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Football: East L.A. Classic is about to kick off

October 26, 2012 |  7:30 pm

_A261160Pride is on the line tonight at East Los Angeles College, where Roosevelt and Garfield will meet for the 78th time in the regular season in a game that has come to be known as the East L.A. Classic. Pregame ceremonies resembled one gigantic pep rally, with contests, cheerleader routines and an introduction of Garfield's homecoming court. Now it's time for football.

If Roosevelt wins it will wrap up the Eastern League title. If Garfield wins, it moves into a tie for first place. Roosevelt is led by homecoming king Gilbert Herrera, quarterback David Arriaga and slot back Daniel Arriaga. The Rough Riders (8-1, 5-0) are coached by Roosevelt graduate Javier Cid.

Host Garfield (3-5, 3-1) is led by Lance Fernandez, who rushed for 152 yards and four touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 29-15 victory last year. He missed the first five games of the season with a knee injury. Coach Lorenzo Hernandez has guided Garfield to five victories in the last seven East L.A. Classics. 

Kickoff is moments away and the bleachers are packed on both sides of the gridiron. 

-- Steve Galluzzo

Photo: Captains meet at midfield for the coin toss before the start of tonight's 78th East L.A. Classic between Roosevelt and Garfield. Credit: Steve Galluzzo / For The Times