Entering the final quarter, El Camino held what looked to be a commanding 28-12 lead. But in the final period, Riverside got a touchdown from Richard Murrell and a field goal (his third of the game) from Johan Crispin to narrow the gap to 28-22. And in the final minutes, the Tigers were driving for what could have been the go-ahead touchdown when Vuna Tuihalamaka intercepted a screen pass to finally seal the win for the Warriors.
When the game began, Riverside gave notice it intended to give El Camino plenty of resistance on its home turf. A 32-yard return by Murrell on the opening kickoff, plus a 15-yard penalty on El Camino for a late hit, put the Tigers in Warrior territory at the 47. And on the next play, Riverside's Daniel Millus threw to Joshua Gibson for a 37-yard pass to move the ball to the 10. The drive stalled there, but the Tigers grabbed a 3-0 lead on Crispin's 30-yard field goal.
El Camino answered back quickly, needing just 5 plays to drive the length of the field and take the lead. The Warrior offense made it look easy, as Philip Knight had a run of 17 yards, Tavares Kendrick threw to Farquharson for 14 yards and Knight ran for 8 more on consecutive plays. Then Jamicah Bass took a handoff, started to the right, then cut back towards the left and raced into the end zone from 35 yards out to give the Warriors a 7-3 lead.
Then the defenses settled in, and each team punted twice. And the next team to score ended up being Riverside, which got another field goal from Crispin to cut the margin to a single point at 7-6 early in the second quarter. That score was set up by a 33-yard punt return from Gibson, who brought the ball to the El Camino 37.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Farquharson broke off his first of two long touchdowns, returning the kickoff 93 yards for the score and pushing El Camino's lead to 8 points at 14-6. The dynamic receiver took the ball at his own seven along the right numeral, followed his blockers to around the 40, and then cut across the field towards the left sideline, leaving the Riverside pursuers behind.
When the Tigers got the ball back, they must have figured the best way to keep Farquharson from scoring again was to keep the ball themselves, which they then proceeded to do. Using a mix of short passes and running plays, Riverside went on a 13-play, 81-yard drive that not only chewed 7:14 off the clock, but ended with an 8-yard touchdown pass from Millus to Gibson. On the 2-point conversion try, Millus was tackled from behind by El Camino's Damilyn Tanner, so the Warriors kept the lead at 14-12.
And with 3:38 left in the half, that turned out to be plenty of time for the El Camino offense to again extend its lead. A 13-yard run by Ruddy Irving got things started, and a 24-yard run by Irving moved the ball to the Tiger 22. Four plays later, Kendrick threw a bullet to Verran Tucker, who made a falling catch in the back of the end zone to extend El Camino's lead to 21-12.
When the second half began, the El Camino offense continued to roll down the field, moving to the Tiger 19 on its first drive. But then Riverside's Tim Bundy picked off a Kendrick pass at his own 3-yard line, returning the ball to the 13 and keeping the Tigers within 9 points of the Warriors.
That play turned things around in favor of the Tigers, at least temporarily. On the next play, Riverside nearly got an 87-yard touchdown when a Millus pass towards Gibson, who was behind the defense around midfield, was tipped just enough by Tanner to prevent the catch. Two plays later, however, Millus threw to Gibson again, and this time the result was a 50-yard gain. Though the Riverside drive stalled after that, punter Corey Lenahan pinned the Warriors deep with a punt that rolled dead at the El Camino 8-yard line. After gaining just one first down, El Camino had to punt, and Riverside took over in good field position at its own 41.
Once again, the Tigers went on the attack, moving the ball to the Warrior 30 on a 21-yard pass from Millus to Gibson. After a pass interference penalty gave Riverside a first down at the 20, Murrell broke off a 17-yard run (sprung by a great block by Gibson) to get to the El Camino 3.
Then came a marvelous goal-line stand by El Camino that swung the momentum right back to the Warriors. Three downs produced just 2 yards, bringing a 4th and goal from the 1. And on 4th down, Millus bobbled the snap, eventually losing the ball altogether. El Camino's Sean Prince picked up the ball and ran it out to the 24. On the next play, Irving gained 9 yards on a run. And on the play after that, Kendrick lofted a long pass along the right sideline that Farquharson ran under and caught in stride, taking it into the end zone for a marvelous 67-yard touchdown pass. That made it 28-12, and seemed to put the Warriors in control.
The Tigers, however, had other ideas. A late-hit penalty on El Camino on the ensuing kickoff gave Riverside good field position, and a 38-yard pass from Millus to Wesley Smith got them into scoring position at the Warrior 11. A pass interference penalty moved the ball to the 4, and three plays later, Murell powered into the end zone from the 1-yard line for the touchdown. Curiously, the Tigers elected to kick the point rather than try for the 2-point conversion (a good 2-point conversion would have made it a one-score game), and Crispin's good kick made it a 9-point game at 28-19.
Then the Tiger defense again made the big play to give Riverside another chance to rally. Kendrick attempted a long pass down the right sideline, but Bundy made an acrobatic interception at the 4-yard line, giving the Tigers the ball once again. Then the Tiger offense went on a long, grinding drive, covering 78 yards on 16 plays, including a successful fake punt play (a 7-yard run by Deylan Marrow). The drive stalled at the El Camino 18, but on came Crispin to kick a 35-yard field goal to make it 28-22 with 4:12 left.
And when El Camino got the ball, the Tiger defense quickly forced a punt. James Walker of Riverside contributed the key play, tackling Irving for a 1-yard loss on third down. Oscar De Alba's punt came to earth at the 10, and Gibson returned it 13 yards to the 23. With 2:10 remaining, Riverside had 77 yards to cover to win the game.
