By Jaqcuelyn Gonzalez
The 81st annual East Los Angeles Classic football game took place last Friday at Weingart Stadium, with Garfield High beating Roosevelt High 39-14.
Having been two of the first schools established in the East LA, the rivalry between Garfield and Roosevelt has a reputation of being one of the oldest and best-known rivalries west of the Mississippi River; this year drawing out over 15,000 attendees from East LA and communities all throughout the country.
Despite Garfield’s sixth straight classic victory, Roosevelt continues to lead the all-time series 40-35-6.
The evening kicked off with Garfield’s junior varsity team beating Roosevelt’s 44-0.
Expressions of tension and excitement could be seen on the faces of the fans as the Garfield Bulldogs and the Roosevelt Roughriders took to the field.
Garfield’s sophomore quarterback Adam Polanco successfully completed a nine-yard pass to junior tight-end Oscar Vega, who scored the first touchdown of the game.
Polanco led the way for Garfield with an impressive performance of six touchdowns. Completing 11 of 13 passes for 164 yards and four touchdowns, adding two more scores on the ground on 96 yards.
Missing the extra point, the Bulldogs kicked off to the Roughriders who took over at the 28-yard line, a possession that didn’t last long.
Ricardo Cordero, sophomore linebacker for the Bulldogs, made an interception, causing a turnover with five minutes to go in the first quarter.
And with three minutes to go, quarterback Polanco scored a rushing touchdown followed by a failed two-point conversion adding an additional six points to the board for the Bulldogs.
The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs leading 12-0.
11 minutes left in the second quarter, Bulldog Polanco completed a 17-yard pass to senior wide receiver Marquis Williams, who scored a third touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Garfield’s senior kicker Aaron Rocha made the extra point, leading the Riders 19-0.
After kickoff, the Roughriders maintained possession of the ball for a short two minutes before fumbling and turning the ball back over to the Bulldogs.
Five minutes allowed enough time for Bulldog senior wide receiver Jordan Palmer to score a passing touchdown, followed by an additional extra point, leading the Riders into halftime 26-0.
Jordan Palmer, wide receiver for the Bulldogs proceeded to score the first touchdown of the second half followed by a failed two-point conversion leading the Riders 32-0 with eight minutes left in the third quarter.
With under one minute left to go in the third quarter, Bulldog quarterback Polanco scored a 59-yard rushing touchdown, followed by an extra point.
After a couple of turnovers, Roosevelt’s senior quarterback Andrew Gallegos completed a 55-yard touchdown pass to senior cornerback Jonathan Garcia.
The touchdown was followed by an extra point scored by junior kicker Hector Gomez adding seven points for the Riders.
And with two minutes left to go in the fourth quarter and a fumble recovery made by the Riders, Roughrider quarterback Gallegos completed yet another 12-yard pass to senior wide receiver Daniel Alvarado.
Roosevelt’s touchdown was followed by an extra point, sealing the score at 39-14 Bulldogs.