By Nicholas Peralta
Riverside City College’s football team was seemingly poised to accomplish greatness this season, but that fantasy has been denied.
In one of the most anticipated football games of the 2017 season, the top-seeded and undefeated Fullerton College Hornets took on the No. 2 ranked RCC Tigers.
RCC’s position in the postseason marked the third time in the past five years that the Tigers have reached the SCFA (Southern California Football Association) Championship contest.
The last time the Tigers won a state title was in 1982 and they looked to end the over three decade long drought this year.
However, the contest between the top two teams did not play out as competitively as expected. In every facet of the game, the Hornets dominated with the pigskin.
The game began innocuous enough, as the Tigers scored on a 20 yard touchdown catch by wide receiver Cam Sutton from starting quarterback Vic Viramontes on their opening drive. Unfortunately, the Tigers’ success ended there.
RCC would give up two touchdowns to Fullerton’s running game over their next three drives, while the Tigers offense went three and out in their next three possessions.
The Tigers then fumbled the ball giving up great positioning to Fullerton which led to another Fullerton touchdown, ending the first quarter at 21-7.
The second quarter was just as merciless. The Tigers could not find effective offense and struggled to score scarcely. The only points scored by RCC in the quarter came in the form of a 34 yard field goal by kicker John Garibay who scored three points.
However, RCC gave up two more touchdowns in the next three Fullerton possessions. RCC scored one more touchdown, another receiving pass to Sutton for 42 yards from Viramontes, before the end of the half. Tigers kicker Antonio Estrada would unfortunately miss the point-after-try leaving the score at 10-34.
This would be the last quarter where RCC would score in the game. Fullerton shut out the Tigers in the entire second half of the game. To add insult to injury, the Hornets scored an extra 44 points, ending the Tigers season with a 75-16 defeat.
RCC ends their season with a 12-2 record. Despite the loss to cap their tenure in 2017, the Tigers still had a successful season overall, placing second in the state, ranked second in total rushing yards, seventh in rushing touchdowns scored, eight in overall touchdowns scored, and ninth in overall points scored.