Three teams remained undefeated in the state entering into week seven play. One of those teams is the Tigers, who have been pacing the southern region all season. They put their unscathed mark to the test against the Golden West College Rustlers in conference action tonight. Despite having a lackadaisical first half, Riverside utilized a monstrous special teams and defensive effort that transformed into a powerful offensive showing en route to a commanding 56-13 victory.
The Tigers strung together 323 yards of total offense with a nearly even split through the air and on the ground (177 rushing and 146 passing). They utilized a 35% third down efficiency rating while converting their lone fourth down try. Furthermore, the Tigers accomplished this feat by possessing the ball approximately 21 minutes as opposed to the Rustler's 38-minute possession time.
It was the seventh-consecutive game the Tigers recorded at least one turnover. Their takeaway came in the third quarter compliments of freshman Shawn Dourseau. The defensive leader brought a 37-yard pick to the house in the third quarter to expand the Tiger's lead by 36 points. He finished the game with four tackles as well.
The Tigers turned the ball over three times in the first half, but the offensive continued to chip away after the defense forced the five Rustler drives to end in a punt. On each drive, the Rustlers were halted to less than 40 yards highlighted by a negative four-yard summary on their fourth drive of the series.
Sophomore Mike Irwin tossed his lone touchdown pass of the game to wide receiver Giovanni Sanders to close out the opening quarter. It was backed by a 30-yard touchdown scurry from freshman tailback Jamon McGlory.
The special teams play came alive in the second quarter with Dourseau returning an 86-yard punt return to the crib to extend the Riverside lead. Irwin followed with a five-yard rushing touchdown to bring a 28-6 lead into halftime.
It was all Riverside for the remained of the contest as they outscored the Rustlers 28-7. Freshman return man and wide out Rolandiss Whitener Jr. followed up his career-best game with an 87-yard punt return for a touchdown. McGlory continued to cart the rock with authority leading to his second rushing score of the game, while freshman wide receiver Isiah Leeth capped the scoring with an 18-yard receiving touchdown from freshman quarterback Jacob Barlage.
The defense was as formidable as ever as a number of helmets contributed. Rey Estes, Elton Adigwu and Zach Burrola paced the squad with five tackles, while Kobe Fitzgerald and Dorseau followed with four. Kue Olatoa recorded four stops and one of Riverside's three sacks. Karo Koshkaryn and Keanu Henry were responsible for the other two.
Riverside (7-0, 2-0) will continue action on the road Saturday, November 2 as they face off against Southwestern College at 6 p.m.