(Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Roosevelt Rough Riders took their second consecutive bus trip, this time to the great and historical community of Lincoln Heights, situated in the Northeast sector of our vast City of the Angels. This time, they were ready and eager to play game #2 on their pre-season schedule versus the Lincoln “Tigers” who came into this contest with an (0-1) record after losing to South Pasadena in their opener last 8/26.
[1st Half]: The visiting Roosevelt Rough Riders/Eastern League, won the coin flip and chose to defer until the second half. The Lincoln Tigers/Northern League took the ball on the opening drive and after 5 plays ran off a 35 yard Touchdown run by #7 Darron Cotton. The 2-point conversion failed and Lincoln led early in the contest, (6-0). The Rough Riders answered back with a long and measured (16) play drive that ate up the rest of the quarter.
After a couple of minutes into the second period, the Riders scored on a 4 yard run by #4 Isiah Wright. His backfield running mate, #5 Jared Andrade, converted the 2 point conversion to put Roosevelt up (8-6). The Tigers returned the favor on a 10 yard run by #6 Lyonell Wilson but then failed once more on their 2 point try. Lincoln retakes the lead by four (12-8).
The Riders came storming back with another long drive capped by a 3 yard run by #10, QB Isaac Huerta. The 2 point try is good as #5 Jared Andrade crossed the line. The Rough Riders went back up on top by the score of (16-12) with time still left on the clock before the 1st half came to an end.
The Rough Rider defense then woke up strongly and began to assert its dominance over the Tigers. After a punt by Lincoln, Roosevelt confidently marched down the field and scored on a toss play to wingback #8 Johan Alfaro. The 2 point conversion failed, but Roosevelt jumped ahead by a ten point margin at (22-12) to end the half.
[Halftime Score]: Roosevelt 22 Lincoln 12
[2nd Half]: The remainder of the game truly showed Roosevelt’s dominance as the defense completely smothered Lincoln’s passing attack. The Riders took the opening second half kickoff and marched the length of the field. The drive concluded with a beautiful 42 yard pass from #8 Alfaro to teammate #5 Andrade. His catch and run took him pass down the Lincoln sideline for the score. Still a bit inconsistent on their 2 point conversion attempts in this game, the margin now stretched to (28-12).
Before the end of the 3rd period, Roosevelt scored again for its 5th TD of the game when #4 Isiah Wright ran in his second touchdown of the evening and capped it with a 2 point conversion. Riders were on cruise control and led by big by a count of (36-12).
Within a few minutes, the Tigers found themselves pinned deep in their own territory inside their 10 yard line, this coming after a booming 52 yard punt by #5 Andrade. The Tigers #4/QB Tyler Rosales was sacked by Defensive End, #24 Diego Chavez in the end zone for a safety. The score moved up to (38-12).
In the 4th quarter, Head Coach Parral and his Coaching staff, for the second week in a row rewarded his Rough Rider back-ups with that great career enhancer, playing time, known throughout sports worlds as (PT). On that note, they continued to advance the football on the overmatched and confused Lincoln defense who had no answer for the double wing attack. Sophomore wingback, #2 Alan Ortiz, capped the drive with a 3 yard run to give the Riders their last score of the evening. Roosevelt now led by the wide margin of (46-12).
To counter the Riders overwhelming scoring, the Tigers were able to muster one last score on a 60 yard touchdown pass from QB #4 Tyler Rosales to #11 Joshua Sosa bringing the score to (46-18). The Riders were driving towards the end of the game but Coach Parral sent in his final order of the game and asked for his team to basically run out the scoreboard clock, thus securing their second win of the season.
[Final Score]: Roosevelt 46 Lincoln 18 [Next Up]: The Rough Riders travel on the road for the third consecutive week as they travel to Southwest L.A. to visit the home of the Crenshaw Cougars, members of the Coliseum League, tomorrow, 9/1. Kick-off is set for 7:00 PM due to the upcoming National Labor Day Holiday Weekend.
Last thought on the game…the all-around inspirational team play, coupled with yet another “road” win, and the emotional commemorative wearing of their two helmet decals in honor of the near, dear, and beloved Coach Dickie and Santos Rivera #44, could not have ended in a more befitting way. Helmets were lifted high in the air and eyes looking straight up to Salute both of these Rough Riders in Heaven, before and after this game!! Now for closure of this story that begs just this one question..What do you think our two dear friends would say to this 2022 Rough Rider team, Head Coach Parral, his Co-Coach, and all of their Assistant Coaches in their locker room, if only only it were possible.
–Coach Parral’s Corner–
On preparing the team with specific “keys” to stopping the Lincoln air attack offense…
One of the most important keys for the week was how our defense was going to handle Lincoln’s All-City receiver #3/Jaden Rattay. He did not play due to a broken pinky finger. This meant that the rest of the his team would have to step up to fill the void. It seemed they were not ready to do so.
The second concern for our offense was Lincoln’s front four line, with three players well over 6’2” and close to 300 pounds each. Initially they played us well, but after producing two of our textbook drives, we just started to wear them down with blocks coming from every direction. The double wing just grounded them up.
On the growing confidence your “double wing” is generating early into the season…
I think that the double wing gives us a chance to level the playing field against teams that may be bigger, stronger and/ or faster than us. Slowing down the game and limiting the offenses on their opportunities to be on the field, results in a lower scoring game that puts pressure on the opponents’ to have to score on every possession.
Most defenses today are used to attacking and charging upfield as they look for the QB. When they play us, defenses do not like the script being flipped as they are the ones that are attacked. They are being pushed back and have to fight through 11 players coming at them from every direction. I do not think there is one offensive lineman in the country that likes to sit back and have to fend off defenders attacking them the whole game. That is foolish in my point of view. We attack the defenders and let them know that you are not going to have free reign against us.
On other observations after game two of the young season..
Offensively, our unit is playing well and we have been able to accomplish our vision up to this point. The backfield rotation is working out well. We have a couple of injuries on the O-line and are looking forward to those two young men to get back in the mix. It has been great that less experienced lineman have stepped up to fill the void and gain valuable playing experience.
Defensively, our players are understanding the system better although there are still some mistakes being made. We hope that they will minimize those mistakes as we get closer to league play and of course before we enter the playoffs.
Our season has been dedicated to two individuals that were very important to our program, Santos Rivera and Dickie Guillen. The entire team is wearing a couple of stickers in honor of Santos, his number (#44), and his name on the front of their helmets. The kids and staff that knew him asked for this recognition, especially those of us who worked with him during our first, Championship Game season. I even have Santos’ JV jersey, #44, in the black equipment box. He will be with us in spirit, mind, and soul as we march through this season.
The second sticker of course is simply “DICKIE”. Coach Guillen coached all of the current staff members at some point during his career. He was my friend, mentor and advisor during his time with us and will always be remembered and loved for the lessons he taught us. Each of these two men will always be remembered and recognized as long as I am the head football coach at Roosevelt.