The 2017 rivalry “Battle for East L.A.” goes to the Garfield Bulldogs for the eighth consecutive year. The Roosevelt Rough Riders played with a stout heart and strong determination, however, it was their untimely and costly penalties that took them out of several scoring opportunities that could have easily turned the tide in their direction.
In addition to the game itself, we begin our recap of the event and its importance to our East L.A. community. We start with the above-mentioned headline and then proceed to add all of the other tremendous efforts that made this edition of the 83rd East L.A. Classic a very memorable one for the 15,000 fans, students, parents, school faculty/administrators, and residents who attended.
Brief Game Summary: A determined and upset-minded Rough Riders managed to score on its first possession of the game as they drove some 65 yds, capping the drive off with a 10 yd. TD run by senior RB, Isaiah Zepeda. The Bulldogs would answer with their own scoring drive when RB/P.J. Garcia scored on a 1 yd. dive at the 10:47 mark of the 2nd period. Then, at the 5:51 mark, QB/Adam Polanco scored on a 1 yd. keeper. The Bulldogs finished the half by scoring with just :19.3 seconds left when Polanco, from the 9 yd. line, found his WR/Angel Hidalgo open in the end zone for their third unanswered TD. Going into the locker room, the score was Garfield 21, Roosevelt 7.
The 3rd quarter was scoreless but in the 4th quarter, Garfield would score on a 35 TD run by RB/Moses Gonzalez at the 11:01 mark. moving the score to 27-7. Then at the 4:29 mark left in the game, Adam Polanco delivered a textbook 55 yd. “catch and run” to his WR/Jalen Lawrence. After this TD, an historical PAT was made by Bulldog placekicker, Jennifer Ibarra, who became the first female varsity player to score a point in the “Classic.” The Rough Riders would close out the contest with just 1:39 remaining on an 11 yd. screen pass for a TD from Raymond Reynoso to his WR/Brandon Hernandez. Thus, the game ended with the final score reading, Garfield 34, Roosevelt 14.
Final update on the “East L.A. Classic.” With this victory, the Bulldogs now claim the most wins over the Rough Riders by a 42-41 margin.
With this Eastern League victory, the Bulldogs would improve to 3-1. Their last match-up will be played at home next Friday, 11/3 at 7 pm when they take on the Bell “Eagles.” A win could move them into a probable three-way tie with South Gate and Huntington Park, should all three teams win. The Rough Riders travel to Huntington Park on Friday to close out the regular season. The team would like nothing more than to finish at 5-5. Head Coach, Ricardo Zepeda strongly hopes to receive a Division II play-off bid this season after noticeably and appreciably improving on his inaugural 2016 Rough Riders overall record of 1-9.
On Saturday, The L.A. City Section Playoff Committee will announce the pairings for All Divisions. We will publish the match-ups for Garfield, Division 1, Roosevelt, Division 2, and Torres, Division 3 once they have been made known to us.
Special Note From The Editor: This production contains the full game highlights and a panoramic photo gallery. Please share and like as widely as possible with all of your social networks. We greatly appreciate your support of our efforts in sports programming to engage and inform our great East Los Angeles communities. Rico Cabrera, Sr./Editor, EastLASportsScene.Com
Photo Gallery Credits: Lucy Alvarado, Student Intern, EastLASportsScene.Com
Video Highlights Credit: Frankli Robles, Student Intern, EastLASports Scene.Com