MONTEREY PARK, CA — When it comes to rivalry games, throw out stats and expect a game unlike any other during the football season. The East Los Angeles College Huskies and the Glendale Community College Vaqueros did just that.
During the game, the teams traded scores; ELAC rallied and led 30-17 in the 4th quarter, Glendale followed with a touchdown with 1:20 remaining in the game and ELAC led 30-24. The Vaqueros attempted an on-sides kick. Then came the play of the game.
The ball popped loose and a Vaquero was the closest. Based on the loud reaction from their fans it appeared as if Glendale recovered the ball.
Thirty tense seconds later, the 5-foot 7-inch larger-than-life ELAC freshman wide receiver Paul Boyd (Dorsey High School) jumped up from under the pile and the Husky contingent’s reaction echoed throughout the stadium.
“My heart stopped a little bit on the on-sides kick,” said ELAC Head Coach Bobby Godinez, “but Paul Boyd actually really wrestled that ball away.”
“That’s the kind-of play it takes, in those moments, to win championships. It’s the little things,” said Godinez. “One of the guys that you maybe least expected came up with the biggest play.”
The Huskies then marched to near the red zone on running plays until time expired and ELAC won the American Metro title outright in its first year of existence.
The Huskies take a 7-game win streak into the Patriotic Bowl next Saturday. ELAC ended Glendale’s 3-game win streak.
The Huskies outscored their past three Metro opponents by an average of 34-5 during the first half. Against Glendale, the lead changed five times in the first half and ELAC only led 16-10 at halftime. Glendale led 7-3 after the first quarter and 10-9 in the second.
“I believe that Glendale was a really good football team,” said Godinez. “They had a lot of talent and they played some tough games early on, which made it a tough road for them. They eventually put it all together themselves and we knew it was going to be a barnburner.”
ELAC scored a third quarter touchdown, a freshman wide receiver Kenny Allen (Fairfax HS) sophomore quarterback Jonathan Santos (South East HS) to take a 23-10 lead in a 6-play, 60 yard drive.
“We started a little slow, however, our guys were really resilient during the game and battled (back) and did what they needed to do to” said Godinez. “We took a step back and that’s what really made it a game for the most part.”
In other third quarter action, Glendale scored from a sophomore quarterback David Arriaga 7-yard touchdown pass to make it 23-17 ELAC. The Huskies answered with a touchdown pass of their own, a Santos to sophomore wide receiver Cemaj Douglas (Dorsey HS) strike and led 30-17.
The Huskies won the offensive yardage battle 398-241. Santos was 18-of-32 passes for 250 yards and four touchdowns. Arriaga was 9-of-22 for 73 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Glendale.
Sophomore running backs led the Huskies in rushing yardage. Dominique Lee (Dominguez HS) led ELAC with 63 yards in 13 tries and Shiloh Jordan (Owings Mills, MD / New Town HS) rushed for 47 yards in five runs.
Sophomore wide receiver Khamren Davenport (Frederick Douglas HS) led the Huskies with 202 yards received from seven passes with two touchdowns. Allen caught three passes for 77 yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore defensive lineman Christopher Blanton (Downey HS) sacked Arriaga, the Glendale quarterback, two times. He has a season-total of 11.5 quarterback sacks, 5th-best in the state.
Douglas returned two punt returns for 85 yards, with a long of 58 yards that electrified the home crowd. Sophomore corner back Cinwon Whitehead (Hampton, GA / Lovejoy HS) returned a kickoff 52 yards for ELAC.
Sophomore linebacker Travond Ross (Lawndale Burns HS) and freshman safety Joey Knowles (John Muir HS) had six tackles each, three solo for Ross. Freshman safety Trevon Bordrick (Wilmington, DE / Howard of Tech HS) had five tackles for the Huskies.
The Huskies, the American Metro Champion and 8-2 overall, plays in the Patriotic Bowl at College of the Desert (6-4), the American Mountain Co-Champs, on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
ELAC and Desert each return to a bowl game for the first time since 2011.
“Desert is a really good football team,” said Godinez. “They are athletic, talented and a scary football team.”
“It comes down to us, just like it always has. We have to execute our game plan, and play hard,” said Godinez. “As long as we do what we’re instructed and (play tough) we are going to be in good shape to play this bowl game. Nobody is giving us anything and Desert is no different.”
College of the Desert is located at 43500 Monterey Ave, Palm Desert, CA 92260.
Directions: Take I-10 East toward San Bernardino. Continue past Palm Springs. Take the Monterey Avenue exit. Turn right onto Monterey Avenue for 5 miles. The college is on the left side. Estimated distance from ELAC is 120 miles.
Final 2016 American Metro Standings
(Overall and Metro Records)
East Los Angeles (8-2, 6-0)
Santa Ana College (5-5, 5-1)
West Los Angeles (5-5, 4-2)
Glendale Community (3-7, 3-3)
Pasadena City College (4-6, 2-4)
ECC-Compton Center (1-9, 1-5)
Los Angeles Southwest (0-10, 0-6)
story submitted by Tadzio Garcia