Monday, 28 May 2012 23:40

2012 Week #3 Summary

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The Stars came for the Memorial Day Extravaganza at Episcopal HS in Alexandria, Va. Some heavy hitters showed up to support. GYFL Commissioner Doc Walker was in the building and enjoyed the festivities, but not only that, 15 year NFL Veteran Troy Vincent was on hand with 16 year veteran Brian Dawkins.

We also had a couple of top HS stars on hand. US Army All American and Rivals 5 Star Athlete Stefon Diggs was on the sideline for the PG County Swarm. His younger brother Trevon plays WR/DB for the Swarm and big brother came to show support.

GYFL 2010 Class Alum and Friendship Collegiate Star DB Jalen Tabor came out as well to enjoy the festivities.   Sherrod Harrington from U. of Colorado and Don Hursey from Texas Tech both college DB’s who came from H.D. Woodson HS in DC. I am not sure if those guys had any idea what was in store for them, but they most certainly got treated so some grade A football on this Memorial Day weekend, as did we.

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Game #1: The Howard County Stars vs. The Charles County Heat

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We expected a barn burner and we were treated to even more. This game was thrilling from the opening kickoff to the final buzzer. This was not a youth football game. As a matter of fact, I have been instructed by a couple of the coaches to no longer refer to this as youth football. Not only are we preparing these kids for the next level, but we are officially at the next level. This competition is more intense than most Freshman and JV levels because when these kids go to the 9th grade in high school, they will be spread out among numerous different high schools and the talent won’t be as concentrated as it is right now. They will still be playing against other kids their age, but they won’t all be on the same team anymore and depth of talent won’t be seen again until they get to varsity.

I mean seriously though. Can you imagine Abdul Adams and Adrian Platt in the same backfield in HS? Or, what about having Eric Burrell and Deandre House as your receivers? There are great athletes on this Stars team that haven’t even had a chance to show their true talent yet. Kids like Trey Simpson and Lemond Bynoe were the hands down best players on their youth club teams. Same goes for Sonny Csorba and Jaquan Ball. Aaron Hansford and Justin Mulbah are elite athletes. The Stars linemen are not the biggest, but they may be some of the best in the league. We must recognize the contributions of Sean McCutcheon, Joe Macklin, Michael Coolie, Alex Leger, Craig Williams Jr., and Nathaniel Randolph. Those guys just continue to open holes for the running backs and protect the QB. This Stars team is loaded.

But don’t discount the extreme talent on the Heat Roster. Matthew Hunt and Terrance Davis are arguably two of the best big men in the area, on the same team. But, Tim Ursery, Warren Clements, Anthony Whigman, Jamie Higginbotham and Craig Lindsey round out one of the most formidable offensive lines in the GYFL. They get it done for elite back Devin Montgomery and stud Damien Jones.   Aaron Parker had shown flashes before Saturday but made some throws yesterday that may move him up into the top QB debate. His backup Scott Cascino would start on most teams.   Jesse Stauffer and Andrew Rothstein are big time HS prospects. DeMarco Blount has done a great job on the corner, while Perrin Turner is a ball hawk and a big hitting corner back. Malik Brown is an amazing athlete with great size and strength.   Shaquon Dyson showed his ball hawking and tackling prowess on Saturday. They have two big time receivers in Jayson Johnson and Jordan Holmes. A kid they just picked up last week made the catches of the game. His name is Alic Martin. Add the fact that they have the best kicker in the game in Gene Blair and you are looking at a star studded team. They didn’t even have Joshua Chase on Saturday who could start in any GYFL backfield. And their record is 1 – 2. Tell me this league is not loaded with talent.

For the initial summary, here we go. We won’t provide the final summary until we have accumulate all of the stats for the game, which we hope to have no later than Wednesday, depending on how quickly the coaches provide them. The good news is that with our film being ready much more quickly this year, we have the ability to do a sound initial summary without the actual numbers.

Game started off sloppy with the Heat turning it over on the first Center/QB snap and the Stars taking possession. The Stars turned it right back over 2 plays later with a fumble recovery by DeMarco Blount. Charles then began to show off their running game with Devin Montgomery (Pax River/Ryken) breaking off a couple of long runs, followed by running mate Damien Jones (Pax River/Ryken) who had one of the toughest TD runs of the year so far with a 13 yard scamper behind the right side of the line. Jones, dipped in, bounced outside, turned it up and carried 3 defenders into the end zone to give the Heat the 6 - 0 lead.

On the next possession, the Heat front seven bottled up the explosive Adrian Platt (Elkridge Hurricanes/Undecided) and Abdul Adams (Laurel Hurricanes/Undecided), but underrated QB Armani Ceballos, who has a very good arm and is pretty accurate found his favorite receiver Eric Burrell (Gorc/McDonough) streaking up the right sideline. Ceballos threw a catchable ball against good coverage by Perrin Turner. Burrell concentrated and hauled in for the 25 yard reception and moved the chains. The 2nd quarter began with the score 6 – 0 in favor of the Heat.

