(Northeast, Los Angeles)—The Eastern League’s #7 seeded Roosevelt Rough Riders (8-4) continue to improve with each 2018 playoff game. They earned their second consecutive L.A. City Section/Division II victory, a quarterfinal at that, when they visited the Northern League’s #2 seeded Wilson Mighty Mules (8-4) and rode away with a (26-0) upset victory last Friday. The match-up was billed as the new era’s “Soto Street Showdown” taken from the fact that both schools are located just off Soto Street, a main traffic artery that runs through East and Northeast Los Angeles. The schools are located a mere five miles from each other.
Brief Game Summary:
1st Qtr—The game went back and forth during this period as both teams probed each other’s defense awareness and schemes. The Rough Riders drew the Mules attention twice in the quarter as they penetrated the Red Zone, but were unsuccessful in putting up any points. Of Significance…Roosevelt’s JR/RB/#6 Frankie Cruz suffered a game-ending injury on a strong carry down to the Mules’ 10 yard line. However, as he was tackled from behind, he came down hard and very awkwardly on his right knee. He lay prone and immovable for at least 20 minutes before the L.A. Fire Dept.’s Paramedic Ambulance came onto the field to transport him to a local hospital for treatment. It was later reported that he unfortunately suffered a torn ACL. His presence and athleticism will be missed for the remainder of the season. In returning to the game at the (5:52) mark, the Mules defense would hold for a change of possession. The quarter ended at (0-0).
2nd Qtr—Roosevelt was first to score at the (10:08) mark when Head Coach Aldo Parral used his creative imagination to move Team Captain, Senior, and starter, #44/Santos Rivera, from wingback to fullback, resulting in a one yard TD dive play on this particular carry. The PAT failed but the scoreboard read, Rough Riders 6, Mules 0. The Riders would get another scoring opportunityvery late in the period at the (:37.7) second mark when JR/WB/#8 Angel Ochoa skipped into the end zone from 5 yards out. The regular PAT was good. This moved the score to (13-0).
HALFTIME SCORE: Roosevelt 13, Wilson 0
3rdQtr—Of Significance…The Rough Riders defense, strongly anchored by JR/#56 Ruben Castillo excelled at leading his “D” line brothers on many tackles and stops by Wilson’s running backs. The secondary was led this night by JR/DB/#8 Angel Ochoa who proved to be the equal match for coverage on the Mules top receivers, SR/#5 Isaiah Abdullah (a Wyoming Univ. recruit) and WR/JR/#6 DeAnthony Jackson. The entire team defense was truly the game’s difference-maker. Although both teams engaged each other to a stalemate in this quarter, it was basically a repeat of the first quarter.
4th Qtr—Wasting no time to start the final period, at the (11:55) mark, the Rough Riders scored on another running play when FB/SR/#34 Aldo Parral drove it in following his determined “O” linemen. The PAT was good. The score moved up to (20-0), Riders. And as time was winding down, Coach Parral had the luxury of playing his reserves to grant them valuable play-off playing time. Thus, at the (6:26) mark, this decision would result in their final TD when FB/Aldo Parral took the hand-off from reserve QB/SO/#15 Angel Ontiveros and raced 22 yards around left end, untouched and into the end zone. The PAT failed and left the scoreboard showing (26-0).
FINAL SCORE: Roosevelt 26 Wilson 0
Photo Credit: Game Photo-Featured Image, Bob Bernal Jr, East Side Media