SPORTS COLUMN: What glitters is gold, RCC eyes second championship in three years

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By Peter Gibbs

Golden age. It’s what you hear in the World Cup. Fútbol. Community college football? Riverside City College.

This is the most complete team the Tigers have had from their golden age.

The Riverside City College football team will be going to its third straight state championship appearance. And this year’s squad could be the best yet as they’re led by the Golden Boy transfer from Golden West.

Quarterback Jake Retzlaff can throw from any arm angle to complete any pass across the field. If he can’t find an open receiver, the run game takes over.

Meanwhile, the defense is talented at every position and can make a crucial stop when needed.

RCC dominated both sides of the ball against a Fullerton College team that came into the second round playoff game with a record of 10-1.

In the first half RCC used a mix of screens and draw plays to tire the Hornets defense.

“I thought our offense got off to a great start,” head coach Tom Craft said. “Jake did a great job of managing the game.”

Every aspect of the offense is in sync.

 The Golden Boy has great chemistry with his receivers, which leads to multiple big plays while the offensive line is able to overpower the opposition and create space for the running backs.

“It starts with the offensive line up front,” Retzlaff said. “It was also about the defense not allowing Fullerton much, down in the red zone. Those guys played great today.”

The defense took over in the second half.

The d-line came together and had its best performance of the season.

All season the group has been able to make the crucial stop when it needs to and that happened again when the front seven blew up multiple fourth down attempts from Fullerton.

“We watched a lot of film this week and had an idea of which plays they would run in certain formations,” sophomore defensive lineman Alonzo Gray-Hall said. “Ultimately it came down to the mindset of us saying ‘no more.’”

The Tigers are not lacking for momentum.

Only the special teams can stop them now.

“We have got to play smarter and (figure out) our special teams,” Craft said. “Can’t have success unless we sort that out.”

The Golden Boy himself had the best punt of the game, and he’s not supposed to do that.

Retzlaff had to drop kick the ball like a goalkeeper to catch Fullerton off guard.

RCC wants to finish undefeated, but it has to continue being creative on special teams or else all the hard work will be lost.

The special teams were the only flaw for what was otherwise a solid game from the special teams, as sophomore kicker Jacob Marroquin was perfect on all of his attempts.

“We have a target on our back.” Craft said. “We played the best defense in Southern California today.”

The Tigers will travel and play San Mateo on Dec. 10 with the goal being that they come home with a championship.

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