Platt and Adams made good gains on first and second down before Damien Jones came up from his safety position with a knockout blow in Platt, catapulting him into the sidelines. Jones has been compared by one of our message board patrons as youth level combination of Adrian Peterson and the late great Sean Taylor. Very high praise for the young man. On 3rd and short, Ceballos went to That Man again (Burrell), who was one on one with Turner on the right sideline this time. The pass was complete for another 24 yards. The coverage was good, but Burrell is just too big and strong and catches too well. On second down, Ceballos struck again with a play action roll out. This time he found Adams in the flat and put it right on him. Adams turned it up and got into the end zone for 6 points. The conversion pass attempt was good to Burrell in the back of the end zone to give the Stars the lead 7 – 6.

Damien Jones took the ensuing kickoff back 45 yards down to the Stars 30 yard line. He almost broke it all the way and showed us that sprinter speed once again. Keyshawn Ebron (Peppermill/Undecided) saved the touchdown. Two plays later was the play of the year so far in the GYFL and may be one of the best that we have ever had in the league. Devin Montgomery got the ball off the right side of the line and was stuffed by the Stars defense. On first and 10 from the 20 yard line with the Heat taking momentum back from the Stars, Adams goes in for the tackle and literally strips the ball right out of Montgomery’s hands. He immediately transitioned into a running back and showed the 4.68 speed we saw him run at the combine. He shook Alic Martin and broke his tackle. He cut back against the grain, picked up a block, shook the QB Parker at the 50 yard line and turned on the after burners! He was gone! The crowd went wild as Adams crossed the goal line to give the Stars the lead. After the conversion the score was 14 – 6 Howard County.

DeMarco Blount had a nice return for the Heat putting them in Stars territory, then the Heat began to pound the ball with Jones and Montgomery, moving the chains. On first down with less than two minutes in the half Aaron Parker (Westlake/Gwynn Park) went to work. His newly acquired WR Alic Martin was one on one against Keyshawn Ebron who had excellent coverage. They were running stride for stride into the end zone as the ball came floating in softly. Both players went up for the ball and both came down with it in the end zone. But, in football the tie goes to the offense and the Heat had 6 points. Beautiful pass, great defense, even a better catch. TD! The extra point was no good and we went into halftime with a 14 -12 score. The Stars were on top.  The kid Martin is not to be toyed with.

Ceballos opened up with the quick hitch to Deandre House who turned it into a 20 yard catch and run and the Stars were on the move in the 3rd until they made their first mistake. Ceballos had a man open in the middle of the zone but slightly under threw the ball. Jordan Holmes stepped underneath and made a great leaping interception and return to give the Heat the momentum. The Stars defense stiffened on the ground, by plugging the holes with stunting LB’s. This put the DB’s in one on one coverage. Parker executed a nice play action pass and found that kid Alic Martin streaking on a skinny post down the middle of field on Ebron. Parker put it right on the money and Martin made a great leaping catch to give them a first and 10 on the 10. Coach Danny Hayes is going to love this kid Parker. He is a gamer.

A couple of runs were stuffed by Sonny Scorba and Burrell, as the Stars committed to stopping the run. Coach Byrd made the adjustments and called another play action. This time as Parker rolled out to his right, he had his man Martin one on one with a bigger cornerback Aaron Hansford (St. Johns). But, Parker made another perfect throw over the outside shoulder and Martin pulled off his 3rd acrobat catch of the day and his second touchdown. We are not sure where Martin is going to school next year, but I can’t wait to find out because this kid can get it. After Blair converted the kick, the Heat were up 20 – 14 in this thriller with 3:35 left in the 3rd quarter.

Platt started running like a man possessed on the next drive as the Stars moved the chains before Andrew Rothstein (Ryken) and Perrin Turner (North Point) started making big hits as we moved into the 4th quarter. After a turnover on downs, the Stars defense began to tighten up as they knew the Heat would try to burn clock. The second big turnover of the day by Montgomery occurred on a routine run up the middle at about the 50 yard line.   Montgomery was tackled and stripped by Jaquan Ball (West Laurel Stallions). Ball recovered the ball and the Stars were back in business in the 4th quarter down 6 points.

What happened next can’t be described appropriately. You must see the video to believe it. For some reason unknown to any of us that have seen this kid play, not many schools have shown sincere interest in Abdul Adams.   He showed us after the combines that he was one of the best athletes in the GYFL. After week one against Loudoun he proved that he was a football player. After the run we saw him make to put the Stars in front, there should be NO DOUBT that Adams is one of the elite players in the league and should be recognized. I would suggest some HS coach jump all over this kid asap. You need to find out where he lives and his public school should be all over him. Any privates that have any more slots available need to find him ASAP, and if you don’t have a spot, you make want to take one from somebody because this kid is special. He gets the hand off and breaks off of the right tackle, then he cuts back into the teeth of the defense. He got a great block from the TE Burrell and his fullback Csorba. The left CB came in to make the tackle. He lowers the shoulder and spins off of that tackle, which propelled him into the secondary and in an instant the 4.68 speed was in effect again and it was over from 52 yards out. TD! Ceballos rolls out and hits House in perfect stride for the conversion and the Stars were up 21 – 20 with 7:00 minutes to go.

