Tigers’ offense erupts after slow start on route to 63-35 win

By Matthew Dziak / RCC football beat writer

Puttin’ in work (Dan Henley / Special to Viewpoints)

By Matthew Dziak / RCC football beat writer

Riverside City College football never got the message that the game started at 1 p.m., instead it waited until the second quarter to go to work offensively.

Trailing 15-7 after the first quarter, the Tigers scored eight more touchdowns in an offensive onslaught against National Central Conference foe No. 17 El Camino College Warriors as RCC cruised to a 63-35 victory.

Following an opening drive 20-yard touchdown reception by E.J. Schexnayder, El Camino marched down the field 75-yards and answered with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Jesse Scroggins to Derrick Macon and successfully converted the two point conversion.

The Warriors built upon their success on offense scoring again on a 13-yard quarterback draw by Scroggins.

RCC (6-1) came into the game leading the conference in total defense, surrendering only 301 yards per game, but the Warriors five wide receiver spread passing attack led found holes in the Tiger defense and gained 433 yards keeping the game closer than comfortable for RCC.

El Camino’s 35 points were the most surrendered by the Tigers this year.

“They threw the ball well,” said RCC coach Tom Craft. “We have to tighten up things in the secondary.”

After regaining possession, Craft reached into his bag of tricks, calling a halfback pass as Adkins swung the ball out to former high school quarterback Breon Redman, who launched a rocket to the wide open Jamil Austin, cutting the Warriors’ lead to 15-14.

“It was something we needed as we looked for ways to score,” Craft said. “Breon can do those types of things and we need to get him more plays.”

With two seconds left in the first half, the Warriors prayers were answered with a 68- yard Hail Mary touchdown pass from Scroggins to Brady Luckner as time expired cutting the Tigers halftime lead to 28-22.

To open the third quarter, the Tigers well oiled offensive machine came out blazing, scoring on a 17-yard pass from Adkins to tight end Gus Penning for the first of five second half RCC touchdowns.

Adkins, the National Central Conference leading passer continued his success, completing 23 of 34 passes for 371 and six total touchdowns.

Picking up where they left off, El Camino (2-5) got within striking distance, scoring on another 68- yard touchdown pass from Scroggins to Luckner that would make it a one possession game.

However the Tigers managed to get that pressure on the touchdown pass when Scroggins, a Southern California transfer, got drilled as he threw injuring his throwing shoulder and was unable to return.

Scroggins finished with 295 passing yards and four total touchdowns in only three quarters of play.

In a back-and-forth duo, RCC answered with an 88-yard scoring drive capped off by a 6-yard touchdown pass from Adkins to Josh Long. That score gave the Tigers a bit of breathing room with a 42-28 lead. 

“We are getting a lot of people involved making the defense account for everybody,” Craft said.

But the Warriors rose to the occasion, led by freshman backup quarterback Nicholas King who found Luckner on a 27-yard touchdown pass, Luckner’s third receiving touchdown of the game.

The RCC secondary was no match for Luckner’s speed and route running ability on his way to gaining 230 receiving yards.

“(Luckner) is a player to watch at receiver in this league,” Craft said. “We didn’t put enough pressure on their quarterbacks and it hurt us.”

After RCC regained possession in the fourth quarter, the Tigers took precious time off the clock, relying on their run game and the trucking E.J. Schexnayder who continued his dominance in the run game, scoring two touchdowns and gaining 126 rushing yards as well as 87 receiving yards.

Starting the year as the starting quarterback, Tyler Shreve took over in the fourth quarter and had 38 rushing yards on his first drive, scoring on a 19-yard touchdown run.

The Tigers set a new school record with 733 yards of total offense and scored nine total touchdowns.

“We are getting a little spoiled,” Craft said. “We lead the conference in scoring for the second straight year.”