(Canoga Park, CA)—The #7 seed Roosevelt Rough Riders (9-4), 3rd place, Eastern League, continue to defy the odds imposed on them by the algorhythmic selection of the CIF-L.A. City Section’s computer seeding process. For the second consecutive week, they battled the “road game blues” and turned them into highly accomplished wins as they eliminated the #3 seeded Canoga Park Hunters by the score of (17-14).
Brief Game Summary:
1st Qtr— Blame it on the “butterflies” effect that the players experienced in this period, if you want to. But ask the Roosevelt Rough Riders and they’ll tell you another story. One that possibly went something like this…we’re no strangers to being the “underdogs” so we’ll use it to our motivational advantage and go from there. Our “Band of Brothers” beliefs will take us into victory lane. And so it was that the first quarter ended in a (0-0) stand-off.
2nd Qtr—Then, it was time for Roosevelt’s highly accomplished team Captain and Senior leader, WB/LB/#44 Santos Rivera, to pick up right from where he left in his first two playoff games by rumbling 40 yards on a “pitch/student-body right” for the first score of the game. Rivera used a timely downfield block by his fullback, SR/#34/Aldo Parral. Of Significance…Rough Rider, and key, season-long contributor, JR/RB Frankie Cruz, would sit out this game due to his surgery for a torn right ACL, suffered in the L.A.-Wilson quarterfinal game. Canoga Park answered with their first TD at the (4:00) minute mark when RB/Jorge Hernandez punched it in from the 1 yard line. The PAT was good. Score was now tied at (7-7).
HALFTIME SCORE: Roosevelt 7 Canoga Park 7
3rd Qtr—The Riders scored at the (8:00) minute mark when SR/QB/#5 Andres Flores hooked up with JR/WR/#8 Angel Ochoa who made an amazing grab by completely stretching out in the end zone. Kevin Jacobo’s PAT was successful. Then, on the Riders ensuing kick-off, Canoga Park’s’ special team rose to the occasion and countered with an electrifying 82 yard TD return by #1 Dominic Arango-Serna. The PAT was good. This tied the score at (14-14).
4th Qtr—Now, with only (3:00) minutes left in the game, place-kicker, #19/Kevin Jacobo, was asked by his Head Coach Aldo Parral to attempt a critical 25 yard field goal. Displaying a competitive calmness needed in these situations, Jacobo answered his Coach’s call by nailing it. The score then moved to (17-14). The stage was then set for Canoga Park’s late-game drive to either secure the win with a score, or at least attempt a game-tying field goal. Here’s what happened. With a third and goal, the Hunters threw an incomplete pass setting up a fourth down. On their next play, they lined up for a field goal but were flagged for 12 players on the field. This changed their game plan dramatically as they were faced with a 25 yard field goal attempt to tie the game and force it into overtime. With (:50) seconds left in the game, the attempt was on target but fell a few yards short and the Hunters season came to a disappointing end. The Riders took possession and ran the game clock out with victory formations. Roosevelt and its tightly knit Band of Brothers would survive to fight another day.
FINAL SCORE: Roosevelt 17 Canoga Park 14
Game Quotes From Head Coach Aldo Parral:
“This was certainly the most difficult game of our season. Canoga Park played us as well as anyone we faced. They were well prepared for our Double Wing-T offense and to counter that, we had to make adjustments throughout the game.”
“I was extremely proud of our veteran and younger players who really understood our challenge in this game and the finality of the season should we have lost.”
“I am very pleased with the play of our “O” and “D” lines and our Special Teams. We had big plays from Angel Ochoa who made an incredible TD catch when we needed it, as well as his unbelievable recovery of an onside kick. Add the game winning field goal by Kevin Jacobo and our season continues on to the L.A. City Section Championship game. Now, our highest post-season goal is obviously to win the Locke Academy game and then qualify for the State Playoffs.”