Wednesday, 26 June 2013 02:29

JV Championship Game

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HC Stars Coaches Hold the Trophy! HC Stars Coaches Hold the Trophy!

Championship Game June 22nd @ Loyola Blakefield High School
500 Chestnut Ave Towson, MD 21204

Hamilton Tigers 13


HC Stars 16


The 2013 Junior Varsity Championship Game was everything we could have asked for and much more. It was a thriller down to the very end and we can’t wait to bring the action to you. This is one where you will most definitely want to get that game DVD and play it over and over again.

God Blessed us with great weather. It was a little warm out there, but there wasn’t a cloud in the sky or a drop of rain. The facility was breathtaking and the fans all had a wonderful Grassroots Football Experience, which is all we can ask for.

HC Stars 16 vs Hamilton Tigers 13
The Hamilton Tigers had a tough road to get here. They were one of the youngest teams in the league with only 1 8th grader, who is still 13. They sustained injuries to some of their key players. Jamaine Jeter, who was one of the top RB’s and LB’s in the league, went down in the 2nd week. They lost their starting QB Tyler Woodard for the Final regular season game and the playoffs. But, the made it to they made it to the Championship Game anyway with a 6 – 2 record and had Jeter and Woodard back for the Championship Game, even if they were not going to play much. They had the hometown of Baltimore behind them and were ready to rock.

The Stars have been the class of the league going undefeated for the first time in Grassroots history and trying to make history by going wire to wire without a loss. They played some tough, hard fought games this spring and summer, but found a way to come out victorious each time. Would they be able to do it again?

Let’s find out how the game unfolded. The Tigers kicked off first and were on defense to begin the game. The Tigers started the show on the first play with a sack by Na’Jae Boyd before they forced the Stars to punt on the first possession. Josh Pugh had a nice run on the first carry for 7 yards. The Tyrone “Soul Train” Roper blasted up the middle and through 4 tackles to get the first down. Big Jamaine Jeter made his debut with a bruising run on 4th down, but he came up inches short of the first.

Darius “Pac Man” Harris moved the chains for the Stars with a tough run as the first quarter ened with a 0 – 0 score. QB Michael Toler went deep on 3rd down but Zaywhon Johnson had great coverage and the pass was incomplete. The Stars had to punt again, which is something they have rarely done this season. Zavier Williams came up with the big sack for the Stars as their defense stiffened. Jeter coming off of a slightly fractured ankle made it known why he is going to be one of the most coveted recruits in the class of 2018 when he just refused to go down and carried a pack of Stars for about 5 tough yards before they were forced to punt. We had a defensive struggle. Or so we thought. A good punt by the Tigers pushed the Stars back to their own 28 yard line when they came with the power sweep to the right side with the Pac Man Harris. He got a good kick out block from his up back Kareem Wilson on the corner, who was up on the line to defend the full house backfield.. His fullback got a just enough of the strong side LB to allow the speedy Harris to dip in and back out to the sideline. At about the 35 yard line he saw the day light and began to accelerate. At about the 40 yard line he had one step on the DB Josh Pugh, with no safety help over the top. It was over by the time he hit the 50. He is just too fast. He turned into a track star and took it to the house, as he white towel flew in the air behind him like a small cape. The conversion kick was right down the middle by Ethan McMeans to make the score 8 – 0.

On the second play of the next possession from the Tiger 27 yard line, the Soul Train Roper got the quick handoff right up the middle. He was at the second level in an instant and past the linebackers. We knew he had power. We knew he could run. We did not know that this kid had the kind of speed to run away from the HC Stars. The Stars have kids all over the field that can flat out fly. But none of them could catch the Train. He got into the secondary in 3 long strides and at the 50 he was in a footrace with Warren Ward. Ward lost and it was a wrap. Jamaine Jeter converted the point after and we had a 8 – 7 score with 2:59 left in the half. What a game. Two 75 yard+ TD runs!

