The No. 2/3 Riverside City College football team is one of just five unbeaten teams remaining in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) entering into the final weekend of play in September. After the Tigers hosted three of their five home games this season, they hit the road and put their flawless record to the test by facing off against the Cerritos College Falcons on Saturday night. Despite coughing up the ball twice on offense in the early goes, Riverside was able to remain composed, ride a strong defensive showing, and cruise to a 31-20 victory.
The Tigers earned the opening kickoff and began to charge down the field with ease highlighted by a 54-yard rush from sophomore quarterback Vic Viramontes (Norco, CA). However, Viramontes looked to cap the drive with a touchdown pass, but was picked off in the end zone.
Despite early misfortune, the Tigers defense responded and forced a turnover on downs just outside of the red zone highlighted by an incomplete pass in which freshman linebacker Moroni Anae (San Deigo, CA) recorded a quarterback hurry to force the errant pass.
Viramontes redeemed himself the following drive by connecting with freshman wide receiver Malik Holcomb (Chicago, IL) on a 53-yard bomb down the near sideline leading to a touchdown grab and an early 7-0 lead after freshman kicker John Garibay (Rubidoux, CA) booted home the point after attempt.
The Tiger defense continued to step up by forcing another punt capped off by a sack from sophomore defensive lineman Mykeal White (Lynwood, CA). Unfortunately, the offense coughed up the ball once again the following drive, but the defense continued to flex in the final minutes of the first quarter.
With 3:40 minutes remaining in the first frame, it became the Devanere Crenshaw (Riverside, CA) show. After the sophomore cornerback recorded two-consecutive tackles in the Cerritos series, he quickly ended the drive with a pick-six by jumping an out route and charging down the field for 54-yard touchdown and a 14-0 advantage after the opening quarter.
The Tigers continued to drive down the field in the second quarter fueled by their defensive dominance. Viramontes capped off as strong drive by scrambling for an impressive 25-yard touchdown run. Viramontes put on his best beast mode impression and rumbled to the end zone after spinning away from the rush and breaking five tackles en route to the end zone. The run can be viewed here.
However, the Falcons did not go away, as they put up 13 points in the second quarter after a 35 –yard field goal from Garibay to bring the score to 24-13 in the Tigers favor at halftime.
The third quarter saw no signs of offense for both teams, so it all came down to fourth-quarter play. Viramontes continued to play well by connecting with his go-to target of the night in Holcomb for his second touchdown snag of the night.
Despite the Falcons scoring in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Tigers were able to hang on to the win with the scoreboard reading 34-20 at game's end.
Holcomb was the dynamic weapon of the game by hauling in seven catches for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns. His seven catches were one shy his season high, while his total yardage went for a career clip.
Viramontes recorded his fourth-consecutive game of more than 100 yards rushing by carrying the ball 12 times for 132 yards and one touchdown. Furthermore, he went 11-for-18 through the air with 158 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Clifford Simms (Compton, CA) carted the pigskin eight times for 64 yards which included a 13-yard rush.
It was a successful game on the defensive end with five players recording six or more tackles on the night. Freshman linebacker Evan Telliard (Riverside, CA) paced the pack with eight stops, while Crenshaw and Anae recorded six tackles. Freshman linebacker LaBryson Dixon (Jacksonville, FL) notched 1.5 sacks.
The Tigers (5-0) will enter into a bye week this upcoming weekend, but will return home to face off against Chaffey College on Saturday, October 14th.