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Roosevelt Rough Riders

Roosevelt Defeats Bell In Final Game Of COVID-Shortened Season

Riders Post (2-0) Season. Games 1 & 2 Were Not Played Due To COVID Issues

Photo Courtesy: Mr. Eddie Quezada

(Photo Courtesy): Bob Bernal, Jr./EastSideMedia TV

(Boyle Heights/East Los Angeles, CA) May 6, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: On April 30th, the Roosevelt Rough Riders entire football team took to its home turf with excitement, eagerness, and joy. But, for the (12) seniors on the squad, it was also with a bittersweet attitude, since it would be their final chance to suit up for their school in a CIF/L.A. City Section (LACS) Eastern League contest. Their opponent was the Bell High School Eagles. And, despite having to deal with all of the COVID restrictions imposed on them since November, one of the biggest downsides of the shortened Spring season was that there was no “East L.A. Classic” for them to experience. 

(Photo Courtesy): Eddie Quezada

Also, of huge significance for many of the players, it was yet another reality check on the fact that they would be without their greatly appreciated coach and mentor, Dickie Guillen, who had passed away from the dreaded COVID-19 last January. Instead, to commemorate his absence, they wore his favorite saying on their helmets, “All Work – No Glory”. The Guillen family was also present at the game and were very appreciative of the name given to the school’s  football field in his honor…Coach Dickie Guillen Field.

(Photo):Bob Bernal, Jr./EastSideMedia TV

All the usual trappings of high school football were present as were the health and safety protocols that the COVID-19 pandemic brought along with it. The game was played with very few faculty, but no regular student-body or faithful community members. No marching band and no bleacher seats for the visiting team, and a 6:00 pm kick-off, instead of a 7 pm. Only two family members per player were allowed in. But to capture the full “Play-By-Play” media effect of the game for the team and the community, East L.A. Sports Scene was present to “Live Stream” it on the NFHS Network, as its local Affiliate. At the end of all that, it was the right time for the Friday Night Lights mood to kick-in. And so it did!!

(Photo Courtesy): Saul Zepeda

(Game Summary): [1st Half]: The Rough Riders deferred their choice on the coin-toss and chose to play defense to start the game. That would set the tone for the remainder of the game, as Bell was rarely able mount any offensive momentum. On the other hand, neither were the Riders, until the final seconds of the half when they punched a 10 yard off-tackle run by#23/SO/Jared Andrade into the end zone with only (:14) seconds left. The 2-point running conversion by #4/RB/SR/Vicente Zepeda, pushed the score to (8-0) Roosevelt. (Halftime Score): Roosevelt  8  Bell  0

(Photo Gallery Credit): Saul Zepeda    

(Photo Courtesy): Saul Zepeda

[2nd Half]: (3rd Quarter) – It was a continuation from the first period in terms of initial possession, as the Riders took the kick-off to start the half. The Riders chewed up nearly 8 minutes of clock as they worked on ball control and momentum sustaining first downs. Coach Parral kept the ground game as a priority and it paid off as the Riders first drive ended up with another TD, this time coming from, #34/FB/SO/Alexander Arroyo, who bulled his way on a (10) yard blast up the middle for his first score at the (3:49) mark in the 3rd quarter. The conversion failed and the score was now Rough Riders (14), Bell  (0). Then with just (2:47) left in the period, it was #11/SR/RB/Jimmy Romero who found the end zone for (6) more. He would add the 2-point conversion as well to boost the score to (22-0), Riders.

(4th quarter) – At the (6:24) minute mark, Romero once again got the call and carried it in for his 2nd TD of the game giving the Riders a commanding (28-0) lead. The 2-point conversion was good for an even (30-0) lead. Coach Parral then made a decision to go “power and student body right” for his senior #4/RB/Vicente Zepeda as he topped the (100) yard mark in rushing for the game. He was rewarded by Coach who called his number allowing his senior to rush the ball in for a 10 yard TD, at the (2:43) mark giving the Riders a (36-0) lead. Reserve #6/JR/James Cortez, inserted at QB, was credited with the 2-point conversion, moving the score to (38-0). This would be the final score of the game.

(Photo Courtesy:) Eddie Quezada 

We now give you the proud Seniors in numerical order who took part in the highs and the lows of this COVID-19 tainted season: #1/Damian Avalos/QB; #4/Vicente Zepeda/RB-CB; #11/Jimmy Romero/RB; #13/Robert Ascension/Tight End; #17/Manny Leal/Tight End; #21 Emmanuel Villagra/Tight End; #24/George Pasillas/Tight End; #42/Sean Serrano/Tight End; #64/Jorge Rodela/O-Line; #74/Rey Garcia/O-Line; #77/Alexander Rodriguez/O-Line; and #78/Benjamin Reyes/O Line & D Line.

(Photo Courtesy): Saul Zepeda

For those Roosevelt fans and/or Alumni who missed the game, you can still watch it on the NFHS Network under its Video On Demand (VOD) feature. To subscribe to the NFHS Network, click here. Your $10.99 subscription fee is good for one month and you will be able to watch any, and/or, all U.S.A. high school sports content, (especially football, basketball, baseball, softball and volleyball), whether it’s local, state, or national, on their network. You may cancel your subscription at any time.

(Photo):Bob Bernal, Jr./EastSideMedia TV

One final note in our “Game of the Week” format. We kindly and greatly welcome onto our production crew, Andrew Vasquez, who will become our Color Analyst when we resume our coverage in the coming Fall 2021 season. This game marked his debut with us. He is a  graduate of Bishop Amat, a member at one time of the CIF’s Big 5 Conference and currently, the Mission League. He played three years on the varsity at the defensive end position. Andrew will bring his outstanding defensive knowledge of the game to our subscribers and followers.

The Rough Riders will now wait until the start of the 2021 football season is announced, with or without COVID-19 regulations, to begin preparations for what will hopefully be a return to playing a full non-conference and an Eastern League schedule, complete with with Playoffs, and of course, the biggest high school rivalry game, known throughout the city, county, state, and country as the “East L.A. Classic.” We will keep all of our High School football fans informed of any news that the CIF/L.A. City Section’s (LACS) Administrative Office shares with us as time goes by.

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