Friday, 14 June 2013 17:48

Varsity Playoff Summary

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Marvin Beander went Nuts in the Varsity Playoff Game against the Stars Marvin Beander went Nuts in the Varsity Playoff Game against the Stars

Playoff June 8th @ Georgetown Prep
10900 Rockville Pike Bethesda, MD 20852

MD 7th Grade FBU National Champs

 

Championship Ring Ceremony

 

District of Columbia Warriors

26

Charles County Heat

12

Howard County Stars

7

Montgomery County Bearcats

8

Playoff week was very special for us. It was the first week that we combined the Junior Varsity Games with Varsity Games all at one stadium. Not only that, we had the 7th Grade National Championship Ring Ceremony for the MD State All Star Team. The Games were absolutely phenomenal. The atmosphere was truly electric.

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

Game #1 Charles County Heat 12 vs District of Columbia Warriors 26
The Game was a lot closer than the score suggests. This was a barn burner and the part of the main reasons why we do what we do. The DC Warriors are not very deep with numbers, but boy are they talented. QB Keonte Johnson is one of the front runners for GYFL Player of the Year. He has put this team on his back and carried them to this playoff game with his combination of running and passing. Johnson has size, speed, arm strength and accuracy.

The first highlight of the game was Superstar Raymond Boone letting the first punt of the game roll and roll before he picked it up, used a combination of speed and moves to bring the punt back deep in Warrior territory at the 20 yard line. After 3 TJ Hawkins runs, he found himself in the end zone very quickly to put the Heat up 6 – 0 early in the 1st quarter. On the next drive Johnson was moving the Warriors effectively down the field with timely passes to Darius Darden, who has developed into a star WR for DC. Once the Warriors got deep in Heat territory, they Heat literally turned up the heat! Keisean Wilson, who has been dominant coming off of the corner all season long, applied the pressure on Keonte and forced into a bad pass as he ran for his life. Rashard Jackson picked off the pass at the 26 and the Heat squad was back in business.

A poor punt recovered by Marcus Swann gave the Warriors the ball inside the 20 and you don’t want to Johnson that type of field position. Johnson ran two QB draws and found himself in the end zone on a 5 yard run and the score was tied at 6 – 6 at the end of the first quarter. A fumble on the next possession by Hawkins gave the Warriors the ball back in Heat territory at the 25 yard line. Johnson hit Darden on a quick slant route to get the ball to the 10 yard line. Just as it looked like the Warriors were about to score again, Johnson threw slightly behind an open receiver running a crossing route and the pass deflected into the air. That kid Raymond Boone had cat like reflexes and tipped in the air to himself, while picking it off and bringing it out of the end zone.  The Heat couldn’t convert a first down and gave the ball right back to the Warriors on a botched punt attempt, where Boone was tackled inside the 15 yard line. The kicking game was haunting the Heat in this game so far. Johnson used his legs again to move the ball inside the 5 yard line. On the next play, Johnson made the inside handoff to Henry Thompson who slithered his way into the end zone to give the Warriors a 12 – 6 lead.

The Heat came out on the next possession committing to the running game and having success behind Hawkins and Jackson. From the 35 yard line, 7th grade QB Stanton Askew got a chance to show us his arm. He dropped back and had Nick Gage streaking up the numbers on the right side of the field and threw a perfect pass over the outstretched arms of the DB. Gage caught the ball and was tackled at the 4 yard line. On the next play, TJ Hawkins found a crease, kept his legs moving and scored to tie the score 12 – 12 at the half.

After forcing a turnover on downs, the Warriors got back deep in Heat territory on a long pass to Darden, but Nate Proctor recorded a big sack to slow them down and they turned it over on downs. The Warriors got it back and threatened again, but Chaz Crawford got a big interception to give the ball back to the Heat. But, on the next play Deon Jones made a huge play. He came off the corner, sacked Askew, forced the fumble and recovered the fumble. On the next play Johnson hit the speedy and elusive Amani Talbot on a flare pattern out of the backfield and he turned it up for a 25 yard TD. After the conversion the score was 19 – 12 as the 3rd quarter came to a close. The Warriors started the 4th quarter driving into Heat territory. An unnecessary roughness penalty pushed the ball down inside the 10 yard line and Johnson had the tall and athletic Darden one on one in the right corner of the end zone. The DB had great coverage on the play, but Darden leaped over the top and took the ball from the defender for the TD. Johnson converted the XP and the Warriors were up 26 – 12. The Heat muffed the ensuing kickoff and the Warriors recovered at the Heat 25 yard line, but the defense tightened and they forced a turnover on downs.

