Preview: Week Four Rematch Featured in Southern Regional Championships

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

A week four rematch has shaped into the most important showdown of the season; the Southern California Football Association (SCFA) Regional Championship game featuring the fourth-seeded Riverside City College Tigers and the second-seeded Golden West College Rustlers.

Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. on the campus of Golden West College. All tickets can be purchased online and all prices are listed at the link provided. Tickets can be purchased here: SCFA Regional Championship Playoff Tickets.

The game will be live stated and live streamed. Both links are available on our website and listed below. Livestream Link · Live Stats Link

Riverside routed the South's top seed and undefeated Ventura, 41-21, in the SCFA Regional Semifinals on Saturday to advance to their fifth-consecutive Southern Championship contest. Second-seeded Golden West defeated third-seeded Canyons, 20-10, on the other half of the Southern bracket earning a championship bid.

The Tigers (9-2) will look to reach their second-consecutive CCCAA State Championship, while the Rustlers (11-0) aim to advance to their first ever state championship in program history.

Riverside and Golden West met in week four of the regular season. Golden West bested the Tigers, 37-20, behind a high-flying offense that featured strong quarterback play leading to 456 yards of total offense (6.2 yards-per-play). They snapped the Tigers 22 game regular season winning streak and 16 game winning streak.

The Tigers are out for blood.

Since their last loss in the first week of October, the Tigers have won some close games featuring single-digits wins over Mt. San Antonio (28-25), El Camino (34-27), and Cerritos (40-38). Their latest triumph over Ventura sets the stage for snapping another undefeated record.

Since week four, multiple aspects of the Tiger's game has changed. Most notably, the quarterback situation.

Freshman Jordan Barton has secured the reins under center. Since being inserted into the Tiger's first team offense, Riverside is 6-0. Additionally, he has led and offensive unit that has produced over 400 yards of total offense in five of the last six games.

Barton has gone 127-for-191 (66.5 completion percentage) leading to 1,852 passing yards and 17 touchdown passes. He has thrown at least one touchdown pass in each start and two or more touchdown passes in five games. His best efforts were seen in a five passing touchdown game in a victory over Chaffey in week 10.

Barton has favorited three targets – wide receivers Jammal Houston, Juwan Tucker and Marquise Ashley.

Houston leads the team with 36 receptions for 558 total receiving yards. Ashley paces the three-headed receiving core with five receiving touchdowns, while Houston follows with four. Tucker has hauled in 27 catches for 334 yards.

The backfield is helmed by sophomore Lawrence Starks, but injury leaves him questionable for a southern championship appearance. Sophomore Thomas Kinslow has carried the ball a team-high 100 times leading to 437 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Dean Connors is the primary red zone running back with six touchdowns off 84 carries leading to just under 400 yards on the season.

The Tiger defense was stout in the victory over Ventura by forcing four turnovers. One take away led to a defensive touchdown and three lead to RCC offensive touchdowns on the ensuing possessions.

Sophomore Carlton Johnson had two takeaways in that contest including a fumble recovery and a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown. He has recorded two interceptions, a team-high seven pass break ups and 31 total tackles.

Leading the defensive charge is sophomore linebacker Noa Purcell. He paces the team with 53 tackles which includes a team-high 35 solo stops. He has recorded 1.5 sacks, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble.