College

Friday, Sep 21 2012 10:39 PM

Sykes provides spark for 'Gades

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Jalen Sykes has become BC's most consistent running back.

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Jalen Sykes has become BC's most consistent running back. He is coming off of a 157-yard game.

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    By Rod Thornburg / Special to The Californian

    BC VS. FULLERTON FOOTBALL BC's Jalen Sykes gets man handled by #98 Antoine Turner of Fullerton.

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    By Rod Thornburg / Special to The Californian

    BC VS. FULLERTON FOOTBALL #29 Jalen Sykes of BC runs around the end for several yards before being brought down by Fullerton's #32 Justin Owens.

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BY JEFF EVANS Californian staff writer jevans@bakersfield.com

Jalen Sykes remembers last season's Bakersfield College game at Ventura.

It's not a pleasant memory.

The Renegades were shut out 13-0, only the third shutout loss by BC in 10 seasons and first since 2005.

Sykes, the Renegades' starting tailback, had a night to forget. The Pirates focused on stopping the BC ground game and limited the Renegades to 25 net yards rushing.

Sykes' line: 24 yards on 14 carries.

"That game was very frustrating," said Sykes, a sophomore from Garces High. "Having (quarterback Brian Burrell, broken collarbone) down, they targeted our running offense. They knew our starting quarterback was done, and our passing game wasn't as good as our run. They stopped us."

Tonight at 6, BC (2-1) is healthy when it travels to Ventura College (3-0). Burrell has taken every snap this season and has thrown for 631 yards in three games with six touchdowns.

Sykes is coming off his best game as a Renegade: 157 yards on 29 carries in Saturday's 31-17 win over Fullerton College.

"I'm very excited about this game," Sykes said. "I look for us to capitalize on what we should've done last year."

Sykes said this year's BC squad is vastly different from last year's.

"Last year our O-line was young; we had a bunch of freshmen," Sykes said. "Brian got hurt, and that hurt us quite a bit.

"This year our line has improved. We've got experience. We work hard in practice. We've got Brian back and we have added a lot of other key guys to our team."

The importance of tonight's game is made even more significant because it's the National Northern Conference opener for both teams.

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