And Millus quickly moved the Tigers up the field. Passes of 9, 11 and 10 yards to Maximillian Taylor got Riverside across the 50 to the Warrior 47. A 3-yard run by Murrell got it to the 44, and another pass to Taylor, this time for 6 yards, moved the ball to the 38. A 2-yard gain by Millus on a quarterback sneak got a first down at the 36 with just under a minute left. First down was an incomplete pass. And on second down, Millus faded back, setting up a screen pass.
El Camino's Tuihalamaka was waiting when the ball came down, and grabbed the interception. Coming with 44 seconds left, that catch finally clinched the win for the top-ranked Warriors.
For the Warriors, Farquharson had a superb game with 4 catches for 115 yards and a TD, plus 3 kickoff returns for 136 yards and a score. Irving led all rushers with 93 yards on 10 carries, while Bass added 58 yards on just 6 carries. Kendrick finished just 6 of 14 passing for 118 yards, but had 2 touchdown passes.
For Riverside, Millus had a superb game with 349 yards passing on 21 of 41. Smith was the top receiver with 8 catches for 134 yards, but Gibson also had 6 catches for 140 yards (and a touchdown) plus a pair of punt returns for 46 yards. Murrell led the Tigers in rushing with 65 yards on 17 carries and a TD. And on defense, Bundy had a pair of interceptions.
With the win, El Camino improves to 3-0 on the season. But the schedule doesn't get any easier as the Warriors will travel to Mt. San Antonio, also 3-0, next Saturday. Riverside, meanwhile, returns home to host Cerritos.
El Camino Warriors 28
Riverside Tigers 22
Saturday, September 16, 2006 – 6 pm – Murdock Stadium, Torrance – Mission
R – FG Crispin 30 yds 13:08 (0-3)
EC – Bass 35 yd run (Houston kick) 10:36 (7-3)
R – FG Crispin 39 yds 11:10 (7-6)
EC – K.Farquharson 93 yd kickoff return (Houston kick) 10:52 (14-6)
R – Gibson 8 yd pass from Millus (run failed) 3:38 (14-12)
EC – Tucker 5 yd pass from Kendrick (Houston kick) 0:25 (21-12)
EC – K.Farquharson 67 yd pass from Kendrick (Houston kick) 1:16 (28-12)
R – Murrell 1 yd run (Crispin kick) 13:08 (28-19)
R – FG Crispin 35 yds 4:12 (28-22)
First Downs: El Camino 15 (9 rush, 4 pass, 2 penalty), Riverside 25 (7 rush,
15 pass, 3 penalty)
Rushes-Yds: El Camino 30-189, Riverside 39-102
Passing Yds: El Camino 118, Riverside 349
Comp-Att-Int: El Camino 6-14-2, Riverside 21-41-1
Return Yds: El Camino 183, Riverside 143
Sacks-Yds: El Camino 2-10, Riverside 0-0
Fumbles-Lost: El Camino 2-0, Riverside 1-1
Penalties-Yds: El Camino 10-100, Riverside 9-88
Time of Possession: El Camino 23:26, Riverside 36:34
Rushing: El Camino 46-Irving 10-93, 4-Bass 6-58, 8-Knight 5-31, 12-Kendrick 3-13, 22-Hill 1-1, 24-Ray 1-1, 32-Francis 2-(-1), team 2-(-7); Riverside 6-Murrell 17-65, 7-Luckey 6-19, 25-O'Neal 3-19, 28-Miller 4-8, 22-Marrow 1-7, 35-Scott 1-(-5), 4-Millus 7-(-11)
Passing: El Camino 12-Kendrick 6-14-2-118, 2 TDs; Riverside 4-Millus 21-41-1-349, 1 TD
Receiving: El Camino 9-K.Farquharson 4-115, 5-Tucker 1-5, 81-Hons 1-(-2);
Riverside 29-W.Smith 8-134, 8-Gibson 6-140, 9-M.Taylor 5-51, 25-O'Neal 1-19, 83-Ahsue 1-5
Interceptions-Ret Yds: El Camino 7-Tuihalamaka 1-0; Riverside 2-Bundy 2-10
Fumble Rec-Ret Yds: El Camino 36-Prince 1-10; Riverside none
Sacks-Yds: El Camino 90-Thompson 1-6, 45-Berard 1-4; Riverside none
Punters: El Camino 15-De Alba 4-40.8 avg; Riverside 13-Lenahan 3-27.3 avg
Kick Returns: El Camino 9-K.Farquharson 3-136, 25-Wheeler 3-39;
Riverside 7-Luckey 2-30, 35-Scott 2-25, 6-Murrell 1-32
Punt Returns: El Camino team 1-(-4); Riverside 8-Gibson 2-46
Notes: Both teams entered 2-0. El Camino was ranked #1 in South & #2 in California by the COA but #1 in the nation by JC Grid-Wire. Riverside was #6 in South, #10 in Calif. and #22 in the nation by JCGW. Millus was tackled from behind by 21-Tanner on a rollout on RCC's 2-point conversion try. Farquharson's TD reception came 2 plays after a goal-line stand by the ECC defense after RCC had 1st & goal at the 3. Bundy's 2nd int. was an acrobatic leaping catch at the RCC 4. Then came a 16-play drive, which included a successful fake punt (Marrow's rush) and ended with Crispin's 3rd FG. After an ECC punt, RCC got the ball back one last time and made it to the Warrior 36 but the drive ended when Tuihalamaka intercepted a screen pass with 44 seconds left, sealing the win for ECC.