On the next possession it was Jones who was running like a mad man. With Montgomery down from a groin injury, Jones burst off two long runs to get into Stars territory. 2 penalties in a row stopped the momentum and pushed them back into obvious passing situation. That is when the Stars coaching staff cut loose on the full out blitz. Adrian Platt broke through from his linebacker position and sacked Parker for a loss of about 15 yards which crippled the Heat’s comeback attempt. The Heat had no choice other than to punt and Platt had a big return for about 20 yards into Heat territory. Platt continued to bang away at the Heat defense for another first down, burning up more clock. The Stars were able to move the chains again behind a 10 yard carry by Platt and with the Heat having no more time outs, there was nothing they could do to stop the clock. That was your score ladies and gentlemen. The GYFL prognosticator was wrong in picking the Heat to beat the Stars and the Stars players let us know not to underestimate them again! Congrats Stars. The Heat will return!

Final Score: Howard County Stars 21 – Charles County Heat 20

 

Game #2: The Baltimore Metro Stallions vs. The Prince Georges County Swarm

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This was a very intriguing game for us for a number of reasons. We saw PG put up 44 points and shut out Southern MD last week, but we didn’t know if that was because they had improved that much after 1 week, or if Southern MD was just not very good. If in fact, PG had improved that much, than this should have been a very good game. We know that Baltimore is loaded with talent, and we expected them to put points on the board. So this game had a chance to be good.

The other story line was the matchup between Trevon “Pick 6” Diggs, the younger brother of 5 Star Rivals recruit Stefon Diggs and Steven Smothers AKA “Optimus Prime.” Stefon is arguably the best football player to ever come out of the state of Maryland and it can’t be easy being the little brother of a player that good. Trevon is very good, but he is also a year younger than most of the kids in his class that he is playing against. If he were to re-classify and play in his right grade, we believe he could be one of the most dominant players in the class of 2017. As a current 8th grader, Trevon can play with the best of the kids that are older than him and more than hold his own. He is a 2 Time GYFL All Star and he was a star player for the MD State All star team that we selected and coached in the 1st Annual Football University National Championship Tournament, where he earned the nickname Pick 6, because quite frankly, he kept on picking off passes and taking them to the house for 6. The kid is phenomenal.

On the flip side Steven Smothers was also on that MD State All Star Team and this kid is a flat out star. He looks like a young Stefon Diggs. He plays like a young Stefon Diggs. He has swagger like a young Stefon Diggs, and Stefon is his idol. Quite naturally after watching him demolish the competition for Team Shutdown last year, for the Pikesville Wildcats last year and in the FBU Tournament, we did 2 things. We labeled him as potentially the next Stefon Diggs and we gave him the nickname, “Optimus Prime.” I call him Optimus Prime because it seems like when he puts that uniform on, he literally Transforms into a scoring machine and human highlight reel. I put a lot of pressure on myself by speaking so highly of him and because he had been out of the country for 2 weeks, not many had a chance to see whether I was right or not. I think after watching the game and watching the film, you will so that the old boy has an eye for talent and when I tell you a kid is the real deal, you can take it to the bank.

The story line is this…. Both of those kids are like little brothers to me and I love them dearly. They are friends as well but any time you have potentially great players, there is going to be competition and apparently Pick 6 wasn’t all that thrilled about somebody else being named the next Stefon Diggs (LOL). Diggs called Smothers out on FB this week and promised to shut him down! Smothers deep down does not believe anybody can shut him down, so it was ON!!!!!!

Back to the game…..

Sharpshooting GYFL QB Kasim Hill (Eastern Christian Academy/7th Grader) started out with 2 quick completions to Morgan Scroggins (Eastside/Calvert Hall) and Smothers (Pikesville/Franklin) but the Swarm defense stiffened and forced them to punt. But the Swarm could not move the ball on offense and kicked it right back.

After a highlight reel run by Azariah Bratton-Bey (Baltimore Stallions/Undecided), who is making his case as one of the best running backs in the league, the PG Swarm pressure defense kept Hill under duress during the next drive and although they got close to the end zone, their drive was thwarted when Jordan Jacobs (Silver Hill/Potomac) got the big sack on Hill and forced a fumble that was recovered by the Swarm.

The Swarm tried to run behind Aaron Speight (Bishop McNamara) who exploded on the scene last week with a couple of TD runs against Southern MD, but they could not get anything going. They tried to catch the Stallion defense off guard with a fake punt and run by FBU All Star J.C. Chasse (Southern/DeMatha), but it was snuffed out by Bratton-Bey. Bey is a GYFL favorite and is going to make a high school coach very happy next year, wherever he ends up. This left the Swarm with their backs against the wall for the 3rd time already in this short game. Bey caught a swing pass from Hill, got upfield and tried to hurdle the defender Malik Lewis (South Bowie/Undecided). He almost got him but Lewis is a tough cookie. He is another FBU All Star and makes plays for PG on a consistent basis.

