It was a sweltering afternoon, with temperatures soaring well past 100 degrees, and Mt. SAC held just a 7-3 lead at halftime. But then the Mounties turned to their running game in the third quarter, and Riverside wilted in the heat under the Mt. SAC ground attack. The Mounties' racked up 134 yards rushing and 212 yards of total offense in the third quarter, and held the ball for 17:12 of the first 20:55 of the second half to push the lead to 29-3.
The first half was dominated by the defenses. The Mt. SAC offense began with a 7-play drive that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Nick Lamaison to Daniel Masifilo midway through the first half. Riverside answered with a 25-yard field goal by Marco Barrera in the final seconds of the first quarter to make it 7-3.
And neither team scored again in the first half. The closest either team came was when Terron Moses intercepted a Lamaison pass at his own two and returned it for an apparent 98-yard touchdown. He weaved from the right sideline through traffic to the left sideline near midfield, and back through traffic to the right sideline and into the end zone. But a holding penalty near midfield negated much of the return, keeping the score 7-3.
It was a different story, however, when the third quarter began. Mt. SAC took the kickoff and drove 74 yards in 10 plays, with McBride finishing the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Then came a Riverside punt, which Finau Lomu returned 29 yards to the Tiger 48. Eight plays later, McBride punctuated another scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown run. Then after another punt, Mt. SAC drove for another touchdown, this one coming on a 9-yard run by Marcus Wagner, that made it 26-3. The scoring run came one play after Lamaison threw a 20-yard pass to Richard Parham to convert a fourth down.
At that point, Mt. SAC had complete control of the game. But just two plays later, Rashad Rainey recovered a fumble for the Mounties at the Riverside 37. That led to a 27-yard field goal by Jeremy Brown that made it 29-3 with 9:05 left in the game. At that point, Riverside had possessed the ball for just 3:43 of nearly 21 minutes in the second half.
Rudolf Fifita added the final Mt. SAC touchdown when he recovered a fumble after a bad snap and returned it 46 yards for a score with 2:07 left in the game. Riverside got a touchdown on a 2-yard scoring run by LaRon Jackson with 31 seconds left in the game to make it 31-10.
For Mt. SAC, Lamaison completed 15 of 21 passes for 220 yards and a TD. But the turning point came when the Mt. SAC committee of running backs took over, featuring McBride (17 carries, 86 yards, 2 TDs), Wagner (13 carries, 71 yards), Matthew Botello (12 carries, 55 yards) and Daniel Joseph (3 carries, 39 yards). The Mounties totaled 270 yards on 55 carries for the day. Big Visesio Salt was the most visible member of an extremely effective Mt. SAC offensive line. And Fifita led the defense, also intercepting a pass in addition to his fumble return.
For Riverside, Dalton Livingston completed 9 of 14 passes for 159 yards, splitting time with Nader Furrha, who had 6 completions from 9 attempts for 62 yards. But the Tiger running game netted just 4 yards on 31 carries on the day. Linebacker Zaire Anderson had a sack and was a visible presence on defense.
The win moves Mt. SAC, ranked #1 in California by the JC Athletic Bureau and #1 in the nation by JCFootball.com, to 4-0 entering its showdown at also-undefeated Bakersfield next Saturday. Game time is 6 pm.
Mt. San Antonio Mounties 36
Riverside Tigers 10
Saturday, September 25, 2010 - 1 pm - Hilmer Lodge Stadium - Walnut
M - Masifilo 23 yd pass from Lamaison (J.Brown kick) 7:01 (7-0)
R - FG Barrera 25 yds 0:08 (7-3)
M - McBride 11 yd run (pass failed - bad snap on kick attempt) 11:20 (13-3)
M - McBride 3 yd run (kick wide left) 6:14 (19-3)
M - Wagner 9 yd run (J.Brown kick) 1:05 (26-3)
M - FG J.Brown 27 yds 9:05 (29-3)
M - Fifita 46 yd fumble return (J.Brown kick) 2:07 (36-3)
R - Jackson 2 yd run (Barrera kick) 0:31 (36-10)
First Downs: Mt. San Antonio 24 (15 rush, 9 pass), Riverside 16 (3 rush, 8 pass, 5 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Mt. San Antonio 55-270, Riverside 31-4
Passing Yds: Mt. San Antonio 220, Riverside 221
Comp-Att-Int: Mt. San Antonio 15-21-1, Riverside 15-23-1
Return Yds: Mt. San Antonio 177, Riverside 214
Sacks-Yds: Mt. San Antonio 2-18, Riverside 1-8
Fumbles-Lost: Mt. San Antonio 1-1, Riverside 4-3
Penalties-Yds: Mt. San Antonio 12-118, Riverside 3-17
Time of Possession: Mt. San Antonio 34:42, Riverside 25:18
Rushing: Mt. SAC 3-McBride 17-86, 30-Wagner 13-71, 32-Botello 12-55, 24-Joseph 3-39, 41-Magalei 4-18, 6-Edwards 1-6, 7-Lamaison 2-(-2), 29-Gatewood 2-(-2), team 1-(-1); Riverside 25-Hunt 7-24, 27-Jackson 6-10, 13-Furrha 10-5, 3-D.Robinson 5-4, 2-Livingston 1-(-9), team 2-(-30)
Passing: Mt. SAC 7-Lamaison 15-21-1-220, 1 TD; Riverside 2-Livingston 9-14-1-159; 13-Furrha 6-9-0-62
Receiving: Mt. SAC 1-Brun 2-38, 4-Torres-Keohokapu 2-34, 19-Masifilo 2-28, 32-Botello 2-23, 6-Edwards 1-33, 14-Harrell 1-26, 17-Parham 1-20, 15-Iaea 1-15, 30-Wagner 1-4, 80-Duncan 1-2, 3-McBride 1-(-3); Riverside 3-D.Robinson 3-25, 25-Hunt 3-17, 83-Will 2-59, 9-Patterson 2-18, 26-Foster 1-43, 6-Buie 1-24, 4-Greenwalt 1-21, 84-Mays 1-9, 8-Stip 1-5
Interceptions-Ret Yds: Mt SAC 54-Fifita 1-41; Riverside 24-Moses 1-45
Fumble Rec: Mt. SAC 54-Fifita 1-54, 8-Murray 1-0, 33-Rainey 1-0; Riverside 23-L.White 1-0
Sacks-Yds: Mt. SAC 31-Pula 1-9, 55-Filomoeatu 1-9; Riverside 39-Z.Anderson 1-8
Punters: Mt. SAC 71-Highley 3-39.3 avg; Riverside 85-Alvarez 6-39.5 avg
Kick Returns: Mt. SAC 4-Torres-Keohokapu 1-15, 3-McBride 1-13; Riverside 26-Foster 5-152, 8-Stip 1-8
Punt Returns: Mt. SAC 46-Lomu 3-52; Riverside 26-Foster 2-9
Missed FG: Mt. SAC 49-J.Brown 36 yds (wide left); Riverside none
Notes: Mt. SAC entered ranked #1 in the state and the nation and improves to 4-0; Riverside falls to 2-1. Moses had a spectacular 98-yard interception return for an apparent TD that included visits to both sidelines in the final seconds of the 1st half, but the return was shortened by a penalty. Mt. SAC had 212 total yards, 134 yards rushing and 12 1st Downs…in the 3rd quarter alone! Mt. SAC also had the ball for 17:12 of the first 20:55 of the second half to take control of the game. Mt. SAC's FG came after Rainey's fumble recovery. Livingston and Furrha alternated at QB for Riverside pretty much the whole game.