Story By Hayley Hart / Staff Writer
Photos by DA Phillips / Sports Editor
and Denise Jones / Opinion Editor
The Vikings defeated Bakersfield College in LBCC’s home football season opener 38-7, on Saturday, Sept. 19, to improve to 3-0 on the season and are on a 6-game winning streak dating back to last November.
LBCC is now No. 4 in the California Community College Athletic Association ranking.
About six minutes into the game, sophomore running back Darren Johnson scored on a 32-yard option play from freshman quarterback Jack Lowary, giving Long Beach an early 7-0 lead.
On the ensuing drive, Bakersfield scored its only points of the night with a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Tarek Yaeggie to freshman receiver Jayson Jackson to tie the game 7-7.
LBCC sophomore quarterback Jacob Kalama threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Mike Wilson in the second quarter. The Vikings tried to go up by 10 points with 44 seconds left before halftime, but Sergio Garcia would miss a 28-yard field goal, hitting the left upright. LBCC went into halftime ahead, 14-7.
In the third quarter, Garcia would redeem himself by making a 28-yard field goal giving LBCC a 17-7 lead. The Viking defense forced Yaeggi to fumble the ball and Josh Fatu recovered for the Vikes at the 22-yard line. On the next play, Darren Johnson scored his second touchdown on a 22-yard run, giving Long Beach a 24-7 lead. LBCC’s defense scored when sophomore cornerback Kiante Goudeau crossed the goalline after a 41-yard interception return.
In the fourth quarter, Lowary threw a 38-yard pass to freshman receiver Ikenna Ohaeri for a touchdown. The Vikings totaled 207 passing yards and 292 rushing yards for the game.
Johnson, with a career-high 212 rushing yards, is looking forward to the home game at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26 against Los Angeles Harbor: “It’s a big rivalry game right there for them. They look forward to playing us all the time. We have to come out with a good head on our shoulders and be ready to play.”
LBCC coach Brett Peabody coached at Los Angeles Harbor for 10 years and three of those were as head coach. Peabody said, “It will be the third time we’ve faced them.” Wilson said, “It’s going to be a good game. Last year we had kind of a blow-out game. We’re going to handle business next week.”
Saturday’s home opener was about the game and family, said freshman linebacker Isaia Rosten, who had a 10-yard interception return: “My family came down from Las Vegas and I put on a show for them so I’m glad we won the game tonight.”
Dixon gained 56 rushing and 18 receiving yards and also spoke of family: “Tonight was really emotional for me because my family doesn’t always come to watch a game, but they came to watch the game tonight. I had a good night tonight. I had a pretty decent night tonight and I liked it.”
Wilson, who had four catches for 45 receiving yards and a touchdown, noted the spectators: “I’m glad the crowd was kind of big, they came to support us as a team, as a Viking family. I hope they keep going to the games, keep supporting us. The Viking family, we have to stand as one.”
Home games are free for employees and LBCC students with a college ID and current sticker. General admission is $8. High school or other college students with ID pay $5. Seniors 55 years and older pay $5. Children 12 and under pay $3.