Riverside City College football prepares for tough test

Published: Oct. 22 | Written by James H. Williams and Laura Tapia

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After suffering its first loss of the season to Fullerton College, the Riverside City College football team responded with a 55-7 victory at home against the LA Harbor Seahawks in National Central League play Oct. 17.

The Tigers, who fell to No. 4 in the CCCAA State Football Poll after sixth consecutive weeks at No. 1, turn their attention to a pair of games against two Top 20 state ranked teams, Mt. San Antonio and Long Beach City College.

The Tigers are scheduled to play an emotional Mt. SAC Oct. 24, a team that is dealing with the death of freshman long snapper George Steward and his girlfriend, who lost his life in a car accident Oct. 18.

The Mounties and Tigers continue their rivalry this season after two meetings last season. It was Mt. SAC that ended the Tigers’ 2014-15 campaign in the SCFA Championship/CCCAA State Semifinal game, 35-14.

The first meeting was in league play when the Tigers defeated the Mounties, 28-14.

In the game against the Seahawks, the Tigers scored first with a field goal on its first drive of the game.

The Seahawks would manage to answer back with its first and only touchdown of the game.

RCC’s defense would go on to shut out the Seahawks for the next three quarters of the game.

“We just came out and practiced really hard (following the loss to Fullerton),” said RCC linebacker AJ Hotchkins. “I think everyone was hungry to get a win. I think we played pretty well.”

Despite going scoreless in the fourth quarter, the Tigers would score 52 unanswered points but head coach Tom Craft stated that there are still improves to be made.

“We aren’t happy with the offsides (penalties) but that is a minor thing that is correctable,” Craft said. “There are bigger things going on right now that we need to address.”

Quarterback Ian Fieber would take over the Tigers’ offense in the final two minutes of the first quarter after Kevin Olsen started the game.

Fieber completed 16 of his 21 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns before Olsen reentered the game in the third quarter.

“We have two good quarterbacks here. Ian has been practicing well and we told him he was going to get in,” Craft explained. “When (Fieber) got in he got hot so we left him in then (Olsen) came in and responded well and led us down the field.”

Olsen completed five of his nine passes for 47 yards and a third quarter touchdown.

“I am happy with both of them. We had a breakout game with the passing game,” Craft said. “It had been on the verge but we needed to do it.”

Following the game, Craft was unsure who his starting quarterback would be going forward.

“I really base everything off practice. I like them both and we can win with both,” said Craft after the LA Harbor win. “We have two or three good receivers. We play them all.  I got three or four good (running backs) and we play them all.”

Seth Acda continued to be featured in the Tigers’ backfield for a third straight game in which he has rushed for 401 yards combined.

The Tigers will not play at home until the team host the No. 1 state ranked LBCC Vikings on Halloween to start a 2-game home stand before concluding the season against Citrus College on the road.

The Vikings remain undefeated with their most contested game being against the Mounties Oct. 3.

The meeting between the two National Central League rivals resulted in a double overtime for the Vikings while snapping the Mounties’ two-game win streak.