On the next play, Hill dropped back to pass and was blasted from the backside by another member of that MD State All Star Team for FBU Terrell Dance (Southern MD Eagles/Bishop O’Connell) for a big sack on the backup QB and two time GYFL All Star Zionnez Spencer (Liberty), which took the momentum away from the Stallions.

The Swarm defense held the might Stallions for the 3rd time in the first quarter and as time ran out we were deadlocked at 0 – 0. FBU All Star James Green (Forestville/Forestville HS) entered the backfield and the Swarm tried to run inside. The Hollis brothers (Troy and Travon) from Bluford East, who are both on their way to Calvert Hall were having none of the running game, as they stuffed the inside of the Swarm OL on consecutive plays.

The Swarm was having difficulties getting the snap to QB Miles Temoney (PG Chargers/7th Grader) and defensive stalwarts like Johnson Lloyd (Woodlawn) and Montrez Wyatt (Woodlawn) made were there to pounce on them. Smothers had a highlight reel punt return to put the ball in Swarm territory and Kasim Hill took over. This time it was James Green and Bernard Moore coming off the corner for the sack. Defensive Coordinator Furqaan Mosely had the Swarm ready for this game and they would not give Hill a chance to get comfortable in the pocket. We all have seen him when he is comfortable in the pocket and it is not a pretty site for defensive backs.

A couple of plays later instead of trying to sit back and get comfortable, coach Ty Johnson called for a quick set 3 step drop to get the ball out of Hills hands quickly. He fired a dart between 3 defenders who had Smothers covered nicely in a box. It didn’t matter. The pass was on a frozen rope. Smothers shook Dance at the line and got slightly behind him as he hooked back into the teeth of the defense. Joshua Bonner (Accokeek/McNamara) was closing in from the inside LB position, and Diggs was over the top. Not only did they have in a 3 way box, but in case he did catch it, the safety was rolling over the top to make the tackle. It was an exercise in futility when dealing with a Transformer.  Smothers turned into Optimus Prime, made the catch, evaded the 3 defenders, shook the safety and turned on the jets! TD Smothers….. Baltimore Metro 6, PG Swarm 0, just like that.

With a little over 3 minutes in the half, the Swarm finally got something going. Malik Lewis had a great run back out to about the 43 yard line and Temoney went up the right sideline to James Green for a gain of about 20 yard and a first down. A couple of plays later we had our first Diggs vs Smothers sighting. Diggs (Montgomery Village/Undecided) ran a perfect out route against man coverage and Temoney put the ball right on the money. However, Smothers who was covering the WR running a fly pattern, saw the play unfolding and left his man to scrape back and get into the play.  Just as Diggs was about to haul the pass in, Smothers lit him up and jarred the ball loose putting Diggs flat on his back. Photographers from the PG Sports Fan got a bird’s eye view of two future stars going at it in Grassroots. Pass incomplete. Diggs showed us some toughness as he hopped right back up and ran back to the huddle tapping his old friend on the hip and acknowledging a good play.

After another punt by PG, Kasim brought the Stallions back out to begin the next possession on the 13 yard line.   Smothers was one on one with Sir Scott (PG Storm/Undecided) who is an excellent defender, but when Smothers sees one on one with no safety over the top he no longer continues to be Smothers.  In situations like that, he transforms into Optimus Prime and there is not a whole lot you can do. He shook Scott to the outside, slipped inside and got vertical. If people want to question why I say Kasim Hill is the best 7th grade QB I have ever seen, all they have to do is look at this film. He was pummeled in the 1st quarter by the Swarm defense. He gained his composure and went to the 3 step drop. When he needed to thread the needle with a frozen rope you saw him do that. On this play he needed to loft the ball perfectly over the DB and get some air under it, while leading his receiver away from any safety that may come over the top. He put a perfect pass on Smothers that was caught at the 40 yard line. Prime made the adjustment to the ball, made a great catch and it was over.   87 yards later it was another TD for the Stallions. I can’t even fault Scott for pulling up at about the 35 yard line. There is no catching that kid.  Stallions 12 – 0 over the Swarm before the half. The Swarm only had 2 bad defensive plays the whole half, but with Hill and Smothers, you can’t afford a bad play.

The second half started with a nice kickoff return by Diggs. Then Pick 6 started to get involved in the offense with a quick slant catch and run for a first down. Diggs tried a reveres option pass, but the receiver wasn’t there so he pulled it down and showed us his offensive skills with another first down on the ground. Diggs had great quickness and acceleration.   Coach Jordan even used Diggs in Wildcat formation on the drive, but they turned it over on downs.

