By Phil Thurman, Fullerton College Sports Information
It was a repeat of last year's SCFA Championship game with the same result as the #1 Hornets took the high-flying #2 Riverside City College down 75-16 on Saturday at Whittier College's Memorial Stadium.
FC (12-0 overall) has now won three out of the last five SCFA titles (2013, 2016, and 2017).
Today's win now punches Fullerton College's ticket to the CCCAA State Championship game that will be played at Sacramento City College against the winner of the San Mateo / American River game.
Receiving the ball on the opening kickoff, Riverside (10-2 overall) quickly moved the ball down the field and scored in seven plays. Tiger quarterback Vic Viramontes led the way rushing for 8 yards on the first play and a play later hit receiver Malik Holcomb for a 40-yard gain. Sitting on the FC 20-yard line, Viramontes threw a bullet to WR Cam Sutton for a touchdown.
On the second play of their first drive, the Hornets punched back when running back Gerald Hulett broke loose for an 85-yard touchdown run to tie the game up.
After such a quick start, both teams struggled to find their way back in the end zone, until Fullerton hit struck with 1:52 left in the first quarter. QB Ladarius Skelton led the way scoring on a 1-yard run to go up 14-7.
FC managed to score again before the end of the first after getting the ball back after a forced fumble by Cody Darrowthat was recovered by Devin Hessler. From the RCC 10-yard line, the Hornets went up 21-7 on a Skelton run from seven yards out.
The Tigers gouged three points back at 11:43 in the second quarter on a 34-yard field goal by John Garibay.
Fullerton answered the call again a minute later when quarterback Johnny Feauto ran one in from the 8-yard line. The scored another at 8:57 on a 19-yard burst up the middle by Hulett.
Up 34-10 with 5:27 left in the first half, the Hornets allowed the Tigers into the end zone for the last time when Viramontes tossed a long 42-yard bomb to Sutton for their second hook-up.
Just when Riverside had some flash of hope, Fullerton kick it down scoring again on a long demoralizing 10-play 75 yard drive that had Hulett punch it in from the 1-yard line.
By the time both teams headed to their respective locker areas at halftime, Fullerton held a daunting 41-16 lead.
In the second half, the Hornets continued to hound the Tigers applying pressure on both sides of the ball. Riverside had no answers on offense and was completely shut out. RCC's defense went on to allow 34 points to an unstoppable Hornet offensive unit.
The Hornet defense once again put on a display of dominance holding the Tigers to 68 total rushing yards. Previously, RCC averaged 290.5 yards a game. Fullerton forced 6 turnovers and had 8 sacks on the day.
FC running back Gerald Hulett was amazing running for 197 yards on 23 carries with 3 TDs. QB Johnny Feauto led the way in the air passing for 201 yards (11 for 16 with no ints.) and 1 TD. He also ran for 96 yards on 8 carries with 2 TDs. QB Ladarius Skelton ran for 38 yards on 10 carries and had 2 TDs. The offense gained a total of 749 yards (372 passing / 377 rushing).
The 2017 team broke a school record for most points in a season with 689 total points. The previous record was set in 2013 at 568 in 13 games.
Today's effort nearly broke a scoring record with the team putting up 75 points. The record stands at 79 points by the 2013 and 2016 teams. This year's team came close twice scoring 78 points at Grossmont and today's game.
Today's win is Fullerton's 18th in a row dating back to last season loss at Saddleback College back on October 22, 2016.
SCFA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME AWARDS
Defensive Player of the Game -LB Caleb Johnson, Fullerton College
Offensive Player of the Game - WR Cam Sutton, Riverside City College
MVP - QB Johnny Feauto, Fullerton College