The City Section football season has been all about finding a team that might be able to finish in second place behind Narbonne.
Why not Eagle Rock (8-0)?
Forget that a Northern League team is on the verge of making the Open Division playoffs for the first time. The Eagles are ready to crash the party after a 56-6 dismantling of previously unbeaten Franklin (8-1) on Friday night.
Nathan Corrales ran for three touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns. Rayford Turner ran for two touchdowns and gained 92 yards rushing. The Eagles had a 35-0 lead 13 minutes into the game.
There will be lots of skeptics about Eagle Rock. The Eagles’ schedule has been pretty weak. Except for awin over Fairfax, they’ve faced no one that was impressive.
Then there’s Corrales. He started his career as a 180-pound offensive guard. Then he removed candy bars and soda from his diet, lost 30 pounds and became a quarterback. Then he gained 30 pounds back with healthy foods. Suddenly he’s one of the most proficient players in the City Section, with more than 1,600 yards passing and 19 touchdowns and more than 500 yards rushing and nine touchdowns.
The best player for Eagle Rock might be receiver-defensive back David Montijo. He’s assigned to cover the opponent’s best receiver and when Corrales needs a big play, he goes to Montijo, who had a 43-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter and one of Eagle Rock’s three interceptions in the first half.
“I’ve been doing this for 21 years and have had some really good kids and don’t know if collectively I’ve had a better group than this,” Eagle Rock coach Andy Moran said. “They’re inspiring to be around. No drama. They come to practice. They take care of things in the classroom. ... The fact they’re winning football games is the least impressive thing about them.”
Located less than two miles apart, the two LAUSD schools are part of a 74-year sports rivalry in Northeast Los Angeles that has endured despite changes in housing, transportation, demographics and school options.
“The guys we have playing for us are home grown and their families went to Franklin,” said coach Narciso Diaz, who was Franklin’s quarterback in 2002.
Quarterback Alfred Bobadilla and receiver Daniel Phillips are the younger brothers of Mario Bobadilla and David Telles, the quarterback and receiver duo who led Franklin to the Division III title in 2016.
Moran used to be the head coach at Marshall and couldn’t be more pleased that his team will be the first from the Northern League to gain a spot in the eight-team Open Division playoffs next month if they win out.