By Jair Ramirez
Moreno Valley native and former Valley View High School quarterback had a night to remember while keeping Riverside City College’s undefeated season alive.
Freshman quarterback Jacob Barlage had an explosive night as RCC blew out conference rival Orange Coast College 73-3 at the Wheelock Stadium.
Due to an injury to sophomore quarterback Mike Irwin, Barlage got the call to start for the first time this season.
“I felt good,” Barlage said about preparing for his first start. “I kept the same routine even though it’s my first start. Took my ice bath last night.”
He took advantage of the opportunity by throwing eight touchdowns to five different receivers.
He Picked apart the OCC secondary with pinpoint accuracy, completing 31 of 35 pass attempts or 463 yards, with one interception.
“It needs to be better,” Barlage said about his performance. “I can’t have the true freshman mistake there with the interception. But I think it can be a lot better and I think I can just have more fun with it.”
The freshman quarterback had plenty of help from his receiving core as they beat OCC’s defensive backs off the line time after time and made themselves open for Barlage.
“They were doing a great job getting open and I delivered to the athletes,” Barlage said about his receivers.
Freshman wide receivers Rolandiss Whitener Jr., Giovanni Sanders and Reggie Retzlaff all had solid performances. Whitener Jr. was unstoppable with seven receptions for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Sanders finished with five receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Retzlaff had six receptions for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
With the Tigers leading 63-3 after three quarters, quarterback Tyler Thompson made his college debut. The dual-threat freshman from Tampa, Fl. scrambled impressively, running eight times for 93 yards and a touchdown. He also completed all five of his pass attempts for 96 yards.
The defensive unit did their part as well, putting pressure on the visiting offense, shutting down their receivers. They help OCC to 103 total offensive yards and only allowed four receptions.
RCC has had a takeaway in every game this season. Defensive standouts were freshman defensive end Randall Turner with two sacks and sophomore defensive lineman Edward Calhun Jr. with an interception.
RCC faces their toughest challenge this season as they go on the road to face undefeated, number three ranked Saddleback College on Nov. 16 for the National Central Division Championship.
“They’re going to be a handful for us,” said RCC head coach Tom Craft. “It doesn’t matter who’s ranked what.”