Prep Impressions: Week 10-B

Riverside Poly's offense overcame two early turnovers to defeat Riverside North, 13-7, in Week 10. / Photo by DENNIS POPE

Riverside Poly’s offense overcame two early turnovers to defeat Riverside North, 13-7, in Week 10. / Photo by DENNIS POPE

I covered the Riverside North-Riverside Poly varsity football game on Friday, Nov. 6, 2015, for The Press-Enterprise, & @PEcom_preps, and came away thinking the Bears won because they refused to quit on defense.

Even though Poly was penalized 12 times for 75 yards to North’s six flags for 45 yards, the Bears managed to control the line scrimmage and shutout the Huskies the final three quarters.

A pair of late interceptions were critical, and Afi Tualega sealed the Bears’ the No. 2 spot in the Inland Valley League with a 7-yard TD run with 5 minutes left in the fourth.

But the Bears defense got better as the game got later, forcing a number of tackles in the Huskies’ backfield and the pressure to force junior QB Abraham Galvez into mistakes.

Junior DE Jonis Allen has two sacks and sophomore DT Fa’asolo Viapulu had one sack among his four tackles for losses as Poly finished off a 13-7 victory in its regular season finale. The Bears (5-5 overall, 4-1 IVL) will play Friday in a CIF-Southern Section Inland Division first round game. Opponent TBA.

The Huskies (2-8 overall, 2-3 IVL) were limited to 199 yards in the loss, their third straight in the series.

Riverside North head coach John Rice:

“We played a great ball game. They played a great ball game. They had the ball last, had a chance, and we didn’t convert on our last chance. We just ran out of time. I don’t there was a turning point at all because the game was in contention. That game was not over until it was over. I’m proud of my coaches. I’m proud of my players. We just fell a little bit short. I was so focused on giving (Abraham Galvez) opportunities on fourth down so he can make choices. He converted three fourth downs in a row, and we had a 14-play drive and we just didn’t put the ball in the end zone. We didn’t manage that well. The coaches could have done a better job. It’s not the players’ fault. They fought. Sometimes two teams fight and there’s a winner. It went down to the wire. We have to play four quarters every single game and not play parts of a game.”

Riverside Poly head coach Opalani Viapulu:
“It’s awesome. I haven’t sat back and thought about it. We’re still working. Keeping our head down. A lot of these guys are seniors so we need to keep our heads down and work until we fulfill our destiny. We play the guys the offensive coaches think, and try to maximize whatever we can with those two (Matt Hubert and Afi Tualega). Whoever’s hot, has the hot hand, so there’s a rhyme and reason for it, but we’re happy with both of them. Just trying to figure out ways to win the game.”

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