It was a grind from the opening kickoff in a non-conference matchup between the Riverside City College football team and the visiting Golden West College Rustlers on Saturday night under the lights at Wheelock Stadium. In a game that saw a combined 297 penalty yards and a defensive battle in the first half, the Tigers tossed all of their 20 points on the scoreboard in the third quarter en route to a 20-14 victory over Golden West.
Riverside and Golden West traded unsuccessful blows throughout the entire first half as both squads failed to pound the pigskin through the pylons in the opening 30 minutes of action, thus leading to a scoreless tie entering into the halftime.
The third quarter brought all of the action as the Rustlers struck first on the opening drive of the stanza with Joe Pyle running 65 yards to the house leading to a 7-0 advantage.
However, Riverside responded on the following drive by charging down the field on seven plays for 56 yards. The successful drive was capped off by a rugged rushing touchdown from sophomore running back Clifford Simms (Compton, CA). Check out the run here. A failed point after attempt faced Riverside with a 7-6 deficit.
Riverside continued to battle as sophomore quarterback Vic Viramontes (Norco, CA) provided a much-needed jolt in the Tigers offense. He first linked up with sophomore wide receiver Malik Holcomb (Chicago, IL) for a 38-yard touchdown pass. Viramontes displayed agility on the pass by rolling left as if he made up his mind to settle for a sizable scramble. However, he pulled up at the last minute to find Holcomb streaking down the sideline for six. The play gave the Tigers a 13-7 lead after a successful PAT from freshman John Garibay (Rubidoux, CA).
After Golden West took back the lead at 14-13, Viramontes continued to take matters into his own hands by taking off for a 55-yard touchdown run to give the Tigers a 20-14 advantage.
The Rustlers were not finished, however, as they strung together an impressive drive in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. While facing a third and goal at the 23-yard line, the Rustlers quarterback lofted up a 50-50 ball that was thought to be hauled in by a Golden West receiver. However, after further discussion, the referees reversed the call to an interception made by sophomore defensive back Terrill Gillete in the end zone leading to a 20-14 victory.
The defense stepped up in the fourth quarter highlighted by the Gillete interception. Freshman defensive back Evan Gutierrez (Fontana, CA) led the defense with eight total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Freshman defensive back Eric Wilson (Oceanside, CA) and sophomore linebacker Hunter Hoohuli (Honolulu, HI) each had five stops.
Viramontes paced the ground game and broke the century mark as he earned 123 yards on nine carries and a touchdown. Simms owned the other rushing touchdown after earning 43 yards on eight carries.
Holcomb lead the passing attack with three catches for 55 yards and a touchdown.
The Tigers (2-0) will travel to Bakersfield, CA on Saturday, September 16th and face off against the Bakersfield College Renegades (2-0) at 6 p.m.