Earlier this week, Golden West Coach Ray Shackleford expressed two emotions about his team's upcoming game at Riverside.
He was pleased that in the ninth week of the season the Rustlers could still win the Mission Conference Central Division championship.
But he was concerned Riverside's size advantage along the line combined with his injury-riddled defense could make for a long night.
He was right.
The Rustlers are no longer in title contention after a 42-21 loss at Riverside.
The Tigers rushed for a season-high 379 yards and clinched at least a tie for the divisional title.
Riverside (5-4, 4-0) has won five games in a row heading into next Saturday's regular-season finale at Fullerton.
Anthony Richardson led the Tiger charge with a season-high 185 yards in 28 carries. Kenya Smith added 90, including a 16-yard touchdown run that put Riverside ahead, 7-0, with 12 minutes 45 seconds left in the first quarter.
Still, Golden West (4-5, 2-2) had a chance in the second half, but was done in by two costly plays.
The Rustlers trailed, 21-7, at the half, but cut it to 21-14 on a two-yard run by Vance Senteno with 12:50 left in the third quarter.
Golden West appeared to have Riverside stopped on the next series after a third-down completion was 10 yards short of the first-down marker. But the Rustlers were called for a late hit and Riverside got a first down at the Golden West 19, thanks to the 15-yard penalty.
Richardson scored on a 19-yard burst up the middle on the next play and Riverside was up, 28-14, with 10:14 left in the third quarter.
The next crucial mistake came with about 10 minutes left.
Golden West's Donny McMahon punted and Riverside's Lewis Cayce appeared to make a mistake by fielding the ball at his six instead of letting it bound into the end zone.
Cayce ran to his right and was nearly stopped at about the goal line, but broke two arm tackles. Cayce then turned up the sideline and went a Riverside-record 94 yards for a touchdown.
Golden West never had a serious chance after that.
Senteno had 101 yards rushing in 16 carries and quarterback Steve Walker was 12 of 17 for 124 yards and touchdown for Golden West, which ends the season against Orange Coast next Saturday.
In another Central Division game:
Orange Coast 17, Saddleback 0--Saddleback suffered only the second shutout in school history, covering 271 games and 26 years. The first also was to OCC, 26-0, in 1976.
Ulysses Trammell caught a school record 92-yard touchdown pass from Dan Mather with 59 seconds to play to put the game away.