Potent Rushing Attack Carries No. 1 Riverside past No. 9 SD Mesa

Photo by Bobby R. Hester
Photo by Bobby R. Hester

It was a cool, crisp night in San Diego, CA, but the top-ranked Tigers remained scorching hot in their final contest before conference action. The undefeated Riverside football team lit up the scoreboard in a game against No. 9 San Diego Mesa by putting up a season-high 61 points in a routing over the Olympians on Saturday night.

Prior to Saturday night, the Tigers' backfield was responsible for one rushing touchdown through the first four games. It all changed in the victory over SD Mesa as four different running backs found the end zone leading to seven rushing scores and 354 yards on the ground.

Sophomore running back Joseph Griffin kicked off the game with a rushing score to cap a nine play, 58-yard drive to spark the offense. He carried the rock on the first four plays and a total of six times in the opening drive to rack up 44 of his 59 total yards in the contest.

Freshman running back Jamon McGlory was equally as effective on an even six carries has he bagged a set of rushing touchdowns – one coming in the early in the second quarter to hand the Tigers a one score lead and another late in the third to put the Tigers up by 24 points. Freshman tailback tandem Thomas Kinslow and Elijah Bennet put the final nail in the coffin late in the fourth quarter as they each rushed for touchdown.

Sophomore quarterback Mike Irvin only dropped back 14 times in his fifth-consecutive start under center, but that was due to the lethal rushing attack. He was the major conduit in the electric running game as he toted the ball 13 times for 109 yards marking the first time this season a Tiger has rushed for triple digits. He landed in end zone twice.

The defense allowed 26 points which was their fewest amount of points allowed since late September. They recorded another defensive touchdown compliments of a scoop-and-score in the second quarter from freshman linebacker Jalen Bowens. He recorded four tackles and three break ups to compliments fumble recovery for a touchdown.

Freshman corner back Kylen Ross returned after missing week four due to injury. He returned in a loud way by recording a 46-yard interception return for a two points on attempted two-point conversion. Sophomore Kobey Fitzgerald led the team in tackles with nine, while freshman Torrance Hill backed him with seven tackles.

No. 1 Riverside (5-0) will enter into a bye week and will return to the gridiron on Saturday, October 19 against Grossmont College on the road at 3 p.m.