John Braxton | Staff Writer
After giving up 41 points to Ventura in week one, the Tigers bounced back and showed why they are getting one step closer to the state championship in a 41-0 beat down against the Palomar Comets on Sept. 14.
The Tigers looked impressive, scoring 41 points while the defense held the Comets to zero.
A change at the quarterback position early in the season has really proven to help the Tigers.
Skyler Howard picked up where he left off after taking over in week one, completing 17 of 26 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.
Howard managed the game well and took what the defense gave him.
A balanced attack of rushing offense matched the passing game with 192 yards rushing as a team.
Sophomore Anthony Knight helped the ground game by converting two touchdowns, carrying the ball 12 times for 72 yards.
The Tigers roar was restored for the defense.
The Tigers were absolutely fantastic on the defensive side of the ball, oppose to the opening week when they gave up 41 points.
The defense got mad and took it out on the Comets not allowing them to score on any of their offensive possessions.
The stingy defense only gave up a total of 149 yards, 87 passing and a measly 62 yards on the ground.
R.J. Smith, Raymond Ford, and Issac Colunga all collected an interception, including and clutch interception on the goaline with a return of 41 yards from Ford.
Smith attributes his fellow defenders as the main reason the Tigers dominated.
“The defensive line was the key. They controlled Palomar’s offensive line, which rushed the quarterback allowing our defensive backs to make plays,” Smith said.
Sophomore defensive end Freddy Boyd credits the numerous turnovers to the pressure his defensive line was able to get on the oppositions quarterback.
“The difference between this game and our last game was the defensive line really took the game over by getting a lot of pressure on the ball which created a lot of turnovers for Palomar’s offense and enabled us to win the game in a dominant fashion.”
The first game of the season on Sept. 7 was an offensive shoot out, but it didn’t start off that way at least for the Riverside Tigers it did not.
The Tigers got off to a sluggish start in the first half, trailing 21 to 10 at the half against Ventura College.
The benching of Tyler Shreve was a main turning point in the game.
Shreve completed 7-15 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, but two costly interceptions forced head coach Tom Craft to make a change.
Behind new starting quarterback Skyler Howard, the Tigers began to put together a big time performance soring 49 of their 59 points all in the second half.
The Tigers piled up over 800 yards of total offense, dominating the ground game with 505 rushing yards as a team to Ventura’s 69 rushing yards.
The Tigers no huddle offense really began to wear Ventura down.
The team rallied around Howard as he accounted for three passing touchdowns and managed the game very well, with big time plays coming from sophomore receiver Kenny Torrance.
Torrance accounted for two touchdowns and 157 yards receiving.
He was not the only one who was electric.
Devon Blackmon also had himself a big time game, adding two touchdowns and 123 yards receiving.
The offensive line played great opening up holes for running back Anthony Knight, allowing him to rush for 185 yards, which sealed the win for Riverside City College in a 59-41 shoot out.
Its still a long season with many mountains to climb and many formidable opponents to overcome, but if the Tigers can dominate the way they did defensively in week two the team will have a great shot at a state championship title.
RCC continues their play at home on Sept. 21 against Saddleback College amd then will go to L.A. Harbor on Sept. 28 to take on the Seahawks.