(Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, CA)— The Roosevelt Rough Riders, now (3-2) overall, lost their home Eastern League opener in a close, and down-to-the-wire game to the visiting Bell Eagles, now (2-3) in their overall record. It was the Eastern League opener for both schools.
1st Qtr—The Riders took some time to adapt to Bell Head Coach, Tony Perez’s “Spread Offense” with its emphasis on the run game. The Eagles were first on the board when their QB/#11/JR/Daniel Ortiz took off around right end on a read option, picked up several key blocks downfield, and raced 60 yds. into the end zone at the (2:27) of the period. The PAT was unsuccessful. (6-0), Bell.
2nd Qtr—Head Coach Aldo Parral’s Rough Riders answered back with their own touchdown drive when a beautifully executed “play-action” pass caught the Bell defense stacked too tightly up front expecting a running play. QB/JR/#5 Andrew Flores calmly rolled to his right, pulled up and found tight end/JR/#23 Alfredo Sepulveda all alone in the secondary for a 35 yd. TD pass. The score came with (9:01) on the clock. The PAT was blocked. The score was now tied at (6-6).
In a “back-and-forth” style game, Bell would rebound with a drive of their own as they marched through the Rider defense en route to a 15 yd. TD run by their RB/JR/#30/Roberto Castro with (4:58) left in the half. This moved the score to (13-6), Bell.
But, with (2:46) remaining, the Riders countered with their own scoring drive as it was set-up by a huge 60 yd. play-action pass from from wingback Frankie Cruz to his fellow wingback Santos Rivera who slipped into the secondary before being tackled at the 35 yd. line. A few plays later, Rivera took it in from 15 yds. out for six. It was then followed by a 2 point conversion from Cruz, giving the Riders the lead at (14-13).
HALFTIME SCORE: Roosevelt 14, Bell 13
3rd Qtr—The “Big Play” of this period was a near duplicate play from earlier on the game when Ortiz took off on his first TD run. He actually repeated the same feat with (3:24) left to play going the same 60 yds. as before. Roosevelt did not have much success in sustaining their drives as they fell victim to several drive-ending penalties. The score at the end of the quarter was (20-14) Bell.
4th Qtr—At the (7:33) mark of the period, the Riders tied the score on a 6 yd. TD run by Frankie Cruz. The contest would not stay tied for too long as the Eagles took the lead on their next possession . They struck it big-time over the top when Ortiz found his tight end, SR/#42/John Cortes, streaking uncovered down the middle of the field at the 50 yd line. He broke one tackle early in his sprint to the goal line, but CB/Andrew Flores, managed to force him out of bounds at the 3 yd. line saving a TD. But, just two plays later, RB/SR/#2/Joe Valladares took it in from 2 yds. out for the go-ahead score. The Eagles missed their PAT. Score: Bell, 26, Roosevelt 20. This action came with 5:30 left.
Now, trailing (26-20) the Riders mounted their most critical “do-or-drive” of the game at the 5 minute mark as they started from their own 30 yd. line. After making several all-important first downs, they were steadily moving into scoring position. Then, QB/Andrew Flores on a run-option play over right tackle, managed to rush for what appeared to be a first down near the Bell twenty yd. line. However, a holding penalty negated the play and pushed the Riders back towards the Bell 4o yd line. Now, with 3rd and long, the Riders, out of their “Double-Wing T” formation, called a pitch-inside-reverse for Frankie Cruz and a sweep over right end. Unfortunately, as he was tackled, the ball was stripped and Bell recovered in front of their bench. This occurred with just over a minute left in the game. The Eagles were then able to run out the clock with several victory formations to secure the hard-earned victory.
FINAL SCORE: Bell 26 Roosevelt 20
In Other Scores:
Torres 8 Contreras 7
Firebaugh 22 Mendez 20
Garfield (4-0) BYE Week – Next Up: Legacy @ Home, 9/21/18
Wilson (3-1) BYE Week – Next Up: View Park @ Jackie Robinson Stadium, 9/21/18
Next Up: Roosevelt (3-2) Overall/(0-1) Eastern League vs. South Gate (3-2) Overall (1-0)/Eastern League @ South Gate, 9/21/18.