Soul Train struck on defense on the next possession with a stop deep in the backfield on Pac Man and McMeans was punting again. Big Jeter popped through for another first down, then 6th grade Cam Hart hit the dangerous Michael Sawyer on a 25 yard catch and run to get into Stars territory inside 30 yard line. On the next play, Hart threw a pass out of the backfield on a swing pass that Jeter couldn’t catch. The referees never blew the whistle. It was not an obvious lateral play but it was very borderline and very close. It is even too close to tell from the video. Be that as it may, the whistle did not blow. Wisely, Michael Toler picked up the ball at the 32 yard line and sprinted 68 yards untouched for the score as the Tigers looked shell shocked with 12 seconds left in the half. Instead of going in for the go ahead score at the half, the found themselves down 14 – 7 and dejected.

The Tigers got the ball back for the 2nd half. DeMontay Snowden had a great kickoff return out to the 50 yard line, but on 3rd down, Hart was picked off with an over the shoulder catch by Devan Hebron and the Stars were back in business. Jeter began unloading big hits on Harris and forced a punt. Josh Pugh reads holes like novel and he and Jeter began moving the chains behind that massive offensive line. Jeter and Roper are two of the most powerful backs you will ever see on the same team. The Tiger offensive line was beginning to take over the game on this drive. QB Tyler Woodard made an appearance in the backfield and broke off a 10 yard run up the middle. Then Zaywhon Johnson got into the act with a first down carry and some tough yardage as the 3rd quarter came to a close. With 8:00 to go Jamaine Jeter just got utterly foolish with it. I am tempted to just post the game online so you can all see the run this kid made. One tackler, 2 tacklers, 3 tacklers 4; spinning, moving, bulldozering (don’t even know if that’s a word) and more. He must have been hit by all 11 Stars on this play as he powered his way to the 8 yard line. On the next play, the inside handoff to Roper was an explosion to the goal line. He was 1 yard away from pay dirt. It was fitting that Jeter took it in for the score. He was unable to tie the score though as the Stars defense stepped up and kept him out of the end zone.

The short kickoff gave the Stars the ball on the Tiger side of the 50. Big Roper tracked Harris down in the backfield. Then Sean Pencook and Tyler Woodard got Harris in the backfield again. The Tigers were actually dominating this game. Harris had the big run for 78 yards, but other than that they could not move the ball. The lateral was looming large against the Tigers, but they had the momentum………Until. Michael Toler and Zarkee Wilson made the big play. Toler dropped back to pass and saw Wilson running a crossing pattern and he put it up. There were two Tigers hot on his tracks and looked to be in position to at least break up the ball, if not pick it off. But, Wilson wanted it more and went up and took it out of the air. As both Tigers fell to the ground, it looked like Wilson was going to score from about the 30 yard line. Keeshon Martin had other ideas. We know that Wilson can run because of the performance he had at Landon the week before in the playoff games. But on the play, Martin would not be denied and he began to reel Wilson in from behind. He caught Wilson at the 4 yard line and saved the touchdown.

Big Calvin Carroll was stout on the first run, but on the next play the Stars fumbled the snap and the Tigers recovered. The hometown crowd went wild, as the Tigers took over on their own 3 yard line with 4:07 left in the game. Plenty of time to use the high powered running game to go down and score. They made the mistake of running a pitch sweep and Jeter was caught in the end zone by a swarm of Stars……….Safety!!!! That was 2 points for the Stars and a 16 – 13 lead. The worst part for the Tigers was that they had to kick off to the Stars. The defense stiffened but the clock was the enemy of the Tigers and the Stars committed to chew it up on the ground before one of the best youth club football punts you will ever see pinned the Tiger back inside their 20 yard line with less than 2 minutes remaining. The Tigers went to the veteran QB Woodard who had been out for 3 weeks with a concussion. He immediately lofted a beautiful sideline pass to Michael for 20 yards to move it to the 40 yard line.

The Tigers tried their best to get the ball down the field, but the pressure on Woodard was too much and he couldn’t find any open receivers as they turned the ball over on downs. The Stars ran out the clock, and the first ever Grassroots JV Champions were the HC Stars by the score of 16 – 13!!!!!!!

What a game and what a season. We are so proud of these great kids, these great coaches, and these great parents and fans who make it all a reality. God Bless you all and we will see you in the Fall!

Players of the Game

HC Stars: Darius “Pac Man” Harris
Hamilton Tigers: Jamaine Jeter

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