RIVERSIDE - It was tough sledding for the top-ranked Riverside City College football team as the No. 19 Golden West College Rustlers came into town for blood. The Tigers played flat throughout the majority of the contest despite threatening on multiple occasions. The Tigers came within seven points on one occasion to make this interesting. Ultimately, the Rustlers pulled of the season's biggest upset by defeating the Tigers, 37-20.
It was the first time since Saturday, November 24, 2018 that the Tigers have lost on their home turf. Riverside snaps its 16-game winnings streak and 22-regular season game winning streak. Furthermore, it was the first time the Tigers have lost to Golden West in their past six meetings.
It was an uncharacteristic showing on both sides of the ball as the Tigers allowed the highest point total in the past 13 games. The defense allowed over 450 yards of total offense with four of the Rustlers' five touchdowns coming through the air. Furthermore, the defense allowed 6.2 yards-per-play highlighted by an inflated 9.6 yards-per pass play.
Penalties did not help the Tiger's case as they were flagged 10 times for 91 yards.
Riverside's sluggish play allowed Golden West to gain an early 10-0 lead. They extended their lead to 23-10 late in the second half, but sophomore Ricardo Chavez brought them back to within 10 points after booting a career-long 56-yard field goal.
Chavez's career-long kick currently stands as the school record and the longest field goal in the past 10 years in Wheelock Stadium.
(Ricardo Chavez kicking a record-breaking 56 yard field goal)
Offensively, the Tigers had plenty of opportunities, but could not capitalize and make the big play. They came within seven points of a tie once and 10 points of tie on three occasions, but could not make it over the hump. Riverside was 5-for-13 (38%) on third down plays with six drives ending in a punt and one via fumble.
Freshman Budd Bernie got the start under center and went 30-for-41 with 313 yards, but could not find the end zone. He carried the ball three times for a loss of six yards.
Sophomore Thomas Kinslow carried the bulk of the load offensively by earning over a bill of total offense. He led the team in carries with 15 going for 85 yards, while tacking on a team-high seven receptions for 52 yards. Freshman Dean Connors carted the rock nine times for 31 yards and two touchdowns.
(Dean Connors two yard run for a touchdown)
Sophomore Jammal Houston led the receiving core with six grabs for 68 yards including a team-long 24-yard reception. Freshman Juwan Tucker followed with five grabs for 65 yards. No wide receivers found the end zone.
Freshman Jalen Carter paced the team on defense with a team-high seven tackles. Freshman Noa Purcell and sophomore Randell Turner followed with six.
(Riverside City College Athletics)