Zionnez Spencer came it at QB and found Demel Delgado (Northwest Bulldogs) on an out pattern and hit him on the money for a first down, and then the Stallions unleashed the secret weapon Malik Austin (Bluford West/Undecided) from his fullback position.  Austin is built like a grown man but is only 14. This kid has legs like a tank and his going to be hard to bring down. He is looking for a HS as we speak. I suggest somebody take a look. He burst through the right side of the line and would not go down easy on his first carry.  FBU All Star J.C. Chasse burst through the line on Spencer and sacked him for a big loss, then on the very next play Jordan Jacobs got his second sack on the day of Spencer as well. PG Swarm with the ball. As the 4th quarter rolled around and the score Baltimore Stallions 12 – 0, Troy Hollis made another big stop. J’uan Campbell picked up a sack on Temoney and they turned it over on downs and had their backs up against the wall again.

On the next possession, Jordan Jacobs collected his 3rd sack of the day and they held the Stallions before taking the ball back over. The Swarm went to the Wildcat offense with Diggs and Green carrying the ball, but errant snaps over the head of the Temoney hurt this drive and the Swarm turned it over again on downs. Taheeb Sonekan (South Bowie/Undecided) another FBU All Star recorded a sack on the Stallions before Spencer got into the scoring column with a 25 yard TD strike to Morgan Scroggins who won a jump ball at the 5 yard line and trotted into the end zone for six and a 18 – 0 score with a little over a minute left in the game.

FBU 7th Grade All Star QB Darnell Clement came in and tried to make some plays as time was running out. He hit Diggs on two short passes, but on the last play of the game as time ran out, Johnson Lloyd stepped in front of his pass, and ran it back 60 yards as the horn sounded.

Final Score: Baltimore Metro Stallions 24, Prince George’s County Swarm 0

 

  Game #3: Prince William County Lions vs Montgomery County Bearcats
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Two time GYFL All Star Daqwan Hill (Montgomery Village/Good Counsel) started the day off with a series of slick inside runs behind that big Bearcat offensive line. Izon Pulley (Montgomery Village/Good Counsel), Jalen Lea (Montgomery Village/7th Grader), Mike Drolet and Kyle Loughner who both play for the Rockville Lions and will attend Good Counsel, along with Cody Peterson (Montgomery County Cowboys/Undecided) and Charlie Siarkas (Rockville Rams/Sherwood), have been dominant the first two weeks opening holes for Hill, Jonathan Wanat (Silver Spring Saints/Good Counsel) and Marvin Beander (Maplewood/7th Grader).

After a number of first downs on the ground, coach Levenberry’s defense stood up and begin to shut them down led by LB Marcus Brooks who began making plays sideline to sideline. When the Lions took over they began running the ball with small but quick and deadly D.J. Wright. The first quarter moved pretty quickly with the two run first offenses. The score was 0 – 0 after 1 quarter. 6th Grade QB Doc Bonner from Maplewood has won the starting job and did a good job of managing the game early on, but the Lions defense was well prepared and didn’t give up anything on the ground. Eric Kumah (Hylton) was big in the run game for the defense early.

On defense for the Bearcats, Cedric Content (Montgomery County Cowboys) played stout making big hits on Wright to force a turnover on downs. Realizing that the defense was playing the run, Coach Steffanelli dialed up a perfect play action pass and Khalil Owens (Montgomery Village/7th Grader) got behind his man and was wide open on the post, but Doc Bonner just missed him for what would have been about an 70 yard TD pass. With less than a minute to go in the half, the 6th grade phenom redeemed himself with a perfect spiral pass down the left sideline to a streaking Travon Stott (Montgomery Village/Good Counsel) who was the player of the game in last week’s stunning victory of the Heat. Stott is an elite athlete that showed his speed by running right past the defender and the ball hit him right in the hands. Nobody in the stadium could believe it when Stott dropped the perfectly thrown ball that would have put the Bearcats on the board, but it happened and the Bearcats turned it over on downs. QB Brandon Pitt (Hylton) completed a couple of nice passes to Kumah, but the Lions ran out of time in the half. Halftime score was 0 – 0 and the fans were in shock as the Bearcats were expected to run away with this one.

The defensive struggle continued in the 3rd quarter with Bearcats Joey Freeman (Rockville Bears/Gonzaga) and David Sangwa (Silver Spring Saints/Kennedy) making big stops. On the Prince William side it was Nasheed Hargrove and Shawn Brooks (Forest Park) doing damage. Brandon Hilton (Osborne Park) is a fearless kick returner that almost got his head taken off on one play but he held on to the ball. The turning point in the game was an interception off of a deflection at the Lion 15 yard line giving the Bearcats a short field to work with. Malcolm Littlejohn (Montgomery Village/Paint Branch) made the diving interception. It only took 2 carries for Hill to scamper into the end zone for the 6 – 0 lead.

Izon Pulley began to dominate the line of scrimmage form his NT position making play after play, as the Bearcat defense started to take over the game. The Lion defense was tough all day but the offense couldn’t get in gear. As the day started to wear on, Beander took over the TB duties as Hill’s ankle began to bother him. Beander is cat quick right now and will remind you of a young LaMicheal James. He has great vision, shake and bake, but he knows how to get North and South. Just as the Bearcats began to control the game on the ground and get chunks of yardage with Beander, the safeties for Prince William starting inching closer to the line of scrimmage. That is when Stefenelli went into his bag of tricks and called trips right, with versatile fullback Wanat in the slot. Doc Bonner got in the shot gun and as Beander flared to the right flat, the safety came up to cover him leaving the middle of the field open. Bonner recognized it and hit a streaking Wanat for a 35 yard TD strike right up the hash mark. Wanat made a great catch and run.

