Season Preview: No. 3 Riverside Football Looks to Continue Dominant Dynasty

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

Six-consecutive Southern California Regional Championship appearances, six-consecutive conference championships and a record of 89-15 (.856 winning percentage) over the past 10 years.

What team is described above? You probably guessed correctly. It is the Riverside City College football program.

While earning double-digit wins in seven of the last 10 seasons under Head Coach Tom Craft, Riverside looks to continue the dynasty that is Tiger football with character and poise while anchoring the Southern region.

The mantra remains the same. Focus, concentration and discipline are the core values that are preached, which is why Riverside has transferred over 182 student-athletes to competitive four-year universities over the past 10 years.

After a season in which the Tigers went undefeated in regular season play, they enter the 2019 campaign ranked third in the state, according to the 2019 JC Athletic Bureau Poll of California Community College Football Coaches. They sit behind defending state champion Laney at number one and Southern regional champion Ventura at number two.

Only three teams from the Southern region landed in the top-10. No. 9 El Camino is the third and final squad to make the cut. Riverside will open their season against the Warriors for an early season test this Saturday, September 7 at home at 6 p.m. (game details below). No. 12 Saddleback, No. 14 Southwestern and No. 18 Fullerton are also on the schedule.

The Tigers will roll out a roster with just a handful of returners. Offensively, the line will be helmed by sophomore Kevin Brown who was recently named to the 2019 College Football America JC Starting Lineup. In 2018, he helped RCC reach averages of 499.6 yards per game, 258.5 rushing yards per game and 42.3 points-per-game.

Sophomore wide receiver Tyler Kennedy returns after a strong inaugural campaign. As a receiver, he scored six touchdowns and hauled in 26 catches for 518 yards. He did most of his damage on special teams highlighted by returning 13 kicks for 401 yards and a touchdown. He brought a 94-yard kick return to the house in a win over San Bernardino in week four last season.

Defensively, sophomore Kue Olotoa is the most veteran presence as he totaled 43 tackles in the linebacker position while forcing one fumble and notching one interception. He also recorded two break ups on pass attempts. Sophomore Jalen Bowens (31 tackles) and sophomore Zechariah Holifield (29 tackles) will look to contribute on the defensive end as well.

General admission to the contest is $8. Discount tickets are sold at $5 for non-RCC students with a valid ID, veterans, seniors and children under 17. All RCC students, staff and faculty are granted free admission.

All games will be live streamed through Riverside Athletics YouTube and Facebook channels. Live stream coverage will be provided by Riverside TV and supported by RCC Athletics


2019 Riverside City College Football Schedule
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Riverside Athletics Visitor's Guide