Huntington Beach, Calif. - It came down to the final play in the Southern California Championship game between the Riverside City College Tigers and the Golden West College Rustlers.
After scoring a last-minute touchdown, Golden West followed by successfully recovering an onside kick to keep their championship hopes alive. With no timeouts remaining and just seconds left on the clock, the Rustlers drove down to Riverside's 15 yard line and connected on a slant pattern that nearly sent them to the CCCAA State Championship game. Unfortunately, Riverside stopped Nick Kennewell on the 2-yard line as time expired to keep the Rustlers from advancing to the state championship.
It was tough sledding for both teams as the first half ended at a three-all draw. Golden West's only points came from a 39 yard field goal from freshman kicker Jake Cipres early in the second quarter to give the Rustlers a 3-0 lead.
Things began to heat up in the second half where the majority of the scoring took place. The Tiger's found the end zone first but the Rustlers responded on the following possession as Golden West's offensive coordinator John Shipp dug into his playbook and had running back Jared Johnson throw his first career touchdown pass to quarterback Jake Retzlaff to tie the game at 10-10.
Riverside got into the end zone for a one-yard score to close out the third quarter of action but the Rustlers responded right away in the fourth quarter when Retzlaff hit John Ojelabi for an 8-yard TD pass to tie it at 17-17.
Riverside was able to connect for a touchdown on a 74-yard strike with 6:54 remaining in the fourth quarter to take the lead 24-17 and then they added a 29 yard field goal to make it a two possession game with 3:10 remaining.
Unfortunately, Golden West couldn't complete the comeback falling short on the 2-yard line. The Rustlers finished the season with a program best, 11-1 record and the Southern League title.