MONTEREY PARK -- Garfield rolled to a 25-0 win over Roosevelt in the 85th meeting of the East LA Classic high school football game Friday night at East LA College. The Bulldogs have won the last 10 rivalry meetings between the two teams. Garfield improved to 8-2 and clinched the Eastern League title with the win. Roosevelt dropped to 7-3. Below are five takeaways.
Led by stud senior defensive lineman Anthony Ruvalcaba, Garfield's defense dominated Friday. Roosevelt managed just 24 total yards in the first half. The Bulldogs forced the Rough Riders to cough the ball up four times; they lost all four of the fumbles. Garfield turned the TO's into 16 points.
In the third quarter, Khyren Ross picked up one of the fumbles and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown. That score put Garfield up 25-0.
Garfield running back PJ Garcia rushed for two short-yardage touchdowns in the game (one in each half) and Bulldog kicker Fabian Munoz-Rodriguez made two field goals.
Garcia finished with 14 carries for 60 yards and 2 TDs. Garfield QB Jon Bautista went 9-12 passing for 99 yards. The Bulldogs allowed just 104 total yards in the game.
Garfield has dominated the Eastern League all season, going 6-0. The Bulldogs allowed just six points in those contests, an average of one point allowed per game. Wow.
THEY SAID IT
This week Roosevelt head coach Aldo Parral fired up the Garfield team at Wednesday's pregame press conference saying Garfield only had one or two impact players. The speech motivated the Bulldogs.
"It gave us a lot of bulletin board material," Garfield head coach Lorenzo Hernandez said. "More so than anything else it made our kids want to come and prove that it's not just one guy for us, like PJ Garcia or Jonathan Bautista, we have our front four on the defensive line that stopped them."
IT WAS OVER WHEN
The game was over at halftime when it was 12-0 Garfield. Roosevelt's double wing offense was no match for Garfield's stout defense. The Roughriders didn't have a contingency plan and kept trying to run in the second half. It didn't work.
Garfield most likely locked up the fifth seed in the Open Division City Section playoffs with tonight's win; they moved up a spot following Narbonne's postseason ban. Garfield will most likely play Palisades in the playoffs. The City Section announces football playoff seedings tomorrow.
Garfield will have a chance to win the Open Division following Narbonne's ban. It's now a wide open championship race.
“It’s truly an Open Division now," Hernandez said. "I’m not talking bad about [Narbonne], it’s unfortunate what happened, but now it’s a real open opportunity for everyone.”
Roosevelt will be in the Division 1 City playoffs.
***CalPreps has updated as of 12:48am Saturday. The update has Garfield playing Birmingham in the playoffs. The official pairings will be released Saturday.
When it comes to the East LA Classic, there is so much school pride from both schools that the stands are always packed. Around 15,000 fans watched the game at East LA College on Friday. There's no way either school could fit all of the people at one of their venues. It's a true high school football spectacle.