Tigers streak ends in state championship game

Alex Ortiz | Asst. Sports Editor

Dec. 3, 2014

The RCC Tigers tried to keep their state championship run alive when they faced the Mount SAC Mounties on Nov. 29 at Wheelock Stadium.

Mount SAC had just pulled an upset against Fullerton College a week before heading down to the jungle to snap the Tigers’ 31 game home win streak.

It was time to go big or stay home for the Tigers who had been undefeated in the conference and pulled a comeback win the last time they faced the Mounties,28-24, on Oct. 25.

The Tigers defense was able to keep the Mounties away from the end zone for most of the first half but by halftime the Mounties led RCC 14-0.

After noticing quarterback Nick King struggle throughout the game, RCC head coach Tom Craft brought in a back up quarterback who once was the starting quarterback Kelly Hilinski to try to give the Tigers a new momentum.

Unfortunately Hilinski didn’t come through for RCC went 2-3 with only 12 passing yards and one interception.

King once again went out to try to pull his team to victory, and gave two last push of hopes when the Tigers pulled within one touchdown with nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter 21-14.

Mount Sac crushed the Tigers’ hope of a comeback when they answered with a 70-yard touchdown and punched their ticket to the state championship with a 35-14 final score.

The Mounties will face City College of San Francisco Dec. 13 at Hilmer Lodge Stadium in Walnut, Calif.

Despite runningback Denzel Foster missing the game against Ventura due to an injury and not starting ended up leading the team in rushing with 98 yards. King finished the night 12-26, 162 passing yards and two touchdowns.

After the loss King expressed he appreciated every single one of his teammates and the coaches.

“Extremely proud of our guys,” said assistant head coach James Kuk. “For the most part our guys its been a long season. They’ve had a lot of tough games and at this part of the year part of it is trying to stay healthy and have full strength. We had some regular starters missing and we had to get some contributions from back ups, but at the end those things showed up and Mount SAC was a better team.”

RCC has a sour offseason to look forward to, many starters might be leaving and things at the jungle look uncertain.

Starters such as Isaac Whitney, Nick King, among others are already getting recruited and most likely will be leaving.

“It’s a long season you just try to go week after week looking to prepare and you don’t look past tomorrow let alone next season,” commented Kuk.

Wheelock Stadium stands alone awaiting next season to revive the lights, the cheers, the emotions, the pasta and come roaring alive once again in the cold of fall.

As every good sports fan know that there’s only one last thing to say, “There’s always next year.”