By D.A. Phillips
RIVERSIDE – Undefeated no more, the No. 1 nationally and state-ranked LBCC Vikings fell to the Riverside Tigers, 34-14, Saturday evening, Oct. 31, at Arthur N. Wheelock Stadium.
The loss snapped LBCC’s 10-game winning streak dating to last season and also dropped the Vikings to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in National Central League play. LBCC’s next game is Homecoming against the Citrus Owls at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Veterans Stadium.
The Tigers capitalized on three turnovers and turned them into three touchdowns. LBCC’s high-powered offense struggled to move the ball and was stagnated and inconsistent.
The Tigers jumped out to a 17-0 lead late in the second quarter before Viking running back Darren Johnson ran in a 10-yard touchdown with just under a minute left in the first half as the Tigers went into halftime with a 17-7 lead.
On LBCC’s opening drive in the third quarter, Riverside sophomore corner Jonathan Lyles stripped receiver Mike Wilson and recovered the fumble at the LBCC 29. With good field position, Tiger quarterback Ian Fieber threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to K.J. Young, pushing the lead to 24-7.
The Vikings’ biggest play of the game came when freshman quarterback Jack Lowary found freshman receiver Ikenna Ohaeri for an 84-yard touchdown reception to cut the lead to 24-14 with over 11 minutes left in the third quarter.
Late in the third quarter, Long Beach’s Lowary was picked off by defensive back Ronald Robinson, who returned the ball down to LBCC’s 37-yard line, Lowary’s second interception of the game.
On the next play, Fieber connected with Kyrion Parker for a 37-yard TD pass to extend the Tiger lead to 31-14 with under two minutes left in the third. The Tigers push the lead to 34-14 after a 42-yard field goal by Julian Castro in the fourth.
The Vikings’ offense combined for 288 yards. Lowary was 21-38 passing for 243 passing yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Wilson had seven receptions for 73 yards and Johnson ran 16 times for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The defense was led by sophomore Keanu Hill with 10 tackles (9 solo) and one interception while Mat Boesen had eight tackles (5 solo). “We came out kind of flat and our defense got put in bad position”
Long Beach and Riverside are 3-1 and Mt. San Antonio is 4-1, in conference play and are fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Riverside has won for the 34th time in 35 home games over the past five years.
LBCC will play its final regular season game at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, at rival El Camino p.m.
Playoffs and bowl games begin Saturday, Nov. 21.