Roosevelt snaps Garfield’s East L.A. Classic winning streak in thrilling victory

VIDEO | 04:24
Roosevelt-Garfield: A rivalry on the field and in the stands

After being sidelined by the pandemic, fans on both sides were grateful to once again attend the East L.A. Classic, one of the greatest high school matchups in the nation.


It’s been a decade since Roosevelt could hold any bragging rights in East L.A. over longtime rival Garfield.

Yet after one of the most intense games in the history of the East L.A. Classic, Roosevelt claimed a 22-19 victory Friday over Garfield. Hundreds of students charged the field at East Los Angeles College once the clock showed zeroes, pandemonium erupting in a long-awaited victory for the Rough Riders, who had lost 10 consecutive games to the Bulldogs.

Roosevelt dominated in the first half thanks to a rugged offensive system focused solely on the run — the Rough Riders didn’t throw the ball once in the first half — that wore out the Garfield defense and kept their offense off the field. Senior running back Julian Quezada stood out with two long touchdown runs.


Garfield’s offense sputtered in the first half, committing two turnovers but came out with some momentum in the third quarter under sophomore quarterback Damian Cabrera. They mounted a steady charge to pull within three points of Roosevelt with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Yet with all the momentum swinging the Bulldogs’ way, senior Carlos Velasquez made a play that could go down in Classic lore, diving for an interception on a third down with two minutes remaining. Garfield drove to the 20-yard line for one final field goal try, but the kick went wide left and the Rough Riders won.