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East L.A. Classic Is Even Bigger

November 08, 2001|GARY KLEIN

More than bragging rights will be at stake Friday night when Roosevelt and Garfield square off at the Coliseum in the 66th annual East L.A. Classic. About 25,000 fans are expected as Roosevelt tries to clinch a share of the Eastern League title--and Garfield attempts to spoil the party.

Roosevelt, led by running back and linebacker Jody Adewale, is 7-1 overall and 3-1 in league play. Garfield is 3-5 and 1-3. Roosevelt is tied with Bell (6-2, 3-1) and Los Angeles Jordan (4-3, 3-1) for the Eastern League lead. Bell plays Huntington Park (3-5, 0-4), and Jordan plays South Gate (3-5, 2-2), which could also figure in the title equation if the Rams win and Roosevelt and Bell lose.

Last season against Garfield, Roosevelt took a 20-0 halftime lead and cruised to 41-0 victory that improved the Roughriders' advantage in the series to 34-24-7. It was the first shutout in the series since 1992, when Garfield won, 14-0. It also was the largest margin of victory since Garfield won, 54-10, in 1995.

Selection time: The playoff selection meeting will be held Saturday at USC and 32 teams will be chosen to participate in two divisions.

Eight league champions and eight at-large teams will be placed in the City Championship division and will be seeded based on record and strength of schedule. Teams rated 17-32 will be placed in the Invitational division.

Here is a look at other league races:

Coliseum: The championship is riding on the outcome of two games. If Fremont (8-0, 4-0) defeats Dorsey (5-3, 3-1), Fremont is the champion and could wind up as the top-seeded team in the playoffs. If Dorsey wins, and Crenshaw (6-1, 3-1) beats Locke (3-5, 0-4) as expected, Fremont, Crenshaw and Dorsey will tie for the title.

Marine: Carson (7-1, 3-1) can win the title with a victory over defending section champion Wilmington Banning (3-5, 3-1) tonight at El Camino College. However, if Banning wins, there could be a four-way tie for first place. Carson and Banning would be 3-2. So would the winner of the San Pedro-Harbor City Narbonne matchup. And so would Gardena, which figures to defeat winless Washington.

Northern: Belmont (5-3, 4-0) is at Franklin (6-2, 4-0) for a game that will determine the champion, which will probably be the league's lone representative in the City Championship division.

Western: Westchester (7-1) has clinched the championship. If the Comets beat Newport Harbor in an intersectional matchup, they could make a valid argument to be seeded first. Westchester's only loss was to Long Beach Poly in the opener. If Venice (4-4, 4-1) beats Hamilton (3-4, 3-2), the Gondoliers will finish second and lobby to be included in the Championship division.

Valley Mission: Sylmar (6-2, 4-0) is expected to defeat Van Nuys (0-8, 0-4) and clinch the championship.

West Valley League: Van Nuys Birmingham (8-0, 4-0) can win the title outright with a victory over Woodland Hills El Camino Real (4-4, 1-3). If Birmingham loses, Woodland Hills Taft (6-2, 3-1) can tie for the title with a win over Granada Hills (6-2, 2-2).

Sunset Six: Van Nuys Grant (5-3, 4-0) clinched a Championship division playoff spot with a victory over North Hollywood last week. Grant can win the title outright with a victory over Verdugo Hills (3-5, 2-2).

City top 10: 1. Fremont (8-0); 2. Carson (7-1); 3. Van Nuys Birmingham (8-0); 4. Westchester (7-1); 5. Crenshaw (6-1); 6. Woodland Hills Taft (6-2); 7. Dorsey (5-3); 8. Wilmington Banning (3-5); 9. Harbor City Narbonne (4-4); 10. Sylmar (6-2).

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