By Ricky Holmes / Staff Writer
By Ricky Holmes / Staff Writer
Floats, marching bands and the big football game. All of these things are symbolic of a Homecoming celebration.
On Oct. 10, Riverside City College had all of that.
Unfortunately, the celebration would be spoiled, since Riverside played strong the whole game but was unable to come away with a victory and lost 41-40 to College of the Desert.
During the first quarter, RCC’s Chris Topou played excellent defense and blocked a Desert punt in the end zone which was recovered by RCC for a touchdown. Five minutes later the Tigers scored again on a 7-yard run by Jeremy Gallard to give Riverside a 14-0 lead.
In the second quarter, Desert seemed to awake from their initial slumber, because they scored 21 points in the quarter as opposed to RCC’s seven points.
Desert scored on a 2-yard run by Jai Steib, then they scored on a blocked punt in the end zone scoring a touchdown just as RCC had done earlier.
The quarter ended tied 21-21 heading into halftime.
The second half started out with a bang as the Tigers came out firing.
RCC’s Nathan Lamonica hooked up with Tommy Curry on a 39-yard touchdown pass to give the Tigers a 28-21 lead.
Lamonica went 11 of 19 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions and threw for 162- yards in the game.
The Desert’s next possession was intercepted by RCC’s James Calhoun, who took the interception back 48-yards and extended the Tiger’s lead to 34-21.
Calhoun was a gridiron renaissance man having two touchdowns, as well as a 50-yard kickoff return.
However, the Tigers missed the extra point which may have essentially been the deciding factor in the game.
Desert hit a 27-yard field goal to bring them within 10 points to end the quarter.
The fourth quarter appeared to be going the Tiger’s way when the defense recovered an early fumble, but the team was unable to capitalize on the turnover and was forced to punt.
RCC’s punt pinned Desert at their own 10-yard line, but Desert went 90-yards and scored on a 7-yard run by Stieb, cutting the Tiger’s lead to three points.
On RCC’s next possession, coach Bill Brown was faced with a crucial fourth down decision, should they go for the first down and seal the game or punt to Desert and hope to play solid defense?
Brown opted to try for the first down in a controversial move.
The Tigers did not convert the first down and ended up giving Desert excellent field position and an opportunity to tie the game.
Desert was able to convert a couple of quick first downs that put them into field goal range.
With eight seconds left in regulation, Desert’s Brett Symonds kicked a 20-yard field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Desert won the overtime coin toss and wasted no time scoring a 9-yard run by Stieb to take their first lead, 41-34.
RCC’s Lamonica threw his second touchdown pass to Tommy Curry to bring the game within a point.
Unfortunately, that was the closest the Tigers would come to winning the game with an excellent defensive block from Desert to end the game and crush the Tiger’s hopes.