The game ended with the Warriors taking a knew on the 5 yard line and DC on the way to the Championship game.

Players of the Game

Charles County Heat: TJ Hawkins
District of Columbia Warriors: Darius Darden

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Game #2 Montgomery County Bearcats 8 vs Howard County Stars 7
This was a Grassroots Instant Classic!!!!!! It was the rematch of a heated regular season battle. The Stars rolled through the season this year the way the Bearcats rolled through last year. Both teams looked unbeatable until they lost late in the season. The Stars were out to redeem themselves and the Bearcats are still searching for their first GYFL Championship in 4 years.

The Bearcats started off the first drive with 3 consecutive penalties and were forced to punt as the Stars defense was flying around the ball. The EIB Davon Williams returned the punt inside the Bearcat territory to about the 40. We don’t call him Excitement In a Bottle for nothing. The Stars switched up this game by starting Keandre Robinson at QB. Robinson is a more of a run threat than the starter, 7th Grader Trent “Action” Jackson. Jackson can run as well, but Robinson is an electrifying runner. The Stars drove the ball down the field on legs of Mohamed Ibrahim, Davon Williams, and Jeremy Mensah. The bruising OL led by Cam Goode and company opened up creases for the Stars back to gain 4 and 5 yards a clip. Ibrahim “All I Do is Score” did what he does from inside the 5 yard line to give the Stars a 7 – 0 lead with 1:40 left in the first quarter after the successful conversion.

On the ensuing kickoff, we got a chance to see one of the most electric RB’s in the league do his thing. Marvin Beander is as a 2 Time GYFL All Star on his way to St. John’s in the fall and boy are they getting a good one. Marvin, is quick, slick, fast, and needs a nickname big Wayne. Work on that for us. He caught the kickoff at the 17 in full stride, found a crease and exploded through it at the 35. In an instant, he was on the left sideline with the after burners on looking at the end zone about 45 yards away. Brayden Pierce had other ideas. Pierce is an interesting prospect. He is about 6’0 tall already and 170lbs. He is not only big and tough, but the kid is fast. He ran a 4.7 forty at the combine and we got to see it in full view as he ran stride for stride with Beander and forced him to cut back at the 20, where he made the TD scoring tackle at the 11. That tackle was big because this could have been a totally different game had Beander been able to score.

The Cats planned on doing what they do, which is pound, but the Stars defense led by Joe Mack, and Sean “Cowboy” McCutcheon where having no parts of that as the first quarter came to a close. On 4th down an incompletion turned the ball over on downs inside the 5 and the Stars took over. That TD saving tackle by Pierce was huge. Robinson showed his speed with a bootleg on the possession moving the chains and giving the Stars some breathing room. Karl Mofor pounded up the middle for some tough yards. Robinson fumbled a snap at the 22 of the Stars that was recovered by the Bearcats and they went to work. Devin Miller, the stud DT for the Stars bottled up the run game. Then “Cowboy” sacked Doc Bonner and the Cats had to punt. This time it was two time All Star Malik Davis who may have saved the day for the Cats. All I Do is Score Ibrahim returned the punt, broke to the left, got a block, turned on the speed, and looked like he had an alley to cut back and score, but Davis tracked him down an forced him to cut back, where Ibrahim lost his footing and went down. Had Davis not had the foot speed, the Stars would have been sitting on a two score lead. Superstar Jalen Lea from the Cats made a big stop on Pierce, and then Jackson went over the top to a streaking Cody Wilburn. Khalil Owens had good coverage, but Wilburn had inside position and when leaped to make the circus catch like he has done many times this year. The only problem was that two-time GYFL all Star Brian McNeary is a baller and he broke on the ball from his safety position and arrived just as the ball hit Wilburn’s hands and knocked it away. Great play!

Jackson hit speedster Davon Williams on a 15 yard pass over the middle, but the Stars turned it over on downs. Beander made a sweet run around the left side for a first down. Then Bonner hit Tremayne Stott over the middle for another first down, but time ran out in the 2nd quarter and we went to the 2nd have with a 7 – 0 score, led by the Stars. Both defenses came out of halftime on fire. Jalen Lea was striking Stars, along with DeAngelo Thompson. The Stars kept pounding the ball for modest gains and moving chains until Carlos Washington made a big stop for a huge loss on a reverse to the EIB Williams. It pushed the ball back to midfield and would make it tough for the Stars to run and they were forced to punt.

