By Daniel Torres / Asst. Sports Editor
By Daniel Torres / Asst. Sports Editor
The Riverside City College football team hit the field Oct. 17 in hopes of a second win; the main goal, not to lose a fifth consecutive game.
After a heartbreaking loss the week prior to College of the Desert on homecoming night, the Tigers were determined not to let this one get away. Fate though, had different plans.
The Tigers welcomed the Mount San Antonio College Mounties to Wheelock Field, and oh, what a gracious welcome they gave them.
RCC gave them a place to park their bus, an area for Mt. SAC fans to sit in, and the Tiger quarterbacks even gave them the ball a few times, four to be exact. It didn’t stop there though, it seemed the Tigers were in so much of a giving mood they decided to just give them the game 45-12.
Mt. SAC came out strong, scoring on the opening drive and taking a 7-0 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. RCC got close with two field goals cutting the lead to one, but Mt. SAC had eaten their Wheaties that morning and it just began to kick in. They went on to score 28 unanswered points and that was just too much for RCC to handle.
The Mounties’ offense was strong on the pass game and even stronger with the run. Their running backs plowed through RCC’s defense, leaving them at times looking lost.
The biggest loss though came when RCC safety James Calhoun, a first team all-conference player last season, went down in the first half with a knee injury. Calhoun was chopped by a Mounties’ player and was not able to bend his knee after the play.
Calhoun was done for the night and had to watch his team be humiliated the rest of the game. When asked what was going on with the team, he simple shook his head and in a doleful tone replied, “I don’t know.”
The Tiger’s offense had troubles of its own, not so much on driving the ball down the field, but on not capitalizing on the chances they had to score. They completed 23 first downs whereas Mt. SAC only had 20, but the Tigers also threw four interceptions.
Quarterback Nathan Lamonica, who’s had a very up and down season, was certainly at one of his lowest points this game. He completed only four of his 13 pass attempts and threw three of the teams’ four interceptions. In fact, his first pass attempt was intercepted by the Mounties.
Before the half, after Lamonica’s third interception, the coaching staff decided to put in quarterback Jacoby Mitchell. Mitchell and the offense took over the ball with over a minute left in the half at their own 28-yard line.
Mitchell drove the ball all the way to the Mt. SAC 4-yard line with four seconds left in the half. One would think that with all the momentum, they would go for the end zone, especially being down 28-6 at the time.
For some reason the coaches decided to kick a field goal. The field goal decision came back to bite them in the you-know-what because the kicker kicked the ball wide right and the drive that finally woke up the crowd went wasted, leaving some fans booing.
The second half was almost as brutal except the Mounties were using some of their secondary players. Head coach Bill Brown stood silent on the sidelines as if wondering why his players weren’t getting it.
Almost every student at RCC can see the team practicing under the blistering sun every weekday afternoon, but they play as if they all just met. By the fourth quarter, whatever’s left of the crowd sits and watches the clock run down, not fast enough though.
A small section of the crowd was cheering throughout the game, although they were only trying to get the attention of linebacker Viliami Vaipulu, not really trying to motivate the team.
So the clock strikes zero and RCC walks off the field again in defeat. The crowd did see a good performance by the Tigers, it just happen to be by the Marching Tigers.
RCC’s record now stands at 1-6 with all chances of a winning season out of sight. The Tiger’s will next host Chaffey College in the final home game of the season Halloween night.