Roosevelt Earns a Share of Title
Roosevelt High won more than the 66th East L.A. Classic Friday night at the Coliseum. The Rough Riders’ 35-22 victory over rival Garfield before an estimated 20,000 also gave Roosevelt a share of the Eastern League championship and a possible spot in the City Section Championship Division playoffs.
Roosevelt improved to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in Eastern League play, its only loss coming against Bell, which defeated Huntington Park, 19-10, and also finished 4-1 in league play. Jordan is 4-1 as well after defeating South Gate, 27-24.
Roosevelt, which advanced to the Invitational final last year, will find out its playoff fate today when the selection committee meets at Manual Arts High. Each of the section’s eight leagues receives one automatic berth and eight at-large teams are selected for the Championship Division playoffs.
Teams rated 17-32 are placed in the Invitational Division.
Jody Adewale rushed for 203 yards and scored all five Roosevelt touchdowns, on runs of nine, three, two, one and 26 yards, as the Rough Riders increased their lead in the historic series to 35-24-7. Robert Salazar added 111 yards in 12 carries for Roosevelt.
Last year, Roosevelt routed the Bulldogs, 41-0, the first shutout in the series since 1992. It was far from easy Friday, when Roosevelt didn’t put the game away until Adewale’s 26-yard touchdown run with less than a minute to play.
“I knew they weren’t going to roll over, it was going to be a close game,” Adewale said. “I didn’t try to set any records or anything. I just tried to execute on every play.”
Roosevelt extended a 16-6 halftime lead when Salazar broke off a 60-yard run to the Garfield four-yard line that set up Adewale’s two-yard dive for a touchdown with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
Garfield came back and scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Anthony Federico to Julio Castaneda two plays into the fourth quarter and added a two-point conversion to make the score 22-14. Roosevelt immediately answered with an 80-yard, 10-play drive that Adewale capped with a one-yard run for a 29-14 lead.
Federico then scrambled for 40 yards during a 70-yard drive that ended with his one-yard run for a touchdown with 2:29 left. Federico passed to Manuel Torres for a two-point conversion to pull the Bulldogs to within 29-22. Federico completed 18 of 32 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown and had one pass intercepted.
Adewale powered Roosevelt to its 16-6 halftime lead, doing most of the work on touchdown drives of 81 and 50 yards. He scored both touchdowns and ran for a two-point conversion after the second one.