With a freshman starting at quarterback and an all frosh offensive line, Grossmont’s football team is sporting green in more ways than just the team-color. The Griffins are half-way through the season and are still looking for their first win of Fall 2019. Unfortunately, that win would not come Oct. 19 when G-House hosted their first conference game of the year against the undefeated Riverside City College Tigers.
Grossmont’s defense stepped up in the face of adversity to start the game as linebacker Anthony Jordan hurried Riverside’s sophomore quarterback Mike Irwin, forcing the offense to scramble. The Griffin’s gained momentum as freshman linebacker Dayne Fehoko forced and recovered the fumble committed by Tiger’s running back Isaiah Leeth. Grossmont though could not capitalize on the turnover, ending the drive on a missed 32-yard field goal attempt by Browning. The Tigers scored early and often, with their first touchdown of the game coming from a 65-yard bomb thrown by Irwin to sophomore wide receiver Dylan Laurent, putting Riverside up by seven following the extra-point attempt with 32 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
Riverside’s sleeping giant of a defense awoke in the second quarter as Grossmont quarterback Joaquin Quintana-McKinney committed a fumble while attempting to rush on a third and three play. The turnover was recovered by the Tigers on their own 28-yard line and was pushed up to the 14, after Grossmont committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Riverside cashed-in on the turnover, when Irwin completed a screen-pass to freshman wide receiver Rolandiss Whitener Jr. for the 13-yard score. The Tiger’s juggernaut offense began clicking on all cylinders as Irwin reconnected with Laurent, this time on a 10-yard pass; solidifying his second touchdown of the half. Grossmont responded promptly to the score putting up a touchdown of their own as freshman starting quarterback Lukas Arthur completed a 22-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Dominick Hudson. Grossmont faked the extra point and failed on the two-point conversion attempt putting the score at 20-6 with two minutes left until the half.
“We just got to come back and score, we’ve been moving the ball pretty well, we just got to capitalize on drives,” Grossmont wide receiver Tanez Davis said, while going into the locker room during halftime. He added, “Our defense caused two fumbles and have been holding it down for the most part; our offense just has to score and we’ll pull this out.”
Head coach Michael Jordan agreed with his sophomore receiver adding: “ Our defense is playing pretty well, we got a couple of pretty big plays off. Overall they’re flying around pretty well, offensively we just got to keep moving the ball and make a couple of big plays.”
Jordan noted on what was discussed during halftime, “We talked about what we think we could be successful with for the second half we saw some things from the first half that we think we can take advantage of.” He continued, “We dealt with a couple injuries so we have to change a few things up, but I think we have a good game plan coming in second half.”
While the Griffins fell to the Tigers 55-12, bright spots exuded from Grossmont’s gameplay, as the defense created three turnovers and freshman punter Jack Browning racked in 317 yards on seven punts. While Browning, the only kicker on the team, precisely pinned the Tigers back in their own territory often; Riverside’s high-powered offense controlled the tempo of the game. Despite Grossmont’s defensive efforts to shift the momentum, forcing four fumbles — one creating a second Grossmont touchdown during the third quarter; it was still not enough to quiet the ferocious Tigers.