San Pedro to play Garfield in last-minute football matchup

Garfield football coach Lorenzo Hernandez, using his virtual background, talks to his coaches while a sportswriter watches on during a Zoom video conference.
Garfield football coach Lorenzo Hernandez, shown on a Zoom call, agreed to have his team play San Pedro on Friday night after a late-night invitation. (Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

For a football season that's had many ups and downs, it only seems appropriate that San Pedro has found a last-minute replacement for Carson for tonight's season finale at home. It will be Garfield and coach Lorenzo Hernandez, who received a 9:45 p.m. phone call from San Pedro coach Corey Miller on Thursday night after Carson canceled because of a positive COVID-19 test.

Hernandez had told his seniors to turn in their equipment Thursday afternoon because their season was over. But San Pedro was told Carson would be unable to play later that night, and Miller sought out Hernandez. The Los Angeles Unified School District quickly arranged buses to take Garfield to San Pedro for tonight's game.

"I used to say take one day at a time. My new motto is one hour at a time," Miller said.

By playing San Pedro, the Bulldogs will allow the San Pedro seniors to have a single home game this season. San Pedro has had three opponents pull out of games this season. First Dorsey didn't have enough players, then Narbonne and Carson had positive tests. The Pirates defeated Banning last week in their only game.

"I didn't want to tell our kids the game was canceled," Miller said.

He credited Hernandez for helping both teams' kids have a final football game.

"This is the perfect ending to this season," Hernandez said. "We're excited to have one more game. It's going to be interesting."

Also it was learned that Dorsey and Fremont will not field boys' or girls' basketball teams this season. The Coliseum League will have King-Drew, Crenshaw, View Park Prep and Washington Prep as the only schools playing boys' basketball.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.