Written by: Laura M. Tapia and James H. Williams
Quarterback Kevin Olsen and the No. 1 state ranked Riverside City College football team snapped its three-game losing streak to No. 12 Grossmont, 31-29, on Sept. 19, however the Tigers’ toughest battle of the night was against itself.
The Griffins’ defense had its way with Olsen, which had one sack and two interceptions, one of which resulted in a 41-yard touchdown return for the Griffins’ Nick Galatis to bring the game within two.
Tom Craft, the Tigers’ head coach, noticed there is still room for improvement to be made at the quarterback position.
“He made some bad decisions tonight and he hasn’t played in a couple of years,” Craft said. “I’m sure the game experience is going to be good for him and looking at tape (but) I think he’ll get better. We tried to open things up a little more tonight, he was good at times but it’s not where we want it yet.”
Even with Olsen’s two interceptions and 17 incomplete passes, he had 21 completions for 212 passing yards and three passing touchdowns, one of which was a 59-yard pass to receiver Alonge Brooks in the third quarter.
The Tigers also had 11 penalties which cost them 107 yards allowing the Griffins to score twice on the penalties.
“It is the penalties that really hurt us tonight,” Craft said. “We really could have solidly put that game away tonight and it just shows that we are not where we need to be and we are not polished yet.”
Tigers’ running back Christopher Anderson and fellow running back Dontel James rushed for a total of 218 yards. James had a 2-yard rushing touchdown in the first quarter to tie the game 14-14.
“We had to move on to the next play and forget about the hiccups (that caused the slow start),” said Anderson.
Despite rushing for 119 yards against the Griffins’ defense, Anderson believes he can find a way to be a big time playmaker down the stretch this season.
“I feel like I still have a lot to improve on. I want to be a home run threat because I am (confident in my talent,)” Anderson explained.
The Tigers are scheduled to face El Camino College on the road Oct. 3 at 5 p.m.
Prior to game: A moment of silence was held for former head football coach Jim Kross who died Saturday from brain cancer. Kross was the football coach from 1976-79. He also served as the RCC athletic director from 1980-2000. Kross was the first male athlete to be inducted into the RCC hall of fame in 2002. The Tigers’ team along with two of Kross’ family members were on the field holding up their helmets in his honor.