Tigers Win, Mounties Move Out of Semifinals

The SACDAWGS remain 2019 conference champions


Quarterback Zachary Rangel and defensive lineman Inoke Katoa move in for a hug after a 48-0 loss against Riverside Community College on Saturday, Nov. 23. Photo by Andre Tinoco/SAC.Media

The Mt. SAC Mounties’ season came to an end Saturday night after a postseason loss to Riverside Community College by a score of 48-0. In a game where Mt. SAC never got a spark to ignite the offense, the Riverside Tigers offense seemed to be able to move the ball at will. The Mounties, who had been road warriors all season long, (5-0 on the road) could not catch a break and finally dropped one away from home.

The Mounties were still within striking distance with 8:48 left in the second quarter. The Mt. SAC defense, to that point, had managed to bend, but not break and was able to get timely stops to give the offense an opportunity to close the gap. The Mountie’s offense seemed to gain some momentum after two good runs by running back Rachaad White and a nice 10-yard pass from quarterback Rangel to wide receiver Sean Bowden, but the drive concluded on Rangel’s second interception of the game to Riverside linebacker Kue Olotoa.

The score was 10-0 before the Tigers scored twice to end the half and extended their lead to 20-0.

Mt. SAC vs Riverside
Mt. SAC defenders line up against RCC’s offense on a key red-zone play. Photo by Andrew Talavera

Turnovers are usually a reliable statistic to indicate who wins a game, and that was certainly the case for this one. Zach Rangel threw five interceptions in the game, including three in the first half, which prompted Mountie Head Coach Bob Jastrab to make a change.

“We threw three picks in the first half and we wanted to just see if we could get a spark with the next guy; Dylan deserves an opportunity to see if we could get the ball rolling,” Jastrab said.

Quarterback Dylan Flenniken was given that opportunity to start the second half.

“I was just trying to do my job, just trying to chip away at that deficit,” Flenniken said. “I just wanted to get my team back in it.”

Together, Rangel and Flenniken completed 11 passes for 126 yards with a completion percentage of 28. White led the league in rushing yards per game, but was held to 41 yards by the stingy Riverside defense.

When the second half began, it was more of the same for the Mounties. The offense was not able to finish off drives, and the defense showed signs of fatigue from being on the field too long because of the long grueling drives RCC put together.

Before long, the score ballooned to 34-0 in favor of the Tigers entering the fourth and final quarter of play. Mt. SAC defensive back Colin Keanu spoke to SAC Media after the game and said, “We had our stops at the right moments, but it’s just overwhelming. When it’s three and out after three and out and defense has to just keep on coming back out onto the field.”

The Mounties were not able to put up any points in the remaining quarters and ended the season on a sour note against what may be the best team in the state.

“They’re a great football team. They’re ranked number one for a reason, it just wasn’t our day,” Jastrab said post-game.

Coach Leroy
Co-Defensive Coordinator Coach Leroy Johnson stands on Wheelock Field at Riverside Community College after Mt. SAC’s 48-0 loss against Riverside Tigers on Saturday, Nov. 23. Photo by Andre Tinoco/SAC.Media

Although the season did not end in the way that the team wanted, the Mounties still accomplished a great deal. They bounced back from every loss they had this season and earned the title of conference champions.

After the game, Flenniken said, “I know that we all fought to the very end, we all fought our hardest. No one gave up, we gave it our all all season. I think myself, and I think the team too, has no regrets.”

Defensive back Colin Keanu also weighed in on the season.

“There’s nothing to hang our head about. We came out here and got beat today and it happens, but we put in too much work for any of us to hang our head,” Keanu said.

Riverside Community College will advance to face College of the Canyons for the SCFA Southern regional championship.

Wide receiver Sean Bowden catches the ball mid-air during the semifinal game against Riverside at Wheelock Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 23. Photo by Andrew Talavera/SAC.Media