RCC football pounds LA Harbor for a victory

By Matthew Dziak / Staff Writer

Raising star (Dan Henley / Special to Viewpoints)

By Matthew Dziak / Staff Writer

After missed opportunities and costly penalties, Zach Adkins took over at quarterback and led the Tigers on a 60-yard scoring drive for their first touchdown of the night.

It took a second half comeback, but the No. 11 Riverside City College football team rallied behind Adkins with a 31-7 victory over the No. 23 Los Angeles Harbor Seahawks at Wheelock Stadium.

On the opening drive, Ajay Fanene intercepted Seahawks quarterback Brandon Edwards pass that set up the Tigers for a 20-yard Tyler Rausa field goal.

“Our defense is physical and athletic and they played well tonight as a unit,” said Tom Craft, coach of RCC.

In the first quarter, RCC was unable to punch in a fourth and goal run play from the one yard line as running back E.J. Schexnayder was stuffed by the Seahawks defense.

With five minutes remaining in the first half, Edwards orchestrated a 97-yard touchdown drive, capped off by a 20-yard Lonnie Turner reception in the endzone, giving the Seahawks a 7-3 halftime lead. The drive was extended when a roughing the passer penalty was called against the Tigers on third and 10, giving the Seahawks an automatic first down and provided their offense with a second chance.

But the emergence of Adkins in the third quarter caused a roar from the Tiger crowd, as he capped of the 60-yard scoring drive by handing the ball off to E.J. Schexnayder for the five yard touchdown run.

“Zach had a great second half,” Craft said. “We went to the pass more and he did a great job of leading us.”

The offensive line won the war in the trenches, as they opened running lanes for running backs Jamil Austin and E.J. Schexnayder, who combined for 190 yards rushing. Austin also did most of his damage in the second half, barreling over Seahawk defenders for 102 yards and a touchdown. 

The Tigers’ offense outgained the Seahawks 416-310 yards, yet they also committed 12 penalties that resulted in 151 yards.

“Those penalties are going to hurt us in future games,” Craft said. “We have to clean that up and get better.” 

Tigers receiver Devonn Brown led all receivers with a game high 144 yards receiving and caught two touchdown passes from Adkins.

“At halftime coach Craft reminded us to stay focused and humble because we are going to come back from this,” said Brown. 

Adkins completed a remarkable 11 of 12 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns, while Shreve struggled only amassing 29 yards in the first half. Adkins proved yet again why he should be the starting quarterback as the Tiger offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders with him calling the shots.

“It was obvious what we saw from Zach tonight,” said Craft. “He will be our guy but I won’t abandon using Tyler.”