By Joe Dargan
Along with the fun night of food and drinks, the Football team extended its winning streak to three.
ELAC defeated divisional rival West Los Angeles College 35-17 on Alumni Night in the final home game of the season.
Before the game began the Alumni Association hosted its inaugural pre-game watch party at the ELAC Garden to give previous East Los Angeles College attendees a unique game-viewing experience.
The ELAC Garden is a concourse overlooking the field, underneath the scoreboard, designed for entertaining guests.
For an entrance fee of $40, ELAC alumni were not only treated to an extraordinary view of the football field for the upcoming game against divisional rival, West Los Angeles College, but was also provided with unlimited food and drinks, including alcoholic beverages.
“The food is excellent. The seasoning is just right. I’m about to go and get seconds.” Phillip Valdovinos, a 2017 graduate said.
When the sounds of Javier Soles wasn’t playing through the speakers, guests were presented with multiple performers.
Sarah Silva, 14, sung “The National Anthem”, followed by Ellie Hernandez ,14, who song “America the Beautiful”.
At halftime, the girls sang a couple of pop classics and Jorge Arian, 15, covered “La Bamba” and other Latin classics.
“The ELAC Garden gives the school a more classy touch. It makes you feel proud to come back to your school and see that it’s progressing. Because I grew up in this neighborhood, I feel closer to my community college than the university that I attended,” Claudia Garcia, a 2015 graduate, said.
Because of the recent Los Angeles Dodgers hysteria, the Alumni Association also provided a 100-inch projector screen for the purpose of live-streaming game four of the World Series between the Dodgers and the Houston Astros.
Throughout the night, attendance fluctuated as guests came and went.
“We wanted to kick off our first Alumni Association with a bang. Because we just started a few months ago, we wanted to bring awareness to the Alumni Association and bring more team acknowledgement.” Lynette Dolatre, event organizer and Alumni Association member said.
At the the start of the game both teams struggled to find a rhythm
After a series of drives that ended in punts for both sides. ELAC failed to move the chains on third down again. Electing to go for another punt, a bad snap sent the ball sailing over the kicker’s head.
The mishap gave West L.A. the ball 15 yards from the goal line. Fortunately for the Huskies, two plays later, sophomore defensive back Trevon Bordrick intercepted a pass from West L.A. quarterback Rasheed Cox in the end zone to save ELAC from a touchdown.
With a minute and a half to go in the first quarter freshman quarterback Philip Tran threw an interception to West L.A cornerback Chris Agee who returned the ball 20 yards to ELAC’s 26-yard line. After a failed rush attempt by Cox that included a fumble and recovery by West L.A., the first quarter ended 0-0.
Agee’s interception eventually paid off when West L.A. kicker John Riggs kicked a 35-yard field goal in the first two minutes of the second quarter, giving West L.A. the lead 3-0. On the Huskies’ next drive, running back Lavell Thompson ran the ball four times in seven plays, contributing 40 yards on the way to a 1-yard punch-in by Mosley-Laughlin.
The rushing touchdown made the score 8-3 in favor of ELAC, after a dropped point-after snap was picked up by the holder and ran in for a two-point conversion.
After a failed drive for West L.A., Tran went 7-8, passing on an 89-yard drive that resulted in a 20-yard rushing score for Kameron Johnson.
The score was 15-3 after a successful point-after try by freshman kicker Hector Gomez. West L.A. took possession of the football with just over a minute left in the second quarter, but was unable to score before the half. The Huskies’ defense stuck close to their assignments, not allowing any big plays.
ELAC began the second half with a 55-yard kickoff return by Toure Wallace, placing the team on West L.A.’s 22-yard line.
Four plays later, sophomore wide receiver Kenny Allen made a line-straddling catch in the back of the endzone on a pass from Tran, despite the ball being deflected in the air by a West L.A. defender.
“When I saw the ball go up in the air, my first thought was ‘touchdown’,” Allen said in regards to the tipped-ball catch.
After a made point-after kick by Gomez, the score was 22-3.
“Due to the bi-week, we played with a little rust to start the game. We definitely didn’t play up to our standards. I’m just glad we got it together,” Tran said after the game.
While West L.A. continued to struggle throughout the period, ELAC kept its foot on the gas, scoring rushing touchdowns on its next two possessions.
Like the first, the Huskies’ defense held West L.A. scoreless in the third quarter.
The scoreboard read 35-3, with the Huskies in the lead.
After making two consecutive stops on defense to start the fourth quarter, West L.A.’s offense showed signs of life.
Cox connected with wide receiver Michael Evans for a 71-yard passing touchdown and connected with wide receiver Shannon Miller for a 10-yard touchdown pass on consecutive drives. That score was 35-17 after successful point-after kicks by Riggs.
With five minutes to go, Coach Bobby Godinez put freshman quarterback Paul Herrera in for Tran. Both teams went scoreless for the remainder of the game resulting in a final score of 35-17 in favor of ELAC.
“This was a good game against a well-coached team, but we have to beat Pasadena [City College]. That’s another rivalry that may be bigger than West [L.A.]. We need to beat them to have any chance at a conference championship. We have to beat them and they have to beat us,” coach Godinez said after the game.
The Huskies will be in action on Saturday at division rival, Pasadena City College at 6 p.m.