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Lance Hernandez helps Garfield win East L.A. Classic

Hernandez runs for 162 yards and four touchdowns at East Los Angeles College to lead L.A. Garfield to a 29-15 victory over Roosevelt in the 86-year-old rivalry.

November 04, 2011|By Baxter Holmes

If Friday night was the last time the East Los Angeles Classic is played on that side of town, then Los Angeles Garfield running back Lance Hernandez's performance will be a fitting finale.

Hernandez rushed for 162 yards in 24 carries and scored a season-high four touchdowns, leading his team to a 29-15 win over Los Angeles Roosevelt in the 77th edition of the rivalry.

The series began in 1925 and since 1951 has been played almost exclusively at East Los Angeles College.

About 18,000 spectators filled the stands on a chilly, windy Friday night, but next year fans may have to travel to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to see these two Eastern League foes play.

"Don't be surprised if we're standing over there this time next year," Garfield Principal Jose Huerta said at a news conference this week.

A potential move is still in the discussion stages, but what was final after Garfield's win was that the Bulldogs (5-5, 5-1) clinched a City Section Division I playoff berth.

Hernandez, who has 1,044 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns this season, sealed that with a 75-yard touchdown run with 1 minute 28 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

Prior to his run, the Bulldogs made a strong defensive stand at the goal line, stuffing Roosevelt (5-4, 3-2) four straight times on rushing attempts from the one-yard line.

Garfield had another key fourth-down stop late in the third quarter when it stymied Roosevelt on fourth and one when the Rough Riders were 18 yards from a potential tying score.

Besidesh Hernandez, who scored three short-yardage touchdowns in the first half to give his team a 22-15 halftime lead, the Bulldogs got a strong performance from fullback Larry Ravelo, who rushed for 94 bruising yards in 15 carries.

Roosevelt's Michael Galindo rushed for 146 yards, 76 of them on a first-quarter touchdown run.

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