Daniel Pena | Staff Writer
Oct. 30, 2014
The Riverside City College Tigers football team (6-1, 3-0) made an improbable comeback against the Mount SAC Mounties (6-2, 2-2) on Oct. 25 and the Tigers are now in charge of the National Central Conference division.
The game was tense from the start as these teams rivalry exploded during the last couple of seasons.
Last season RCC defeated Mount Sac 33-30 and won three of the past four meetings with each game deciding how the playoffs are formatted.
Mounties coach Bob Jastrab was looking to be the first California community college football coach to reach 100 wins in 10 seasons, but the Tigers had other plans including keeping the 27 win streak at home alive.
RCC won the coin flip and choose to kick, so the Mounties took the chance and made the first strike with Mounties quarterback Justin Alo, threw a 24-yard pass to wide receiver Aaren Vaughns leading the Tigers 7-0.
Eight minutes left in the first quarter the Tigers got to scoring distance with a first and goal and looked to score for the tying touchdown, but the Mounties defense was putting to much pressure on quarterback Nicholas King.
RCC had to settle for the field goal at the end of halftime 7-3.
The Mounties started on their own 27-yard line during the second quarter until Alo threw a pass into the hands of RCC Defensive Back Trayvon Watson, and what looked like an interception, Watson was tackled and fumbled the ball at the 4-yard line and recovered by the Mounties, which stunned the home crowd.
With the Mounties taking control of the ball they made their way into RCC territory, but the Tigers defense holded off and the Mounties settled for a field goal the score 10-3.
Seven minutes left until halftime the Mounties were looking to score but Alo underthrew a pass, which led to an interception, by RCC defensive back Treshon Broughton who returned it for a 45-yard touchdown and tied the score to 10-10.
With under a minute to go before the end of the first half the Mounties offense were looking to fix their previous mistakes.
Alo again threw deep with 35 seconds to go and was caught by wide receiver Derrick Macon for a 38-yard touchdown the Mounties now lead 10-17.
As for the RCC offense they were pretty much shutdown as King only threw less than 50 yards in passing while Denzel Foster was held and couldn’t make those big running plays.
At the start of the third quarter things only got worse for the Tigers offense as King either overthrew or underthrew to his intended receivers.
Looking to try something new King started running the ball more and throwing short passes which worked as the Tigers were now in goal line and were looking to score their first offense touchdown of the game. Once again the Mounties defense pressured King and so the Tigers had to settled for another field goal.
With the score 13-17 the Mounties rushed the ball when flags went flying everywhere.
A personal foul was called on one of the RCC defensive players and after the penalty was announced a scuffle started between two players and RCC was called for another personal foul which led to a 30 yard gain for the Mounties which led to 1 yard run touchdown by Alo with score now 13-24.
Near the end of the third quarter once again the Tigers managed to get a field goal with the score now 16-24.
An out of sync offense and a pressuring defense was not a good combo for the Tigers and only looked toward the fourth quarter to make scoring plays.
Already in the start of the fourth quarter the Mounties were about to score again with the ball in the two yard line and the home crowd looked ready to admit defeat.
A tackle was made to stop the rushing touchdown and a group of Tigers were jumping happily and were pointing toward the other end of the field and turned out a fumble was made and recovered by the Tigers which sparked not only the home crowd, but the team as well.
Looking to get back into the game the Tigers offense looked like how they’ve been playing this whole season, but couldn’t get over the Mounties defense and had to punt the ball.
Even though the Tigers couldn’t score they were all fired up and soon enough the fired up Tigers made a huge play in defense as Broughton made his second interception of the day. The Tigers offense had a job to do and that was to make their first offensive touchdown, but in midfield King got injured and was sidelined.
Kelly Hilinski was brought back in to put the Tigers ahead of the Mounties and led them for 22 yards going into Mounties territory, but King recovered quickly and took over.
The offense couldn’t pull it off and had to settle for three points again, and just as the kick was good a flag was thrown and it was offside against the Mounties, which led to an automatic first down for the Tigers offense.
Foster rushed for the five-yard touchdown, which was RCC’s first offensive touchdown of the game.
The Tigers aimed for the two point conversion, but came up short with the score 22-24.
With 6:34 remaining in the fourth quarter the Mounties offense appeared to lose some of their luster and couldn’t get close to scoring range and had to punt the ball.
The Tigers were now looking to end the game by making their way down into Mount. Sac territory and appeared that they were going to run the clock out and make the winning field goal.
Foster had other plans and made a 19-yard rushing touchdown and the home crowd and the football players were cheering excitedly and for the first time in the game the Tigers were now leading the Mounties with a score of 28-24.
Head Coach Tom Craft has nothing to lose he decided to go for another two-point conversion, but couldn’t convert.
With 1:52 left in the fourth quarter the Mounties were looking to make a comeback, but that quest suddenly vanished as Alo threw his fourth interception of the game and was caught by Broughton once more for his third interception of the game to give victory to the Tigers.
“This is really a great win for us and we hung in there,” Craft said.
Despite the win for the Tigers it wasn’t a win for the Tigers offense as King only threw 95 yards and the whole offense had 287 yards while the Mounties made over 400 yards of offense.
“We were struggling in the first half,” said Foster.
Next week the Riverside City College Tigers face the Long Beach City College Vikings (6-1, 2-1) who are currently ranked No.1 in SoCal.
The Vikings suffered their first loss of the season against Chaffey (3-3, 1-1) by a score of 40-36. Between the Vikings and the Tigers Long Beach holds the record for the most wins between these two teams with a record of 14-10-1. However the Tigers have won three straight games against the Vikings beating them in 2011, 75-12 at Long Beach, and won last year here at RCC with a score of 42-28.
The Tigers and Vikings will face each other at Long Beach City College with the kick off set to start at 6 p.m.