Last second field goal gives ECC football team win over Bakersfield College


Wide receiver Robert Ferrel, of El Camino College, celebrates after scoring on a forty yard punt return touchdown, in the third quarter, on Saturday, Sept. 14. David Alonso/ The Union

As the sun set, the fans roared as the El Camino College Warriors rushed onto Featherstone Field for its first home game of the season. The noise continued throughout the game until ECC kicker Campbell Geddes stepped onto the field with two seconds remaining in the game and a chance to win the game.

With the game tied at 23, the crowd became silent. After missing his first field goal attempt of the game, Geddes made his next two, including the game-winning shot as time expired to give ECC (1-1) a 26-23 victory over the Bakersfield College Renegades (0-2).

“This was a very important win,” ECC Warriors head coach Gifford Lindheim said. “These guys worked so hard through spring, summer, and then fall camp. They deserved to win tonight and I was happy to see them be able to feel that victory.”

ECC’s defense showed up to battle from the start with defensive lineman Justin Martz stuffing BC’s quarterback Braden Wingle on the first play of the game. Wingle would finish the game completing six of 22 passes for 105 yards with a touchdown and one interception while being sacked five times by the ECC Warriors’ defensive unit.

After a quick three and out from the BC Renegades on their first drive, Warriors’ quarterback Dylan Lemle got the offense rolling connecting with wide receiver Taariq Johnson for a 15-yard touchdown to open the scoring for ECC.

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Wide receiver Taariq Johnson, of El Camino College, breaks a tackle, to score the first touchdown of the game, on Saturday, Sept. 14. David Alonso/ The Union

Lemle completed seven of nine passes for 83 yards and one touchdown before being carted off the sideline with a leg injury 10 minutes into the first quarter. Jake Novello took over as ECC’s quarterback for the rest of the game, completing 14 of 23 passes for 93 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

“We’ve prepared all three [quarterbacks] to play,” Lindheim said. “We hate to see that happen to [Lemle] but we knew our guys were prepared.”

The BC Renegades followed up the ECC Warriors’ touchdown with 13 unanswered points on two field goals and an 8-yard touchdown from running back Isaiah Martin. Martin finished as the leading rusher of the game with 25 attempts for 85 yards and one touchdown.

Novello capped off the first half with a 32-yard touchdown toss to Johnson to give the ECC Warriors a 14-13 lead and some momentum heading into halftime. Johnson in the first half had seven catches for 94 yards and two touchdowns but was quiet the rest of the game catching only one ball in the second half. He finished with a total of eight catches for 106 yards.

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Wide receiver Taariq Johnson, of El Camino College, celebrates the first touchdown of the game, on Saturday, Sept. 14. David Alonso/ The Union

It was the ECC Warriors’ Robert Ferrel who gave them the spark they needed to carry out the victory in the second half. Ferrel showed off his speed with a 54-yard punt return touchdown to put the ECC Warriors on the board first in the third quarter.

“I felt great [today],” Ferrel said. “I just energized the team and I feel like I played a big impact [on special teams] with some yardage situations.”

Ferrel was big in the return game for ECC tallying up a total of 266 all-purpose yards in the game, including 130 yards on punt returns and 99 yards on kickoff returns.

The BC Renegades showed they would not go down without a fight as they converted a pair of defensive stops in the fourth quarter for a field goal and a 70-yard touchdown lob from Wingle to Adarian Rowel to tie the game before losing in the final seconds.

“We’re disappointed we lost,” BC coach Jeff Chudy said. “But we gave ourselves a chance to win. You have to give [ECC] a ton of credit for weathering the storm and they did a great job of finishing it.”