By Stephen Peltz and Daniel Hernandez
Riverside City College started week six slow and sloppy, but turned around to defeat Grossmont College in dominant fashion 55-12.
The first quarter was highlighted by penalties and turnovers by the Tigers. The first turnover came from Mike Irwin, the sophomore quarterback, who fumbled the ball resulting in a first and 10 for Grossmont. The second fumble came during wide receiver Isaiah Leeth’s only rushing play of the game resulting in another Grossmont first down.
Things started to click for the Tigers on the final drive of the first quarter. Quarterback Mike Irwin connected with wide receiver Dylan Laurent for a 65-yard touchdown showing that Grossmont’s defense had to step up if it wanted to stop RCC’s high powered offense.
The second half was promising for the Tigers as their future with quarterback Jacob Barlage grew stronger. Instead of relying on his arm to make deep passes, they had Barlage make short precise passes and had him hand the ball off more than he has this season.
He was able to command the offense and lead them to long, time-consuming drives into Grossmont’s endzone. With the Tigers using a two quarterback system, each quarterback has their own strengths and weaknesses. However, each quarterback is getting almost equal playing time and this scheme has been successful for the Tigers.
Quarterbacks Mike Irwin and Jacob Barlage played phenomenally during this game. Irwin was 21-31 throwing for 312 yards and three touchdowns while Barlage was 16-26 throwing for 225 yards and two touchdowns.
The defense was also slow to get started as they did not show up until the second quarter. When the Tigers defense finally came together, they dominated the Griffins offense. Grossmont was forced to punt on almost every possession they had, which both re-energized RCC’s defense after their sloppy start and caused the Griffins to make more offensive mistakes as time went on.
Among the defensive players, linebackers Kue Olotoa and Manu Ta’a, defensive end Randall Turner and cornerback Shawn Dourseau led the defense against Grossmont. Combined, the quartette had two sacks, one interception and 12 tackles.