It was a night unlike any other in City Section football playoff history.
The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, San Pedro and Venice, were beaten in overtime in the opening games of the Open Division playoffs on Thursday night.
San Pedro lost to Eagle Rock 38-31. Venice lost to Birmingham 28-27. And No. 3-seeded Wilmington Banning barely got past Roosevelt 25-24.
“I think San Pedro and Venice were odds-on favorites to meet in the finals, and to have the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds win and take them to overtime is pretty remarkable,” Eagle Rock coach Andy Moran said.
Eagle Rock rallied from a 31-17 fourth-quarter deficit. Brooklyn Pasten, a linebacker, receiver and wild-cat quarterback, scored the final three touchdowns, tying the score on a one-yard run in regulation with 27 seconds left. Quarterback Tanner Erwin passed for 272 yards and four touchdowns.
Then there was Ryland Bailey-Roque. He lost the ball on a fumble when Eagle Rock was trailing 31-17. Then he made an interception, followed by recovering an onside kick and making the score-tying conversion kick. San Pedro had a bad snap on its final play in overtime and then the Eagles celebrated.
“Kids were exhausted,” Moran said. “It was pretty remarkable. Our kids were running all over the field.”
Eagle Rock advances to play at No. 4-seeded Garfield next Friday night in the semifinals, a rematch of the 2018 semifinals. Birmingham will play at Banning. The Eagles (10-1) will be the underdog again.
“That’s the role we’re born to play,” Moran said.