A failed stop on a crucial third-and-one Sat. night sealed the Gauchos fate in Riverside as they fell to 1-2.
The Gauchos opened up the game with a strong drive down the field to the Tigers’ 13 yard line before Belmans’ pass which was intended for true freshman receiver Julian Moss bounced off of Moss’s hands and right into the hands of Riverside Defensive Back Desman Carter who took it back for an 87-yard touchdown return shifting the Momentum swing to the Home Side of the field.
The Tigers dropped 38 points on the Gauchos in the third quarter before they decided to make a comeback run with a hook & ladder to Las Vegas Native Lee Griggs who took it 28 yards for the Gaucho score putting them down 38-31 with 3:43 left in the fourth quarter giving them a chance to tie it up but that is what the score finished at that night as the Gaucho defense could not stop the Tigers as they clawed forward for their hope smashing game winning play.
Despite a 61-yard connection from quarterback Skyler Howard to receiver Kenny Torrence upping the score to 14-38 with 5:18 remaining in the third quarter setting a comfortable margin for the Tigers the Gauchos scored another 3 times before exhaustion became a foe on a much needed third-and-one stop that was failed. However, the Gaucho offense put up big numbers in their defeat as the offense racked up 470 yards to Riversides 412 while Sophomore Quarterback Tim Belman put on an aerial assault throwing for 432 yards and 2 touchdowns, he had nearly two one hundred yard receivers in Matt Morin who caught 3 balls for one hundred yards and true freshman Lee Griggs who caught 6 passes for 96 yards.
After the 87-yard pick six the Gauchos answered back with a 69-yard Belman to Morin connection in the first with Morin snagging the ball with one hand in the seam. However, it was receiver Jermel Walker and running back Sam Boyd who scored two more times (8 yards & 77 yards) before they let the Gauchos see the end zone again when Matt Morin bullied his way in for the 1-yard score with fifty-five seconds left in the first half. Kicker Luke Voss, running back Anthony Knight, and receiver Kenny Torrence all found the scoreboard in the ladder and early moments of the second and third quarters before Saddleback running back Jerry Stone, kicker Matthew Boermeester, and receiver Lee Griggs (3 yards, field goal, & 28 yards) all hit the scoreboard before time sealed the deal at 38-31.
The Gauchos who will encounter a bye week this week fell to 1-2 while the Tigers rose to 3-0 sitting on a National Ranking of #1.