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Alexander: RCC beat Ventura earlier, but that means little now

By in Press Enterprise on November 18, 2017

By Jim Alexander

It is easy to assume that Riverside City College’s football Tigers, having beaten Ventura back in Week 4, will hurdle the Pirates again Saturday night at Wheelock Field and get back to the Southern California regional championship game for the fourth time in five seasons.

Assumptions can be dangerous. And if the second half of RCC’s 42-34 win on Sept. 23 is an indication, the Pirates will be no easy out.

Ventura (8-2) changed quarterbacks at halftime of that game, with former Boise State backup Jake Constantine replacing former USC and Arkansas backup Ricky Town. Ventura was a different team the rest of the season as a result.

Constantine came on with RCC leading 28-13. He passed for 302 yards and three touchdowns, the last bringing Ventura within eight points with 2:54 to play.

“We were up by 22, and it went to eight real fast and we hung on,” RCC coach Tom Craft said. “He’s had a great year since that time; they found their guy, and they’re going to be tough because of it.”

Constantine went on to lead the SCFA in touchdown passes with 28 while completing 62 percent of his throws and passing for 236.8 yards a game with six interceptions.

RCC (9-1), of course, has its own bounceback in Norco High grad and former Cal Bear Vic Viramontes, who took control of the offense in Week 2 against Victor Valley and hasn’t let up. Viramontes is well down the list of passers in the SCFA but leads the region in rushing (121.0 a game) and has run for 16 touchdowns while passing for 18 more.

He has, in fact, enticed Craft to adjust.

“I think really we have changed and adapted to his skills,” the coach said. “I’ve always been a big believer that you start with your philosophy and lay it down […]    

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