Prince William continued to try to pound the ball against the Bearcats and had a little bit of success with Wright before being forced to punt again. Jaron Woodyard (Montgomery Village/Watkins Mill) was looking for an opportunity to show off his blazing speed and he got it on the punt return that he brought back for about 40 yards giving the ball back to his offense in great field position. At that point, Shawn Bliss (Olney/Sherwood) took over at QB and 7th grade TB Darius Golston (Montgomery Village) took over at TB. On Golston’s first carry he showed the same type of quickness and elusiveness that Beander has shown us. The Bearcats are loaded with running backs, with Jonathan Lee still nursing an injury so Golston has to take advantage of every carry he gets and he has done that two weeks in a row. He picked a good time to do it too because Coach Butler from Bullis was on the sideline checking him out and he was impressed with what he saw.

As the Bearcats tried to go in for a game sealing score, Bliss was picked off by standout LB Marcus Brooks giving the Lions some life. But a fumble on the first reception gave the ball right back to the Bearcats and Stott and Golston ran the clock out with a couple of slick runs.

Final Score: Montgomery County Bearcats 12, Prince William County Lions 0

 

Game #4: Loudoun County Eagles vs Southern MD Wildcats
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Loudoun County took the opening kickoff and ran the ball behind the big offensive line. Charlie Clewis (Woodgrove) was the workhorse on the drive as the methodically pushed the ball down the field and eating up clock. With 5:40 left in the first quarter, QB Damani Neal (7th Grader) scored on a QB sneak from the 2 yards line to give the Eagles a 6 – 0 lead early in the first half.

Charlie Clewis had a sack on the first defensive play and almost had an interception on the 2nd. The pressure on QB Jessiah Rojas (Owings Outlaws/Ryken) was intense on the first drive and a sack and turnover gave the ball right back to the Eagles. Clewis was the work horse again running behind Noel Hijazi (Briar Woods), Daniel Renaud (7th Grader), Michael Sheehan (Woodgrove), Chase Haegele (Heritage) and Hunter Smith (Woodgrove). the TE Brent Smith (Heritage) does a great job of blocking for Clewis and the backs as well.

DeMartez “Petey” Thomas made a number of big tackles on the drive but they could not keep Clewis out of the end zone on the second drive of the day. After the conversion the score was 14 – 0. Petey is just a flat out football player. He plays every play like it is his last and he makes plays from his LB position as well as the RB position on offense. Petey is a GYFL Favorite for sure and is an example to prove that win or lose; you can make a name for yourself in the GYFL.

After an exciting kickoff by Deandra Bush (Prince Frederick/Calvert), Taron Vincent (6th Grader) and the Eagle defense stepped up and stuffed the Wildcats in the backfield as time ran out in the first quarter.   Billy Mullens had a big play in the backfield on 4th down to give the ball back to the Eagles. Anthony Williams (Woodgrove) had a couple o nice runs before turning the ball over after good coverage by Brandon Beavers (Mechanicsville Braves/Chopticon) and the Southern MD secondary, giving the Wildcats life.

On the next possession, Kevin Burke (7th Grader) from Loudoun County stepped in front of an out pattern thrown by Rojas and ran it back 60 yards for a touchdown which took all the wind out of the Wildcats. Burke showed great instincts to jump route and and even greater burst of speed as he sprinted to the end zone.  The Wildcats got a couple of first downs on their next possession running behind Petey and Jhordan Green who was back from an injury sustained in week #1. Rojas threw another interception to Isaiah Johnson (Tuscarora) with 1:48 left in the first half after a 30 yard return. The eagles tried to go for it all, but Brandon Beavers made a great interception to give the Wildcats the ball back. Beavers and Thomas played well for the Wildcats.

Ben Cross (Flint Hill) came off the edge and sacked Rojas near his own goal line. On the next play, Clewis got to Rojas and forced a safety to make the score 24 – 0 Loudoun County at the half.

As the second half began, the Loudoun defense played smash mouth and forced a punt to the dangerous Anthony Page who returned for about 40 yards after crushing block by Cole Rosick (Woodgrove) at the 50 yard line. Damani Neal ran the option play to get the Eagles back into scoring position, before taking it in on a TD with the QB sneak. The kicker for Loudoun is tremendous and will surely be critical for Loudoun down the stretch. His name is Addison Jennings (Woodgrove). The score was 30 – 0 at that point.

After a deep kickoff, the Wildcats started out deep in their own territory and Kevin Burke (7th Grader) stepped in front of a Rojas pass and picked off his second interception of the day.  Burke was all over the field making plays on this day. After Josh Murphy (Prince Frederick Eagles/Calvert) stopped Meech Henry (7th Grader) on the first carry, Meech fumbled and the Wildcats recovered the ball.

