-year existence of the event. Bakersfield took control early, outgaining CCSF 180-16 in total yards in the 1st quarter. CCSF threatened to score but Jackson intercepted Spivey at the goal line with 10:58 left in the 2nd quarter; an 8-play, 80-yard drive for Bakersfield ensued. A bad snap caused a fumble by CCSF 1:37 into the 2nd quarter, and Stuart recovered at the Ram 22; Burrell's TD run came two plays later. CCSF drove to the Bakersfield 33 later in the 3rd but Jackson intercepted Spivey again with 2:18 left in the quarter. CCSF had the ball in Bakersfield territory 3 times in the 4th quarter but turned the ball over on downs each time.
MVP: Jalen Sykes, Bakersfield. Offensive Player of the Game: Kyani Harris, CCSF. Defensive Player of the Game: John Oglesby, Bakersfield.
Attendance: 11,769 (new state record for a championship game).