The #1 Hornets hosted Riverside City College in the Southern California Football Association's Championship game and remained unbeaten (12-0) knocking off the Tigers in a physical one 23-14.
Fullerton began the game on the wrong foot with a terrible kickoff into the wind that had the Tiger's Kendell Moore return it to their own 41-yard line. From there, RCC knifed through the Hornet D with ease in four plays scoring the game's first seven points (QB Skyler Howard pass to WR Mickey Stallone).
With some work, FC got on the board on a 38-yard field goal by Ian Boozer with 6:25 left in the first quarter.
The Hornets defense came up big towards the end of the first quarter on Darius Lewis' forced fumble on RCC's Jordan Howard. Treshon Broughton scooped it up giving the Hornets the ball on the Tiger 37 yard line. Fullerton took advantage of their opportunity scoring in five plays on a Nick Norman run from the three-yard line giving the Hornets their first lead of the game at 10-7 (2:32 1st Quarter).
The second quarter was all defense as both teams were well matched on the line. The score remained 10-7 FC until the end of the third quarter.
The Tigers hammered out a punishing 11-play offensive drive that took the lead (14-10) from the Hornets on Howard's TD run from the 7 yard line.
With the lead, Fullerton controlled the fourth quarter with a grinding ground attack marching the ball from their own 15 yard line to pay-dirt on a 9-yard run from RB Ryan Byrd (12 plays, 6:48 minutes).
With FC up 23-14 and 1:55 left in the game, Riverside quickly hushed the excited Hornet crowd by moving the ball down the field in two large bursts to their own 45 yard line. The drive was halted, and the game sealed for Fullerton, when Howard's next pass was deflected off of his own player's helmet allowing Hornet LB Shawn Stephens to come down with the interception.
Fullerton ran the clock down to the 8-second mark before Anthony Martinez punted the ball to the RCC 32 yard line. The Tigers managed to get three plays off to their own 46 before time ran out ensuring the Hornet championship win.
Player of the Game for Riverside
Bryce Smith - 4 tackles and 1 interception
Player of the Game for Fullerton
WR Ryan Longoria - 4 catches for 140 yards and 1 touchdown
Most Valuable Player of the Game
QB Jose Escobar (Fullerton) - 19 out of 27 with no interceptions for 328 yards and 1 touchdown
Up Next: The CCCAA state championship game will be hosted by the North's unbeaten champion Butte College (11-0) on December 14th. Kickoff will be at high noon.
*Cover Photo by Sean Sydnor - Award Photo by Jim McCormack