Riverside Lands Early Blows in Conference Opener against Comets

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

The Riverside City College football team was on the other side of history two weeks ago after dropping two straight for the first time in the Tom Craft era. The Tigers opened conference play against Craft's former squad, the Palomar College Comets, on the hunt to snap a two-game losing streak. They did so successfully with a fast-triggered offense and a reliable defense leading to a 47-21 triumph.

The Tigers experienced their strongest offensive showing of the season with 588 total yards and four touchdowns – two through the air and two on the ground. Riverside controlled the game in multiple categories including time of possession (33:01), first downs (28), and total plays (78). An offense powered by multiple components averaged 7.5 yards-per-play highlighted by 11.1 yards-per-passing clip.

Riverside did the majority of is damage in the first and fourth quarters. They kept the Comets off the scoreboard in the aforementioned frames while scoring 30 of their 47 points.

Leading the charge under center was freshman Jordan Barton. In his first-career start, he steered his team to its highest offensive output so far this season. Furthermore, the team's 588 total yards acts as a season high.

The freshman gunslinger went 20-for-29 with 322 passing yards and two touchdowns. Furthermore, he added a one-yard rushing touchdown to close out the first half. He carted the rock four times for 35 yards.

Barton completed a pass to six different wide receivers, but favored a two-headed monster in sophomore Jammal Houston and freshman Tye Moore.

Moore led all receivers with 123 total yards which included a 45-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter. He hauled in six receptions on the night. Houston matched his counterpart's reception total at six while hauling in a 40-yard touchdown snag leading to 104 receiving yards.

The ground attack was fierce with the freshman duo of Lawrence Starks and Dean Connor leading the way.

Starks nearly rushed for a bill as he carried the pigskin 16 times for 93 yards leading to a fourth quarter touchdown. Connors toted the ball 13 times for 48 yards, but did not land in the end zone for the first time in two games.

Sophomore Ricardo Chavez was flawless on the kicking front as he sent home four field goals. He converted three 30 plus field goals and a game-long 42-yard boot. He has now made 12-of-14 kicks and has an 86 percent efficiency rating.

Defensively, the Tigers handled business. They threw up two goose eggs in the first and fourth quarters and limited the Comet offense.

Leading the charge on defense was sophomore Randell Turner. He was a menace in the backfield highlighted by 2.5 sacks for a loss of six yards. It contributed to his 3.5 sacks for a loss of seven yards and six total tackles.

Sophomore D'Avonte Davis-Smith paced Riverside with seven total tackles with one tackle for loss, while sophomore Noa Purcell and freshman Gage Summers each had five stops. Purcell had one forced fumble and sophomore Elton Adigwu swooped it up.

Freshman Demontti Peoples got the Tiger's secondary back on track. He had four tackles and one pass breakup while sophomore Kylen Ross recorded four tackles.

Riverside (4-2, 1-0 SCFA Central) will continue action on the road next Saturday against the Mt. San Antonio College Mounties at 6 p.m.