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A season full of promising success

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By Matthew Dziak / Staff Writer

A promising road (Gerard Quevedo / Staff Photographer)

By Matthew Dziak / Staff Writer

As the roar from the eager Tigers fans engulfed the sold out Wheelock Stadium, and the frigid autumn breeze swirled, Quarterback Dalton Livingston took a knee out of the victory formation sealing the win and capping off the second undefeated season in Riverside City College football history.
This was the last image Tigers fans had of their football team as they waited nine long months for the glorious return of the boys of fall.
With a new season, no returning starters on offense, a new transfer quarterback, and a new, more competitive conference, the same expectations still exist. As the late Hall-of-Fame Raiders owner Al Davis would put it, “Just win baby win.”  
Quarterback Tyler Shreve, who led the Redlands East Valley High School team to the state semifinals back in 2008, has transferred from the University of Utah and will be the new leader going forward in Tom Craft’s offense.
2011 star players such as wide receiver Sadale Foster, quarterback Dalton Livingston, linebacker Zaire Anderson, among several others, have all transferred and are now playing at Division I NCAA teams.
However the foundation has been laid after two successful seasons under Tom Craft, a two-time state champion and former Mt. San Antonio College coach, the Tigers are preparing for another repeat of last year.
The 2011 undefeated season was capped off by a Golden State Bowl 31-14 victory over  Saddleback College, where the Tigers’ ferocious defense was vital in forcing three interceptions and sacking the duo of Gauchos quarterbacks an astonishing nine times.
Although the Tigers defeated the defending champion Mt. San Antonio Mounties in a 29-26 thriller, they did not qualify for the state playoff tournament and were robbed of their chance to compete for a state championship.
Hoping to make that lucrative tournament, the Tigers, rank No. 7 by JCgridiron.com,  have moved to the more competitive National Central Conference with powerhouses such as Long Beach City College, El Camino (rank No. 6) as well as the perennial champion Mt. San Antonio Mounties (rank No. 1). The expected showdown between Riverside and Mt. San Antonio will be the season finale on November 10, on an autumn afternoon at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut at 1 p.m. where the Tigers will look to steal the division title away from the Mounties in their first year in the National Central Conference.
The road matchups will be a dangerous challenge for Riverside including rematches against Saddleback College and Citrus College, as well as Long Beach City College all of which have the ability to upset the Tigers on their road to repeating their undefeated 2011 season.
The Tigers open their 2012 season on the road against Ventura College on September 1, and will have their home opener September 8, against Palomar College.

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