Bonner hit Jonathan Donally on a slant pass, and then Beander struck again!! He got the ball on his 20 off tackle, got a couple of nice blocks and got through the line of scrimmage. He popped out to the right sideline and got another great block by the receiver. He turned on the jets and was up the sideline in full stride. He cut back on the safety which gave the EIB just enough catch up time to grab his jersey from behind and reel him in. He didn’t do so until Beander had racked up a 60 yard run and put the Cats in business. With these Stars though, you better score from outside because they are tough in the red zone. After a couple of loss yardage plays, Bonner rolled out and found his 7th Grade sensation and two-time All Star partner Stott in the flat. Both of these kids played as 6th graders last year, with Bonner starting 8 games.

It is going to be scary to see the two of them in Montgomery Village Chief uniforms for our Fall League. MV always has a mob, but to add Bonner into the mix is going to be a problem for the whole league. For those that have not heard. Grassroots is coming into the Fall this year and there are roster spots available for those that want to play against the best competition every week, in the best high school venues every week, for an opportunity to be selected to the best post season All star opportunities like the Youth Crab Bowl, the Youth Chesapeake Bowl, and the FBU State All Star Teams. Doc and Stott will be there. Who else wants some? Send inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in finding out how to be a part of it. Fall Evaluations will occur in the month of July for every region and the website will be updated with tryout information as soon as it is locked in.

Back to the action…..Stott caught the pass out of the backfield, broke a tackle and worked his way inside the 15 yard line to get close to the first down, but they were about 3 yards short and had to go for it on 4th down. Big Cam Goode and Cowboy stopped Carlos Washington on 4th down up the middle and they turned it over on downs. The Stars got it back and began to pound at the Cats, but big Brandon Johnson was having none of that. He made two big stops to put the Stars in punt position as we got late into the 4th.   The Bearcats took over at the 41 yard line down 7 – 0 and the pressure was on Bonner. On first down, Stott was in the slot and rand a flag pattern. Bonner put the perfect amount of air under the ball and it dropped into Stott’s hands right over the outstretched hand of the corner, but right in front of the safety Robinson. Stott caught the pass at the 20, turned it up looking for the end zone and Robinson made a TD saving diving shoestring tackle that caught Stott at the 7 yard line. Great play, but once again, if you don’t score from distance on the Stars, it gets real tough in the red zone.

Beander got nothing on first down and lost yardage on second down. Bonner threw behind his receiver on 3rd and just like that we were back to 4th down. Khary Smith broke up the middle and sacked Bonner on 4th down and the Stars got the ball right back!!! A fumbled QB snap was recovered by Brandon Johnson and the frustrated Bearcat offense had another shot. Would they get back down inside the 10 and not be able to score from in close? Only time would tell. From the 30 yard line, Bonner surveyed the field. The Cats backs were having success running behind big Naasir Watkins on the right side, but this time they decided to hand off up the middle to Stott off the left side. Big Jabari Bennett made a punishing block from his left tackle position, and Stott broke free around the left side. Donnelly got a block on the EIB and Stott hit the sidelines and turned on his considerable jets…….. The kid was gone for 6!!!! TD Bearcats. With the score 7 – 6 Stars, coach Stefanelli had a big call to make. Would he go for 1 and tie the score, or would he go for the 2 point conversion kick and try to win the game. Coach Stef went for the jugular and the Cats lined up with Doc Bonner set to kick the extra point. The crowd was silent, the snap was good…….the hold was better……..the kick was right through the uprights and the Cats were up 8 – 7 with time winding down in the 4th quarter. What a game!!!! The crown went nuts with 4:44 left in the game.

The Stars came out with a vengeance and a sense of urgency. The moved the chains on a couple of tough runs to get to the Cats 45 yard line. Jackson scrambled, stepped up in the pocket and launched one downfield to his favorite receiver Wilburn, who made a tough catch in traffic down at the 20 yard line. The EIB tried a halfback option pass, but two- time All star Noah Nicholson was in perfect coverage and stepped underneath it to break it up at the goal line. On the next play, Jackson went into the back corner of the end zone for Wilburn who was one on one with Nicholson. Nicholson had great coverage and the ball was up for grabs. Both of them went up for it at the same time………Nicholson came down with the ball and the GAME WAS OVER! What a game guys! This is how we do it in Grassroots.

Players of the Game

Montgomery County Bearcats: Tremayne Stott
Howard County Stars: Sean “Cowboy” McCutcheon


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