(Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, CA,) August 31, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: It was a great “Friday Night Lights” match-up in Week #2 of the 2021 season that was billed as the City’s “Battle of the Heights,” Lincoln vs. Boyle. And thus the stage was set as Roosevelt’s Head Coach, Aldo Parral, was successful in attracting another nearby High School to compete against his squad in the pre-season. This night it would be against the Lincoln High School Tigers led by their Head Coach, Gabriel Cotero.
Let’s get to the game and see how the Riders did in this special encounter. The 1st quarter was played tightly on defense as both squads tentatively played their opening scenes up and down the field a few times. The “P” word, Penalty, was present and flags were thrown for a number infractions such as off-sides, holding, that adversely afflicted both teams.
In the 2nd quarter, things would start to change as the Rough Riders joined up with “Mr. Momentum” and scored first at the (11:12) minute mark when JR/RB/#25/Johan Alfaro swept into the end zone on a 4 yard blast over his right tackle. Then the Tigers, after coughing up 2 fumbles to the Riders defense, regrouped right towards the end of the half when they were led by their All-City, Northern League selections, SR/QB/#7 Ivan Plancarte and SR/RB/#22 André Watkins. Plancarte posted up (6) with a short burst over his right tackle to be followed by Watkins for the 2 point conversion. That scoring drive basically ended the first half with the game tied at (8-8) apiece.
The 3rd quarter had both squads returning to their 1st quarter habits and played to a scoreless period. In the “money” 4th quarter, at the (10:15) minute mark left in the game, Watkins rammed in a TD from 2 yards out lifting the Tigers to a (14-8) lead. They failed on their 2 point conversion. Shortly thereafter, the Rough Riders countered with a great call by Coach Parral when he ordered a “toss-sweep” to his durable RB/Andrade, who picked up huge blocks by his 300 lb. offensive tackle, Daniel Cuevas and his Company, who parted the defense with pancake blocks to open a gaping hole that Andrade then hit. A few seconds later he was sprinting in, untouched, from 35 yards out to tie the game at (14-14) with (9:02) remaining. The Riders could not punch it in for the 2 point conversion that could have given them back the lead. Coach Parral is still waiting for a placekicker/punter to join the team soon.
And now it was nitty-gritty time. After taking possession, the Tigers starting rolling and drove down the field to the Riders 35 yard line after a gigantic run of 45 yards by Watkins. Following an injury time-out to a Rough Rider player, Coach Cotero called a surprising roll-out, left-option, play action pass that Plancarte threw deep into the coffin-corner of the end zone to his WR/#3 Rattey who had shed his defender on his down-and-out pattern. The timing ws perfect and Rattey, caught the pass then tip-toed out of the end-zone. “Mr. Momentum” had changed sides in a heart beat. The TD came with (8:03) left in the contest. This time the 2 point conversion was good, giving the Tigers the lead back.
The Riders still felt confident of returning the favor as they had done for most of the game. But, on their final drive, they committed their costliest turnover of the night when QB/Cortez couldn’t quite hold onto the snap in the tightly bunched-up offensive and defensive lines. After nearly a minute of jostling and fighting for possession of the ball, coming out on of the pack with the ball held his over his head was Rattey. The Officiating Crew Chief then signaled Lincoln ball and 1st and 10. The fumble occurred with just 2 minutes left to go and the Riders were on the move towards a TD. The Tigers then moved the ball down to the Roosevelt 30 yard line, and in a true sportsmanlike gesture, Lincoln Head Coach Gabriel Cotero simply instructed his QB/Plancarte to take the Victory Knee on the field, and let the clock run-out at the :15 second mark. The game was essentially over at this point and the Tigers celebrated briefly with their teammates on the field, and then with their “filled-to-the-brim” bleacher cheering section.
All in all, it was great to be back doing the “Play-By-Play” on East L.A. Sports Scene Productions – www.eastlasportsscene.com and calling our community’s “Friday Night Lights-High School Game of The Week” while seeing the school traditions that are so tightly connected to it. If and when possible, we encourage you to please make your best calculated plans to come out and support all of our local East L.A. & Beyond teams and schools during this still present COVID-19/Delta Variant pandemic.
(FINAL SCORE): (2-0) Lincoln Tigers 22 | (1-1) Roosevelt Rough Riders 14
(Next Up): Roosevelt takes on the Crenshaw Cougars at Roosevelt this Thursday, 9/2 with Kick-off set for 7:00 pm. The game has been moved up due to our upcoming, and long National Labor Day Holiday Weekend. Once again fans will be admitted to the game, but must wear masks and adhere to all L.A. County Public & Safety Health regulations and guidelines.