For the 10th-consecutive season under the leadership of Head Coach Tom Craft, the second-ranked Riverside City College football team has reach the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Southern California Regional playoffs. The Tigers have earned the second seed and will play host to the third-seeded El Camino College Warriors on Saturday, November 17 at 6 p.m. at Wheelock Stadium on the campus of Riverside City College.
Per the CCCAA constitution, the cost of admission is $12 and $8 for students with valid identification. There will be no free admission for any fans, members of an affiliation, or Tiger Backer Members. Furthermore, there will be a $5 parking charge mandated by the RCCD police.
Live streaming will be available on the Riverside Athletics YouTube Channel. The stream is free of charge.
Riverside has been a staple in the Southern California playoff scene and they continue to paint a picture of sheer dominance in the southern region. The Tigers produced an undefeated record this season and defeated five top-25 teams. One of those victories came against El Camino in the season opener.
Riverside has displayed poise and supremacy on both sides of the line of scrimmage since to opening snap. Offensively, they rank second in the state in total offense (4,951 yards), third in yards-per-game (495.1), fourth in points-per-game (42.3), fourth in total points (423), and fourth in total touchdowns (57). Defensively, Riverside ranks third in allowed points-per-game (12.6), third in points allowed (126), and fourth in allowed rushing yards-per-game (77.9).
The quarterback play has been nothing but reliable for Riverside this season. Sophomore Stone Smartt had some large shoes to fill and quickly proved that he would be a force to be reckoned with under center. He currently ranks first in in the state in passer efficiency (188.4), fourth in completion percentage (65.3), and is tied for fourth in the state in passing touchdowns (26). Additionally, he has thrown for 2,283 yards and is averaging 10.4 yards-per-attempt.
Smartt is stocked with some of the most threatening weapons in the state. His leading receiver is sophomore Tyrone Marshall who tops his team in receptions (39), receptions-per-game (3.9), total receiving yards (631), and yards-per-game (63.1). Freshman tandem Jammal Houston and Tyler Kennedy act as the number two and three receivers, respectively. They have each tallied 20 receptions and have combined for 889 receiving yards.
A stout ground game is a trait the Tigers have presented the entire season. It is a grouping that possesses an abundance of talent that features various skill sets – an earth, wind and fire attack, so to speak. Sophomore running back Malik Walker paces the pack as he has amassed 810 total yards on 133 attempts leading to a team-high nine touchdowns. Sophomore Quincy Wimbish, who was named the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) Week Five Offensive Player of the Week, backs him with an even 500 yards on the ground leading to four touchdowns. Freshman Eric Buchannon has chipped in valuable time with 43 carries for just under 300 yards and a score.
In the rare occasion that the Riverside offense fails to plant themselves in the end zone, they have a reliable leg in the form of sophomore kicker John Garibay. Garibay has booted home nine of his last 10 field goal attempts highlighted by a career-long 47-yard conversion. Furthermore, he has knocked home 90 percent of his point after attempts.
While Riverside has displayed an offensive prowess that is nearly unmatched in the state, it is a defensive unit that mirrors the success.
The Tigers have held seven opponents to 10 or fewer points on the season. They have been a backfield's nightmare highlight by holding Golden West to negative yards rushing.
The Riverside defense is a nightmare for any opponent. Sophomore linebacker Vic Viramontes, who was the CCCAA Offensive Player of the year just one year ago, made the transition to defense and did so successfully. He paces his team in tackles with 50 to average five stops-per-game. He has recorded 1.5 sacks and recovered one fumble. Sophomore Nickolas Figueroa compliments Viramontes' effort on the defensive line as he has amassed 10.5 sacks that have gone for a loss of 77 yards. His sack total ranks tied for ninth in the state.
The Tigers secondary is led by freshman safety Christian Swint and sophomore corner back Eric Wilson. Swint is a magnet to the rock as he has recorded three interceptions, forced three fumbles, and has recovered two forced fumbles. Furthermore, he is second on the team in tackles with 35. Wilson has matched Swint's interception total with three after recording two picks in a contest against Saddleback. He has earned 25 stops on the season.