South East's 31-28 victory over Garfield on Friday night did more than give the Jaguars their first victory in the history of an Eastern League rivalry that has spanned seven years.
It also served as a tribute to two South East players who were sidelined after a tumultuous week.
Running back-linebacker Gerardo Leos is out indefinitely after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Offensive lineman Jorge Garcia was sliced in the arm Friday morning while assisting a female classmate who was fatally wounded in a campus stabbing.
"We've always said this game was going to be for them," said South East cornerback Juan Nevarez, who made two big plays to preserve the victory. "They've always given their all."
After Garfield had shaved a 31-14 deficit with consecutive touchdowns, the Bulldogs (0-5) drove to the South East 40-yard line with 11 seconds left. On third down, Nevarez broke up a long pass. On fourth down, he tackled Lance Fernandez on a hook-and-ladder play to end the game.