TORRANCE, Calif. --- El Camino College fell behind big early and they could not recover Saturday night in a 34-27 National Central Division loss to Riverside at Featherstone Field in Murdock Stadium.
The Warriors (5-3, 1-2) dropped their second straight game and first home game this year after falling into a big 17-0 hole to the Tigers (6-2, 3-0) in the opening quarter. The Warriors were able to whittle down the Tigers' lead to one possession three times during the game but could never finish off the comeback.
Mehki Jordan got the start at quarterback for the Warriors and went 18-for-30 for 175 yards and one touchdown. Stephen Bradford Jr. ran for 87 yards on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns from seven and 36 yards out.
But the Tigers got a huge game from running back Lawrence Starks with 158 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns along with some key takeaways from the defense. The Tigers forced three fumbles from the Warriors and recovered two of them, turning both of them into touchdowns on the ensuing drives.
The backbreaking turnover came in the fourth quarter after the Warriors defense held the Tigers out of the end zone and forced them to settle for a field goal with 11:47 left in the final period to cap off a 13-play, 59-yard drive, giving the Tigers a 27-20 lead.
On the ensuing drive, the Warriors got to the Tigers 40-yard line before Tigers' defensive back forced a fumble by Brandyn Jordan, which was recovered by Riverside to kill the Warriors drive.
The Tigers would score a touchdown five plays later when Starks sliced through the Warriors defense for a 38-yard touchdown run, giving Riverside a 34-20 lead.
Ross led all players with 11 tackles on the night.
The Warriors did not go quietly, however, as Bradford Jr. cut the deficit to 34-27 with a 36-yard touchdown scamper of his own with 1:17 left in regulation.
The Warriors' onside kick attempt went off a Riverside player and there was a mad scramble for the loose ball but Riverside was able to come out of it with the ball and they ran out the clock to secure the win.
With the loss, the Warriors fall to a tie for fourth place in the division. They will play their final road game of the regular season next Saturday when they take on last-place Chaffey at 1 p.m.