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Ty'Jon Delancy, Garfield get last word again in win over Roosevelt

Backing up pregame talk, the running back powers Bulldogs to a 22-6 victory in the East L.A. Classic.

November 01, 2013|By Steve Galluzzo

Ty'Jon Delancy rarely stops talking, and he was quite a chatterbox before the biggest game of his life. 

However, he proved he can put his money where his mouth is Friday night, rushing for 119 yards and two touchdowns in 25 carries as Los Angeles Garfield retained neighborhood bragging rights over L.A. Roosevelt with a 22-6 victory in the 79th East LA Classic before an estimated crowd of 15,000 at East Los Angeles College.

The first half looked like a carbon copy of last year's epic struggle — which Garfield won, 7-0 — but the Bulldogs' offense took over in the last two quarters, and defensive lineman Eri Velasquez scored on a 35-yard interception return to clinch the win.

The victory kept Garfield (6-3, 5-0) in the driver's seat in the Eastern League, while Roosevelt (7-2, 3-2) missed a chance to move into a first-place tie. The Rough Riders still lead 40-33-26 in a series dating to 1925. 

"I was expecting to come in and run right over them but they were filling gaps and made it difficult to break one," Delancy said. "I was thinking four-peat. I've never lost to Roosevelt and I didn't want to lose today."

Pulling out all the stops always adds to the drama of a rivalry game, and rarely was that more evident than on a fourth-down call late in the first quarter. 

After recovering a fumble deep in its own territory, Garfield failed to gain a yard in three plays, then turned the ball over on downs when Nicky Peralta was stopped one yard short on a fake punt at the Bulldogs' 18. 

However, the Rough Riders couldn't capitalize, as quarterback David Arriaga was tackled at the line of scrimmage on fourth and two at the 10-yard line. 

The defensive stand appeared to spark Garfield's offense, as Delancy culminated an 11-play, 92-yard march with a three-yard run to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter. A two-point conversion pass was incomplete.

Delancy, who played slot receiver in last year's Classic, scored his 19th touchdown of the year on a one-yard run to increase the Bulldogs' lead to 12-0 on their first drive of the second half. 

"I tried to take it to the house each time I touched it." Delancy said. "I broke a long one on the first play of the game but it was called back on a clipping penalty. I tried to keep my feet moving to pick up as many extra yards as I could."

Roosevelt pulled to within 12-6 on Arriaga's one-yard keeper late in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs made it a two-possession game again with a 21-yard field goal by Aaron Rocha early in the fourth quarter. 

Arriaga, trying to erase the memory of last season's gut-wrenching Roosevelt defeat, rushed for 73 yards in 25 carries and completed nine of 18 passes for 63 yards. Older brother Daniel Arriaga rushed 13 times for 102 yards for Roosevelt.

"No. 9 [Delancy] was good and we couldn't stop him," said Daniel Arriaga, a senior receiver who did most of his damage Friday at the running back position. "I played against them in Pop Warner and it hurts a lot to lose twice to them [in high school]. They're a good team and when they scored first in the second half it put us too far behind."  

Garfield wraps up the regular season next week against Bell, then sets its sights on the City Section Division I playoffs, where Delancy hopes the Bulldogs get a second crack at Venice, which routed Garfield, 47-12, in September. 

"Our goal is to be back here in December for CIF and I hope we see Venice," Delancy added. "I'd like to play them one more time."

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