Turnovers in any football game are always costly. But when you're playing the state's top-ranked team, every turnover is likely going to end up costing you.
Saturday night, the San Bernardino Valley College football team turned the ball over five times, and No.1-ranked Riverside City College took advantage, as the Tigers won the Battle of the Bell 58-37 at Wheelock Stadium.
SBVC turned the ball over twice on its first three possessions and quickly found itself down 17-0 to Riverside. But a Jaiden Roe's forced fumble after a punt on the fourth SBVC drive gave the Wolverines life. They took the ball and drove 70 yards, capped off by a 6-yard pass from Jeremy Moussa to Dionzae Nolan II to make it 17-7.
The Wolverines chipped away at the Tigers the rest of the first half, as they started moving the ball against Riverside. The Wolverines got a 1-yard touchdown run from Koale Schroeder, then took a field goal off the board after Riverside was called for running into kicker Ben Falck, deciding to go for it on a fourth-and-3 from the Riverside 19. The gamble paid off, as four plays later, the Wolverines were in the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Moussa to Latavion Staples.
SBVC clawed its way back to a four-point deficit at the half, then made it a one-point game on its opening drive of the third quarter, as Falck was successful from 38 yards out.
But the Tigers had too much firepower for the Wolverines to match after that, as Riverside's superior depth came into play late in the game.
The Wolverines, though, did have plenty of highlights to build upon for the rest of the season. Moussa ended the night throwing for 340 yards and four touchdowns (to four separate receivers), while running back Darrell Turner Jr. ran for 114 yards on the evening. The SBVC offense gained 32 first downs, while going 2-for-3 on fourth down conversions - with the one RCC stop coming on the game's last drive, with the result no longer in question.
In all, the two teams put on an offensive show for the fans. RCC and SBVC combined for 1,026 yards of total offense, with 798 of those yards coming in the air.
SBVC will return to American Conference action at Los Angeles Southwest College on Sept. 28.