Brandon Beavers stepped in at QB and made a great run around the left side to give the Wildcats some breathing room.   As the 4th quarter approached Rojas found Bush on a beautiful post pattern over the middle of the field for about 20 yards and the Wildcat fans got excited. The momentum was stopped when Isaiah Johnson stepped in front of another pass and intercepted it. On 4th down the Eagles went for it, but they kept trying to pick on that Beavers kid, which was just not a smart move. Beavers came over and made a great pass break up down the left sideline.

Being down by so many points forces the offense to throw to try to get back in the game and with the Eagles knowing that it was extremely tough on Rojas all day. He threw another interception on a screen pass attempt. This time it was to Billy Mullens.

As the clock ran out on a 30 – 0 score, we must commend the Eagles for getting their first win of the season. We also commend the Wildcats for hanging in and playing tough all the way until the end. These kids have no quit in them and they keep playing hard no matter what the score is. There is something to learn from win or lose in Grassroots. Even in the midst of heartbreaking losses we get a chance to see the heart of kids like DeMartez “Petey” Thomas and Brandon Beavers, who played great football on Saturday. The kids from Southern MD just need to stick together and keep fighting hard and they will get better and better.

Final Score: Loudoun County Eagles 30, Southern MD Wildcats 0

 

Game #5: District of Columbia Warriors vs Fairfax County Colts
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The game started in the Warriors favor when the opening kickoff was recovered by John Gant Jr. (Patuxent Rhinos/Mt. Hebron).   The Colts defense came out fired up shutting down the Warriors on their first 3 plays, but on the 4th plays, QB DeWayne Shorter (Watkins/Friendship) showed why he is one of the top players in the GYFL. He has a strong arm and is very accurate as a passer, but he is even as lethal when he pulls it down and runs with it, as he did on 4th down from about the 30 yard line. He took off into the right flat, made a couple of slick moves, cut to the outside and turned on the speed. The result was a 30 yard TD run and a 6 – 0 lead for the Warriors.

In the Colts opening series, they broke out the wildcat formation, which was successful for them at the end of the Howard County Game last week, but the defense of the Warriors was having nothing to do with it. The DL led by Phillip Morgan Jr. (Johnson Jr. HS), Darrin Pullen (Beacon House/Friendship), Jordan Clark (Jefferson JH, Friendship), Antonio Favors (Patuxent Rhinos/Friendship), Daquan Martin (Beacon House/Undecided), and Robert Toland (Beacon House/Wilson) played tough against the wildcat and kept it in check early on.

On the change of possession Max Nail (Ft. Hunt/West Potomac) came up with a sack on Shorter. The Fairfax defensive line came to play led by, Taye Diggs (Bucknell/West Potomac), Austin Bostic (Bucknell/West Potomac), John Day (NOVA/West Potomac), and Hunter Wilkens (Ft. Belvoir /Undecided). Fairfax always gets strong play from Jordan Napper (Undecided) as well. They created the lane for Nail to slip through and make the play. On the next play Ozzie “Showtime” Opuku (Gum Springs/Undecided) read the flair pattern and took C.J. Rainey (Beacon House/Undecided) out of the play on a great timing hit to break up the pass. Fairfax held the mighty Warriors and turned it over on downs.

Mark Ellis (Ft. Hunt/7th Grader) took over the QB duties on this day as Fairfax tried to give the offense a spark. Fairfax went to a convention I formation and Bill Abusei (Bucknell/Hayfield) found some room to run on the first few plays. On 4th and about 4 the Colts decided to go for it, which was when the second big play of the day occurred. Ellis rolled out to his left under pressure and made an errant pass. 7th Grade DB Sean Savoy from Beacon House stepped in front of the WR picked it off and took off down the sidelines with a convoy of blockers in front of him. Savoy showed a great burst of speed as he took it all the way to the house for a 68 yard INT return for a TD. The bad news was that one of the great blocks turned out to be below the waist and the TD was called back.

The Fairfax continued to do a good job shutting down the run and defending the spread as we went into the 2nd quarter with the score still 6 – 0. After a completion an first down to the dangerous Delante Hellams Jr., the Warriors were in scoring territory at the Colt 14 yard line when the whole momentum instantly changed.   On first down, Shorter’s pass was tipped into the hands of speedy defender Asiedu Duah (Ft. Hunt/Mt. Vernon). Duah took off in the other direction with a convoy of his own. Duah is so fast that he outran his convoy and looked to take it all the way for 6. QB DeWayne Shorter had other thoughts and he showed a great burst of speed and acceleration by catching Duah and tackling him at the 11 yard line. The Fairfax fans went nuts!

One play later, a mishap in the backfield caused a fumble by Ellis, which was recovered by two time GYFL all Star Darrin Pullen, which took the wind out of the Colts and sapped their momentum. The teams exchanged defensive stops on the next two possessions. Anthony Brown (#14 Boys Club/Friendship) took over at QB and completed a few short passes to the speedy Patrick Johnson (Watkins/Undecided) and Hellams, and then Rainey broke off his first long run of the day. Khiwane Pryor (Beacon House/Dunbar) had a nice run right up the middle.

