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Long Beach Wins 2017 Patriotic Bowl Over Bakersfield, 37-10

Photo by John Fajardo.
Photo by John Fajardo.

The No. 13 Long Beach City College football team defeated the No. 15 Bakersfield College Renegades on Saturday evening 37-10 in the 2017 Patriotic Bowl in the final game of the season at Veterans Memorial Stadium. This is the fourth bowl win and third-consecutive bowl win under Head Coach Brett Peabody.

Sophomore defensive lineman Gilbert "Bubba" Valera came to play in the first quarter. Within the first five minutes, Valera already acquired two sacks against the Renegades' quarterback for a loss of 15 yards. With a minute left of the clock and a 12 play, 83-yard drive, the Vikings finally put up the first points of the game with sophomore wide receiver Cedric Byrd in the end zone from a swift pass from sophomore quarterback Grant Lowary.

The Vikings came to life in the second quarter with Byrd from up top scoring his second touchdown from a 43-yard pass from Lowary. Then with five minutes left, Long Beach blocked a punt from Bakersfield and freshman defensive back Semj Parker returned the favor with the Vikings' third touchdown to lead 21-0. Bakersfield answered back before the half with a 34-yard field goal to end the first half 21-3.

Long Beach kept the offensive momentum going in the third quarter. Freshman kicker Clay D'Amico scored a 28-yard field goal after a 10 play, 65-yard drive within the first three minutes off the second half. Then sophomore running back Darrion Naylor scored the fourth touchdown for the Vikings on a 10-yard run. The Vikings final touchdown was a high-flying 59-yard pass from Lowary to sophomore wide receiver Mike Wilson to extend the Vikings' lead 37-3.

The Renegades struck once more with their only touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter to seal the Vikings' 2017 Patriotic Bowl win 37-10.

At the conclusion of the game, the Vikings totaled 335 passing and 3265 overall for the season. Lowary was named the Offensive Player of the Game for the 2017 Patriotic Bowl after passing 335 yards with three touchdown passes. The Most Valuable Player of the Game Award went to Gilbert "Bubba" Valera for being the powerful force on defense. Valera had six tackles, two QB hurries, a block and totaled three sacks against the Renegades for a combined loss of 25 yards.

The Vikings finished the 2017 season with an 8-3 overall record that ended on a two-game winning streak.