Tigers win fifth straight in battle against Fullerton

By Matthew Dziak / Viewpoints’ RCC beat writer

By Matthew Dziak / Viewpoints’ RCC beat writer

With his cleats dug into his end zone, Zach Adkins stared down 99 yards of field and led his offense on a six play touchdown drive.

The Tigers balanced offensive attack and bruising rushing style was in full force as the No. 3 Riverside City College Tigers handled the No. 13 Fullerton College Hornets 45-28 at Wheelock Stadium on Oct. 6.

RCC (5-1) surrendered the most points in a game all season since its Week 1 28-27 loss to Ventura but were led by Adkins’ poised and level headed demeanor, managing to complete 26 of his 34 passing attempts for 390 yards and five total touchdowns.

On the opening drive, Hornets’ quarterback Conor Bednarski capped off a 6 play 75-yard drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to his tight end Andrew Main.

But the Tigers clawed their way back with a 14-yard Adkins touchdown pass to Marquis Thompson giving RCC their first lead at 10-7.

After the Hornet’s downed a punt at the Tiger one yard line, Adkins orchestrated a 6 play 99-yard drive that was capped off by a 40-yard touchdown pass Zach Adkins to Kenny Torrance as the Tigers built their lead to 17-7

Later in the second quarter, the Tigers recovered a Hornets fumble on the kickoff that led to a bruising E.J. Schexnayder 5-yard touchdown run.

The Tigers relied heavily on the rushing attack of Schexnayder who returned from an injury after missing last week’s game against Long Beach. Schexnayder gouged the Hornets defense averaging 6.5 yards per carry and totaling 181 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also managed to gain 41 receiving yards out of the backfield.

“Glory to God and I have to give credit to my offensive line,” he said. “They provided the holes and I hit them as hard as I could.”

Bracing against a Tigers blitz, Bednarski stood tall and floated up a 56-yard touchdown pass to Eli Pleasant as he was knocked to the ground, cutting the RCC lead to 24-14.

With 20 seconds left in the first half, Adkins took the quarterback draw cutting to the outside for a 9-yard touchdown run giving the Tigers a 31-14 halftime lead.

The biggest problem for the Tigers continues to be committing too many penalties. They lead the National Central Conference in penalties and had a season high 16 penalties that resulted in 277 yards penalized.

Capitalizing on the Tigers mistakes, Fullerton scored on back-to-back drives, once on a Bednarski 31-yard touchdown pass to Pleasant, and again on a 3-yard touchdown run by Jamison Sterns cutting the Tiger lead 38-28.

Pleasant finished the game with 104 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter the Tigers answered as Torrance scored his second touchdown, reeling in a 74-yard touchdown bomb from Adkins that would be the last score for RCC.

“I ran a deep post route and knew I would be open once I beat the safety to the middle of the field,” Torrance said.

Torrance, who his teammates refer to as “hot and ready” finished the game with a season high 152 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

“Fullerton was hung up on our other receiver, Devonn Brown,” he said. “The team trusted me to make the plays and I did just that.”

The Tigers amassed a remarkable 579 yards and outgained the Hornets rushing attack 189-49 rushing yards. RCC’s prolific offense leads the National Central Conference with 46.2 points per game and 501.6 yards per game.

“It starts in practice; we work twice as hard the following week to get better,” Schexnayder said.