Thursday, 20 June 2013 18:16

Varsity Championship Game Summary

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GYFL President Mike Anderson with Champion Bearcat GM and Coach Andy Steffaneli and Commissioner Doc Walker GYFL President Mike Anderson with Champion Bearcat GM and Coach Andy Steffaneli and Commissioner Doc Walker


Championship June 15th @ Landon School
6101 Wilson Lane Bethesda, MD 20817

Montgomery County Bearcats 20 vs DC Warriors 7 


Congratulations to the 2013 GYFL Champion Montgomery County Bearcats!!!!!!!!

We had another fabulous day of weather for the 4th GYFL Varsity Championship Game. The venue was spectacular once again at the Landon School. We couldn’t have asked for a better environment for a great day of football! The Bearcats have been a great organization through the first 4 years of the GYFL, but have not won a Championship yet. They lost to DC in a thriller in year 2 at Episcopal HS and were the favorites to win the title last year after an undefeated regular season. They were tripped up by Baltimore Metro in the playoffs on this same field and definitely were thirsty for revenge and their first title.

The Warriors have been one of the best teams in the GYFL and this was actually their 3rd trip to the Title Game, winning on in 2011, after losing the 2010 Title Game to Baltimore. The Warriors feature a dynamic QB in Keonte Johnson and a number of fleet footed receivers that have mastered the spread offense and know how to light up the scoreboard! This was expected to be a good one.

 For Game Day Photos by ENP Photography, CLICK HEREto view and order.

Montgomery County Bearcats 20 vs District of Columbia Warriors 7
The Bearcats received the opening kickoff at the 35 yard line and went to work. They came out pounding with their workhorse tailback Marvin Beander, who was one of the star players of the game last week against the Heat. Beander is from Maplewood and is on his way to St. Johns HS in the fall. Travis Nannen, the 6’2 QB from Montgomery Village started the game for the Cats and hit speedster Anthony Budd on a quick slant to move the chains.

The offensive line has been stellar all season for the cats. Jalen Lea, who doubles as a Fullback and an interior lineman, has been fantastic. Jabari Bennett and Alex Balladaros have done a great job. Jabreal Adonis has contributed greatly to the cause. Naasir Watkins has been an anchor, along with big Josh Contee. These guys have been the backbone of the Bearcats all year long. Tremayne Stott has been the beneficiary of some great creases this year and the 7th grader has just been insane, just as he was when he popped up the middle for 20 yards down to the Warrior 27 yard line.

The Warriors defense stepped up after a fumble, which put the Cats in a passing situation. Nannen was off target on next 3 passes with heavy pressure on him from the smaller, but quicker Warriors. The Warriors took over on downs.   Darius Darden caught a Johnson swing pass and made couple of quick moves to get a first down. As the Warriors tried to move downfield, Doc Bonner got in the backfield and sacked Johnson. On the next play, Big Jalen Lea broke through and sacked Johnson again to give it back to the Cats. Lea has had a great spring season, just as he did as a 7th Grader. He is one of the front runners for Defensive Player of the Year.

After a quick slant to Jonathan Donnelly and a penalty, the Cats found themselves deep in Warrior territory. Malik Davis caught a pass to get to the 15 yard line and Stott caught another one for short yardage to give the Bearcats 4th and about 7 yards for a first down. Nannen found Donnelly on another quick slant for about 5 yards but a sure tackle by the Warriors brought him down about a yard short of the first and the Warriors held once again for a turnover on downs. Keonte Johnson hit Darden on another short swing pass, and then Lea and Bennett swallowed up Johnson on the QB Draw to end the first quarter with a 0 – 0 score.

The QB draws have been a staple for the Warriors all year long. Only the HC Stars were able to contain Johnson from the shotgun when he pulled it down and ran with it. Throughout the first quarter and early into the second, Johnson only had one effective run for positive yardage, which was his first carry. Jalen Lea swallowed up another Johnson draw in the backfield as the 2nd quarter started. The only thing open was the swing pass and Johnson found Brian Blount on the right wing for positive yardage. Malik Davis had a huge stop deep in the backfield on a toss to the right side by Blount, which put the Warriors back deep in their own territory and on the next play, the Cats blocked the Johnson punt. Brian McNeary slipped through the line on the punt and blocked it and it was recovered by Noah Nicholson. Nicholson made the two final defensive plays to secure the playoff win against the Stars.  The Bearcats were in business inside the 10 yard line.

On the next play, Mo Co went for the jugular on a post pattern and the receiver was open. Nannen was high and outside on the pass and Delante Hellams had the interception in his hands but could not hold on. Beander was bottled up on the next run. The Cats committed to trying to pass it into the end zone, as opposed to their traditional smash mouth running game. He tried to hit JD Guerrero on a slant, but the coverage was air tight and the pass was incomplete. On 4th down, Nannen rolled to his left and had Malik Davis open in the end zone on the out route, but the pass was off target and the Cats turned it over on downs once again.

