The Long Beach City College football team has waited a long time to play underneath the lights at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
After 657 days of patiently waiting, the Vikings were back on their home turf facing off against Riverside City College, the reigning CCCAA state champion.
The Tigers (2-0) went on to spoil LBCC’s homecoming as they defeated the Vikings, 24-6.
“First off we’re grateful to have a season,” Peabody said. “At the same time you want to represent and be a little more consistent in the way we play. That’s a great football team and we made too many mistakes.”
With less-than-ideal field possession, the Vikings couldn’t get much going offensively as they started 9-of-11 drives from their own 25-yard-line or worse.
The Vikings defense was up for the challenge as they stifled RCC’s opening drive to force a punt.
On LBCC’s opening drive a 44-yard run by Rodney Clemente Jr. put the Vikings (1-1) right in RCC’s territory.
The drive stalled, but the Vikings got on the board first as Ryder Padilla drilled a 42-yard field goals to give LBCC an early 3-0 lead in the first quarter.
The Vikings’ defense continued to slow the Tigers and forced a 3-and-out to put the LBCC offense back on the field.
Quarterback play hurt the Vikings as all four that entered the game went 7-for-21 for 94 yards and one interception.
On the ensuing drive, the Tigers marched 61 yards on 9 plays and scored after Dean Connors rumbled in to give RCC a 7-3 lead.
The Tigers extended their lead to 14-3 in the second quarter when Budd Bernie found Marquis Ashley for a five-yard touchdown.
Padilla scored LBCC’s last points when he connected for a 31-yard field goal to cut the RCC lead to 14-6.
One of the Vikings’ lone scoring opportunity ended when Kingston Hala was picked off by Keithan Gooden with less than seven minutes left in the game.
The Tigers’ quarterback duo of Budd Bernie and James Odom combined to go 16-for-28 for 121 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
The Vikings will be back in action next Saturday when they travel to take on Chaffey.