Mounties Stumble Against Tough Tigers

Mt. SAC Football faced a rough challenge against the No. 4 Riverside City College


Diego Renteria

Alex Flores throwing downfield for Mt. SAC’s first touchdown of the game against the Riverside City Tigers on Oct. 23.

Mt. SAC Football is having a peculiar season with three wins to their name against the likes of LA Valley, Bakersfield and Saddleback College. In those games, the Mounties looked like a well-oiled machine, dominating teams early on offense and locking them down on defense.

Yet every machine has some gremlins and this team has had three games postponed due to COVID-19 protocols impacting them and their opponents.

The undefeated streak ended on Oct. 16 against El Camino College, where the Mounties tried to mount a comeback in their first conference game, but had no time to finish it out in the 30-24 loss.

Back home against the Tigers of Riverside City College on Oct. 23, the Mounties were looking to turn things back around.

The game started out differently compared to Mt. SAC’s previous games. Riverside City was able to score the first points of the game, something none of Mt. SAC’s previous opponents were able to accomplish. The Tigers went on a tactful drive, slowly chipping away at the distance from the endzone with a plethora of minor rushes and small passes. Their drive eventually ended with their quarterback finding their wide receiver for a touchdown

With less than ten minutes left in the first quarter, the Mounties had plenty of time to put together a solid offensive possession and went on a strategic drive of their own. They would string together a set of first downs on short passes and rushes to slowly inch them closer to a touchdown. With less than three minutes left, quarterback Alex Flores would find receiver Jaden Allen for a 3-yard touchdown.

The game was now tied, the Mounties did not let their opponents scoring first rattle their cage. As the last minutes of the quarter passed both teams would not put any more points on the board.

As the second quarter began, so did the woes of the Mounties defense. On the first possession of the quarter, the Tigers would make short work of the defense and score a touchdown within the first three minutes of the quarter. This put the score at Riverside up 14-7 and the Mounties tried to come back with their own response as they got the ball back.

This would prove futile as the Mounties would fail to score at all in the second quarter, and their defensive woes would also continue as the Tigers scored the rest of their points in the second quarter.

First on a touchdown from their quarterback to their wideout and then another on a rush by their running back. At the end of the first half, the Mounties trailed the Tigers 28-7 but the Mounties were going to look completely different in the second half.

Coming to the second half of the game, the Mounties had a different energy and the team seemed to have found a new sense of urgency. This showed in the first possession of the half for the Mounties as Mt. SAC would finally get their second touchdown of the game from a pass by Flores to wide receiver Trenton Finley. This wouldn’t change the game completely for the Mounties, but it would be a sign of hope for Mt. SAC as it put the score at 28-14 with less than eight minutes left in the quarter.

Riverside then got the ball back and looked to take the Mounties’ momentum away, but this would not be the case. The Mounties defense flipped the switch and became the defensive stalwart that they have been in games prior.

Defensive back Mauloa Wells would get an interception and ensure that the game’s momentum was still on the Mounties’ side. Wells’ interception set up kicker Noah Carlton perfectly for a 35-yard field goal. Carlton converted on this field goal and helped cut down the lead to 28-17. Both teams would go scoreless in the last five minutes of the quarter.

Going into the penultimate quarter, the Mounties would try to continue what they had done in the third quarter. Yet they would come up short as both teams would not be able to put on a successful drive for most of the fourth.

Mt. SAC finally scored in the last minute of the quarter as Flores found tight end Bryce Pierre in the endzone. To continue to cut down the lead, the Mounties would go for and convert on a 2-point attempt with Flores finding wide receiver Reginald Anderson for the extra point.

This would put the Mounties within reach of the Tigers at 28-25. Yet it was too little too late. After the Mounties last drive, there would only be 14 seconds left on the game clock with Riverside controlling possession. Riverside would eventually run out the rest of the time and take the win over Mt. SAC.

The Mounties tried to fight valiantly to take control of the game, but sadly their efforts came too late. Riverside would give Mt. SAC their second conference loss of the year for the Mounties. This loss will serve as a lesson for the Mounties to apply for the last three games of the season.

The Mt. SAC Mounties Football team will be playing again at home on Oct. 30 against Chaffey College.