Delante Hellams caught a hitch route by Johnson, got a couple of good blocks and turned on the speed to move the ball to the 20 yard line and give the Warriors some room to work. On the next play, Bonner and McNeary met at the QB on a sack of Johnson, who can normally avoid sacks and turn them into big plays, but so far on this day the Bearcats were successful at keeping him in check. The Warriors offense goes as Johnson goes, and with him unable to find any open receivers downfield and unable to run, they were very stagnant. On the next play, he tried to go downfield to the post, but the Cats were in zone over the top and McNeary, who is on his way to Good Counsel from MV picked off the overthrown pass at midfield and ran it all the way back to the 15 of the Warriors. How long would the Warriors defense be able to hold the talented Bearcats out of the end zone?

After a couple of unsuccessful running plays up the middle, Nannen rolled out to his right, found Stott on an out pattern and hit him perfectly. Stott turned it up at the 10, got a great block from McNeary and found himself in the end zone for the 6 – 0 lead. The conversion attempt was no good. After the interception, Damari Sumpter replaced Johnson at the QB spot to try to give the Warriors a spark. He hit the always dangerous Darden on a quick slant and Darden run it all the way out to the 50, but a holding penalty on the next possession moved it back to the 35. Sumpter found Hellams on the next play and he found a crease in the Bearcat defense and crossed the 50 before he fumbled the ball. Darden recovered it for the Warriors to keep the drive alive. Then the Bearcat defense came alive. Stott almost intercepted a crossing pattern. Khalil Owens broke on a quick hitch and tackled the receiver for a loss, then De Angelo Thompson got a big sack on Sumpter on 4th down, with little time left on the clock before the 1st half. From the 35 yard line, with the Warriors expecting the Cats to run the clock out and take the 6 – 0 lead into halftime, Coach Stefanelli called for the jugular. He put Stott in the slot with Carlos Washington in the backfield. Nannen took the 5 step drop as Stott ran the post pattern. The Warriors had no deep safety and Stott ran past his defender, who tripped trying to chase him. Nannen threw the perfect pass. Stott ran under it and caught it at the 9 yard line and ran it in for his 2nd TD of the day. Bonner split the uprights for the 2 point conversion making the score 14 – 0 with 25 seconds left in the half.

The first possession of the 2nd half ended in disaster for the Warriors. The pass deflected off of the hands of Sean Savoy and Carlos Washington broke perfectly on the ball and caught the deflected pass for the interception, giving the ball back to the Warriors. Doc Bonner opened up the 2nd half at QB and they went back to the running game with Beander for minimal gains. Then a sack by the Warriors turned the ball back over on downs. Although the score did not indicate it at the time, the Warriors defense was playing very well. Johnson was back at QB and had a very nice run to move the chains across the 50 yard line. An errant pass on 4th down was almost picked off by McNeary, but the drop was actually better for the Cats because they got the ball back at the 50. They were unable to move it but the Bonner punt pinned the Warriors back inside their 4 yard line.

Savoy caught a quick slant to give them some room. Then Bonner got another sack on Johnson as the 3rd quarter came to a close with the score 14 – 0 Bearcats.   A great punt with even better coverage pushed the Cats back inside their 45 yard line. Then a fumbled shotgun snap by Nannen put the Warriors in business at the 40. Johnson began to heat up finding Savoy and Darden. Before we knew it, the Warriors were inside the 5 yard line. Lea sacked Johnson again after a low snap, but on the next play, Johnson went into the right corner of the endzone with the jump ball to one of the best receivers in the league. The coverage was great by Khalil Owens, but the reception was even better by Hellams who went up and made the circus catch. Johnson ran in the extra point and we had ourselves a football game with 5:45 left in the 4th quarter and a 14 – 7 score. All the Warriors needed to do was hold the Bearcats and get the ball back, which they had done successfully all day.

From the 45 yard line, Marvin Beander finally found some real running room and broke a 20 yarder down to the Warrior 40 yard line. Then Stott found running room up the middle to the 23 yard line. The Warriors had 3 big off-sides penalties on this drive for 15 critical yards. Travis Nannen was getting the Warriors to jump. Just when the whole crowd expected the Bearcats to pound the ball and run the clock down, Stefanelli did it again. He called for the pass and caught the Warriors in all out attack mode. JD Guererro ran the quick slant and the safety jumped the wheel route. Guererro found himself wide open and Nannen put a beautiful spiral out there for him. JD reached out with one hand and pulled it in for the game clinching TD.

MV star Malik Davis, who is also on his way to Good Counsel controlled the last possession for the Warriors on defense with a big sack of Johnson and a deflection on the 4th down pass. The Bearcats got the ball back, but all they needed to do was run out the clock for their first GYFL Championship!!!!!!!!

Players of the Game

Montgomery County Bearcats: Jalen Lea
District of Columbia Warriors: Kiwane Pryor

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