Golden West had the lead going into the fourth quarter, but Riverside stepped up its rushing attack and overcame the Rustlers 20-17 Saturday night.
Tonight's game was thought to be an offensive shootout, but it turned into a defensive battle that came down to the final five minutes of the fourth quarter. In Golden West's case, injuries played a role in the offenses lacking production. Starting quarterback Adam Vance and primary wide receiver Zimari Manning were sidelined with injuries. Riverside, on the other hand was healthy at the quarterback position, but former Mission Viejo talent Ian Fieber struggled throughout thanks to the Ruslter defenses stellar performance.
Consistency at the quarterback position was tough for the Rustlers tonight. Freshman Adam Carr started in place of Vance and struggled going 4-12 and 61 yards. Angel Matute, listed as a tight end, replaced Carr in the second quarter and led the offense 74 yards to the end zone for the first score of the game. The offense did not score after that, though the defense did everything it could to keep Riverside at bay.
Led by former Villa Park standout Kory Garcia, the defense took advantage of Fieber's struggles intercepting him twice. Following a lost fumble, freshman Matthew Posey picked off Fieber in the end zone to earn a touchback. The second interception was a game-changer as linebacker Hunter Margain snatched a tipped pass and ran it back for an 81-yard score to put Golden West up 17-6
Early in the fourth quarter, Riverside relieved Fieber of his quarterback duties in favor of Collyn Anderson. Anderson showed great accuracy going 6-7 with 60 yards passing, which opened up the running tandem of sophomores Seth Acda and Eltoro Allen. Allen and Acda rushed for a 2-yard and 7-yard score respectively to put away the game in the fourth quarter. Acda ended with 103 yards on 17 carries to complete his dominating performance on the ground.
The Rustlers are on the road next week traveling to Chaffey College for a 6 p.m. start. Golden West comes home two weeks from now to play Cerritos, which also a 6 p.m. start.