The No. 2 Riverside City College football team hit the road for its third Southern California Football Association (SFCA) Central Division showdown this past Saturday against the El Camino College Warriors with the playoffs looming in the horizon. The Tigers found themselves in a shootout with the Warriors in a tightly strung battle from start to finish. The Tigers ultimately fended off a late-game push by El Camino en route to a 45-42 victory.
The Tigers never handed over the lead as they held the edge from wire-to-wire. Riverside rode a strong start and a 21 point third quarter leading to the win. Additionally, the Tigers only used 52 total plays and had the ball less than 30 total minutes on offense and still managed to put up 45 points.
RCC got off to a strong start by charging down the field on their opening drive and scoring. Sophomore running back Clifford Simms (Compton, CA) called home for six with a one-yard touchdown run to give them an early edge. Freshman kicker John Garibay (Rubidoux, CA) capped off the first-quarter scoring by sending home a 42-yard field goal leading to an early 10-0 advantage after the opening 15 minutes of play.
El Camino responded early in the second quarter with a set of field goals to minimize their deficit to 10-6, but sophomore quarterback Vic Viramontes (Norco, CA) put a damper on their early comeback attempt with a 71-yard touchdown run to put the Tigers back up by 11 points.
However, an El Camino touchdown in the closing minute of the first half brought the score to 17-13 entering into the locker room.
The third quarter read all Riverside as they put up a crooked number of 21 points. Freshman wide receiver Tyrone Marshall (Los Angeles, CA) took the reins and controlled the second half early. He began his damaging charge by carting the pigskin into the end zone for an eight-yard rushing touchdown. He then continued on with just under six minutes left in the quarter to take a 98-yard kickoff return to the house to put the Tigers up 31-16.
Sophomore wide receiver Malik Holcomb (Chicago, IL) capped off the third quarter scoring action by hauling in a 17-yard touchdown snag from Viramontes to push the Riverside advantage to 38-22 entering into the final quarter.
El Camino began to make a push at the end by putting up 21 points to the Tiger's seven, but a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown from Viramontes would seal the deal en route to a 45-42 victory.
Viramontes was a staple in the offense like he has been all season. He finished with under 100 yards passing on a 7-for-12 night with one passing touchdown, but rushed for nearly 200 yards off 24 carries leading to a pair of touchdowns.
Simms backed him with 11 touches for 29 yards and a touchdown. The passing game was not very strong, but Holcomb led the squad with two catches for 50 yards and a score.
Defensively, sophomore defensive back Devanere Crenshaw (Riverside, CA) recorded his second interception of the season and returned it for 21 yards. He finished with four total tackles as well. Freshman linebacker Jash Allen (Portland, OR) recorded a game-high 11 stops that included one sack, while sophomore linebacker Hunter Hoohuli (Honolulu, HI) backed him with 10 tackles and a sack.
The Tigers (8-0, 3-0 SCFA Central) will return home this Saturday, November 4th to face off against the Long Beach City College Vikings (6-2, 3-0 SCFA Central) at 6 p.m. in Wheelock Stadium.