Riverside (9-1, 4-1) held a modest 3-0 lead when defensive end Mykeal White sacked Mounties' quarterback Anfernee “Rico” Bruton and separating him from the ball. Linebacker Nick Underwood recovered the fumble and carried it 26 yards for a touchdown, extending the lead to 10-0 midway through the first quarter.
Then the Tiger defense did it again in the second quarter. Mt. San Antonio (7-3, 4-1) got on the board on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Bruton to Kennedy Sykes, and got the ball back after a Riverside punt. But then linebacker Hunter Hoohuli sacked Bruton and knocked the ball loose for anther fumble. Safety Kahani Smith scooped up the ball and carried it 10 yards for another touchdown to make it 24-7.
Next, the Riverside offense got into the act when Collyn Anderson threw a short pass to Darius Hunter. The speedy receiver, with his father, longtime Major League outfielder Torii Hunter, watching from the crowd, Darius caught the ball in stride and sped threw the Mt. SAC secondary for a 57-yard touchdown that extended the Tiger lead to 24-7.
Finally, the Tigers got a big play on special teams. Mt. SAC drove to the Riverside 16 late in the half, and kicker Brandon Gracia came on to attempt a 34-yard field goal. But the kick never had a chance as lineman Ernest Bagner swatted it down. Manulani Hudson-Rasmussen picked up the rolling ball and carried it 77 yards for a touchdown to extend Riverside's lead to 31-7.
The teams exchanged scores in the second half, with each team scoring a touchdown, but the outcome of the game was never in doubt after halftime. Eltoro Allen scored on a short run to cap a short drive with 3:58 left in the third quarter to make it 38-7. Back-up quarterback Richard Stammetti threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Trejo with 4:01 left in the fourth quarter for Mt. SAC to close out the game's scoring.
Anderson finished 15 of 22 passing for Riverside, good for 168 yards and a touchdown without throwing an interception. Allen ran the ball 28 times for 140 yards to lead all rushers, and scored one touchdown. Jacoby Herring led Tiger receivers with 7 catches, good for 42 yards, and Hunter had 2 catches for 70 yards and a score. And the defense, accounting for 2 touchdowns, and special teams, accounting for another, had huge roles in the win for Riverside.
For Mt. SAC, Bruton completed 13 of 26 passes for 130 yards and a touchdown, and Stammetti was 7-for-19 for 120 yards and a score. Sykes had a huge night with 7 catches for 122 yards and one touchdown. Sateki Finau carried the ball 13 times for 64 yards to lead Mt. SAC rushers.
The win lifted Riverside into a 3-way tie with Mt. SAC and Long Beach for the championship of the Central Conference. But Riverside prevails on the tie-breaker, earning a berth in the SCFA playoffs next Saturday. The Tigers will host Saddleback at 6 pm at Wheelock Stadium. And JCFootball.com will be on hand with the usual coverage.
Riverside Tigers 38
Mt. San Antonio Mounties 14
Saturday, November 12, 2016 – 1 pm - Wheelock Stadum
National Division – Central Conference
R – FG Hilfer 20 yds 11:58 (3-0)
R – Underwood 26 yd fumble return (Hilfer kick) 7:42 (10-0)
MSA – Sykes 17 yd pass from Bruton (Gracia kick) 3:28 (10-7)
R – Smith 10 yd fumble return (Castro kick) 10:58 (17-7)
R – Hunter 57 yd pass from Anderson (Hilfer kick) 7:01 (24-7)
R – Hudson-Rasmussen 77 yd return of blocked field goal (Hilfer kick) 3:18 (31-7)
R – Allen 1 yd run (Hilfer kick) 3:58 (38-7)
MSA – Trejo 13 yd pass from Stammetti (Gracia kick) 4:01 (38-14)
First Downs: Riverside 15 (8 rush, 5 pass, 2 penalty), Mt. SAC 22 (8 rush, 12 pass, 2 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: Riverside 45-123, Mt. SAC 40-144
Passing Yds: Riverside 168, Mt. SAC 250
Comp-Att-Int: Riverside 15-22-0, Mt. SAC 20-45-2
Return Yds: Riverside 171, Mt. SAC 153
Sacks-Yds: Riverside 3-29, Mt. SAC 2-8
Fumbles-Lost: Riverside 0-0, Mt. SAC 3-2
Penalties-Yds: Riverside 6-42, Mt. SAC 12-101
Time of Possession: Riverside 28:12, Mt. SAC 31:38
Rushing: R 22-Eltoro Allen 28-140, 7-Acda 8-7, 21-Lee 1-2, 1-Anderson 5-(-9), team 3-(-17); M 20-Finau 13-64, 12-Bruton 15-45, 19-Segura 7-21, 32-Pole'o 1-19, 14-Stammetti 3-1, team 1-(-6)
Passing: R 1-Anderson 15-22-0-168, 1 TD; M 12-Bruton 13-26-1-130, 1 TD; 14-Stammetti 7-19-1-120, 1 TD
Receiving: R 15-Herring 7-42, 4-D.Hunter 2-70, 11-Yoakum 2-30, 6-Maiden 2-13, 88-Williams 1-7, 83-Holcomb 1-6; M 11-Kennedy Sykes 7-122, 5-Trejo 5-34, 9-Salter 4-38, 32-Pole'o 2-56, 6-Ballard 1-10, 20-Finau 1-1
Sacks-Yds: R 96-White 1-13, 47-Hoohuli 1-9, 55-Aiolapotea-Pei 1-7; M 54-Pauni 1-7, 31-Woolard-Hilton 1-1
Interceptions-Ret Yds: R 38-Kupka 1-18, 20-Crenshaw 1-17; M none
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: R 42-Underwood 1-26, 24-Smith 1-10
Punters: R 7-Acda 6-32.8 avg, 82-Hilfer 2-32.5 avg; M 33-Gracia 7-39.1 avg
Kick Returns: R 83-Holcomb 1-18, 21-Lee 1-5; M 28-Walker 3-65, 21-Jacquess 2-45, 85-McKinley 2-45
Punt Returns: R none; M 85-McKinley 2-(-2)
Return of Blocked Field Goal: R 14-Hudson-Rasmussen 1-77
Missed FG: R none; M 33-Gracia 34 yds (blocked by 97-Bagner)
Notes: Riverside entered ranked #3 in the South-National and #8 in the nation (JCFootball.com) and improves to 9-1 overall, 4-1 in conference. Mt. SAC entered ranked #6 South-National and #9 in the nation and falls to 7-3 and 4-1. White's sack forced the fumble that Underwood returned for his TD. RCC's final TD came after Crenshaw's interception.