By Stephen Peltz
Riverside City College’s defense held Fullerton College to just seven points Sept. 14, making big plays on third downs and in the red zone.
The special teams of RCC also shined the whole game, blocking two field goals, recovering a botched punt, and coming up big in the punting game.
Penalties — 13 from each team — also had a major effect on both teams. “The penalties were really the difference,” said RCC head coach Tom Craft,
“They just stalled our offensive production.” Tied 7-7 entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers scored 9 unanswered points to beat Fullerton 16-7, marking their first win against the Hornets since 2014.
The game was full of good defensive plays, while the offense was kept to short and medium drives with RCC rushing for a total of forty six times and only passing twenty eight times
In continuation of last week, starting quarterback Mike Irwin and backup quarterback Jacob Barlage shared the load of the game getting subbed in and out between quarters and even after only a few drives later in the game.
“Because we’re trying to find some continuity. And we’ve got to try and find a guy. We have confidence in both but were going to go with the guy that’s got the hot hand.” Said Tom Craft which makes the quarterback “controversy” RCC has very interesting to watch considering the amount of penalties they’ve had these first two weeks hard to even evaluate the play when they both are destined to not play to their abilities the more the penalties add up.
However, something changed in the fourth quarter with The offense and defense of the Tigers, stepping up big when the moment was needed, getting another blocked field goal in the fourth quarter and getting the ball back after a botched punt return immediately putting them in scoring position. A few plays later RCC quarterback Jacob Barlage threw a touchdown to wide receiver Tyler Kennedy securing the game with less than two minutes to go. The last few minutes of the fourth quarter are when the Tigers finally came together to secure the 16-7 win gaining them momentum going into next week’s game.
“I think we started off kinda slow, something we still need to address. It’s all there we can do whatever we want. Just clean up all the small mistakes” said starting quarterback Mike Irwin when asked about the beginning of their season, showing how strong and confident the team is in their abilities and themselves but know after this game it’s going to be tough down the road if they leave the issues unresolved.
Photos:By Angel Pena