Then the Warriors struck again on a great play action rollout call by Coach Bink Vaughn that caught the Colts off guard. Brown rolled to his right and found Hellams running an out pattern. Brown made the throw, Hellams made the catch, then put a great move of two-time GYFL All Star Aaron Ince (Ft. Hunt/O’Connell) and turned up field before carrying a Colt defender into the end zone for 6 points. After the conversion the score was 13 – 0. There was no more scoring in the half.

Fairfax opened up the 3rd quarter with a squib kick that was recovered by DC at the 50. The Fairfax defense did a decent job of containing the lethal Warrior offense, as there were a number of incomplete passes. However, to give them a short field is not wise and they are so explosive that they can change the game on one play, as they did at the beginning of this quarter. On the first play of Shorter ran the quick screen to Navon “Skully” Prince. In an offense with so many weapons, it is possible for great players to be forgotten about from time to time. DC has Hellams, Johnson, Rainey, and even more explosive players that haven’t distinguished themselves yet, so Prince is not necessarily the focal point as he would be on some teams. Trust me, he is a great player and a 2 time GYFL All Star. He and Hellams starred on the MD state All Star team for FBU as well and on this play, he showed why. He caught the pass about the 50, shook a couple of Colt defenders, broke to the sideline and turned on the jets. 50 yards later is was another 6 points on the board for the Warriors. The score was 19 – 0.

The Offensive line of DC let by Big Richard Merritt (Montgomery County Cowboys/Undecided), Niko Foster (Jefferson JH/Undecided), Mike Williams (Maryland Bison/Wilson), Lawtez Rogers (New Carrollton/7th Grade) and Christopher McClain (Watkins/Potomac) continued to do a solid job of protecting Shorter on the throw.

On the next drive the Colts went back to the wildcat with a steady diet of hard running Bill Abusei and speedy Mohamed Kamara (Ft. Hunt/Mt. Vernon). The offensive line of Joe Calhoun (Bucknell/7th Grade), Joel Carranza (Mt. Vernon HS), John Day (NOVA/West Potomac), Kreshawn Dikes (Ft. Belvoir/Undecided) and Jay McCargo (Bishop O’Connell) began creating lanes for the running backs and they worked their way down to the Warrior 21 yard line. At that point Abusei exploded through a nice hole and got a great lead block by Chris Santiago (Ft. Belvoir/Mt. Vernon) to get him into the end zone for the first score of the day for the Colts. The fans went crazy with excitement.

At this point, it was going to be the Fairfax defense that would have to contain the Warriors if they were going to get back in the game. Aaron Ince and the secondary began to come up big on the next possession making sure tackles and keeping the Warriors from advancing the ball. At the end of the 3rd quarter and on 4th down, Hunter Wilkens chased down Shorter on the sidelines for the turnover on downs, giving the momentum back to the Colts in this well played game, which was much closer than the experts predicted.

Swaid Belt (White Oak/7th Grade) came out on fire with a big stop on 1st down for no gain. Then Abusei almost broke another one if not for a saving tackle by Deon Jones (Ward 5 Warriors/Carroll). The defense held and turned the Colts over but Apuku came in with a crushing sack on Brown that jarred the ball loose but was recovered by the Warriors. The Colt defense was standing up to the reigning GYFL Champions and turned them over on downs.

On the next possession Robert Toland got a big sack on Carlston Burch (West Potomac) which pushed the Colts back inside their own territory, but on the next play, Burch found a streaking Max Gallahan (Springfield/St. Stephens) running up the right sideline and put the ball in the air. The defender was there, but Gallahan muscled him for the ball, caught it and ran the final 22 yards in for the TD. There appeared to be clip on the call that was not called and after the conversion we had a football game, with the score 19 – 14 in the middle of the 4th quarter.

Another squib kick gave DC the ball in Colt territory, which is never good. After 2 QB draws by Shorter, they were at the Colt 15 yard line and threatening to score. Two plays later, Shorter went to his favorite target Hellams who was in the back of the end zone one on one with a shorter Colt DB. They both went up for the ball and Hellams came down with it for his 2nd TD of the day. The Colts had been so amped after the last score, but the squib kick just gave DC too much field position. After the score pushed the lead up to 26 -13 the steam was out of the Colts and they turned the ball over on downs inside their own territory at the 21 yard line.

C.J. Rainey put the dagger in with a sprint around the right sideline to the end zone where he showed off his quickness and 4.6 speed, while providing the final margin of victory with a 32 – 13 score. This game was a lot closer than the score indicates. The Fairfax County Colts have nothing to be ashamed of and they are going to win some games this year.

The DC Warriors are the defending champions and they showed us again how truly explosive they are.

Final Score: District of Columbia 32, Fairfax County 13

 

 

Read 8509 times Last modified on Saturday, 02 November 2013 13:46

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