Garfield High football Coach John Aguirre calls Edgar Soto the best-kept secret in the City Section, but the running back was far from incognito in the Bulldogs' 20-6 victory over Roosevelt Friday night in the East L.A. Classic.
The 5-foot-8, 160-pound senior rushed for 158 yards in 25 carries despite a sore thigh in the Southeastern Conference game before 22,000 at East L.A. College.
Roosevelt closed to 13-6 on Jesus Perez's second field goal, a 40-yard kick with 10 minutes to play, but Soto and the Garfield ground game prevented the Roughriders from getting any closer.
The Bulldogs marched 83 yards with Soto scrambling for a nine-yard touchdown with 2:57 left to put Garfield ahead, 20-6. Soto carried nine times for 40 yards during the 15-play drive.
"(Roosevelt) kept on trying to give me shots in the leg trying to hurt me," said Soto, who has rushed for 1,084 yards and 13 touchdowns this season. "It didn't work, though. The shots kind of numbed it. I felt better as the game wore on."
The victory was the fourth in a row for Garfield in the 60-year series between the rival East L.A. schools. Roosevelt leads the series, 29-25-6.
Garfield, aided by interceptions by Tony Zamarano and Jesse Villalobos, jumped to a 13-0 second-quarter lead.
Zamarano's 12-yard interception return to the Roosevelt 31-yard line set up the Bulldogs' first touchdown, a nine-yard run by Alex Pintado early in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 13-0 on a two-yard run by Soto midway through the second quarter.
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