Monday, 04 June 2012 01:24

2012 Week #4 Summary

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GYFL President Mike Anderson with U of MD Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley with DeMatha Head Coach Elijah Brooks and Southern MD DB Brandon Beavers GYFL President Mike Anderson with U of MD Offensive Coordinator Mike Locksley with DeMatha Head Coach Elijah Brooks and Southern MD DB Brandon Beavers

Week 4 June 2nd @ Landon School

(0-4) Southern MD Wildcats
 2 (1-3) Fairfax County Colts
13
(2-2) Prince Georges County Swarm 25 (1-2) Loudoun County Eagles 8
(2-2) Charles County Heat
46 (3-1) District of Columbia Warriors
34
(0-4) Prince William County Lions 0 (4-0) Howard County Stars 39
(3-1) Baltimore Metro Stallions
12 (4-0) Montgomery County Bearcats
14


Wow! We did it again. God blessed Grassroots with another amazing day! After the torrential rain covered the DMV on Friday night and early into Saturday morning, many of the faithful were concerned that it would affect the game day extravaganza on Saturday at Landon. The good Lord had different thoughts. In the first 3 years of the GYFL, as crazy as this may sound, we have never had a rain for any of our games. We are prepared for rain, which is why we play on field turf. If we do get rain, we will play. The only thing that will stop a Grassroots game is lightning. This is football guys! With that being said, we have just been so blessed over the first two years and we were blessed again in a major way on Saturday.

The weather could not have been more beautiful. It was clear and 77 degrees all day without a cloud in the sky. We partner with some of the most amazing campuses throughout the DMV and play at unbelievable facilities. No facility is more gorgeous than Landon school, which is tucked away in Bethesda, MD.

After the day was set, the stage was set for what we thought would be the best week of the year so far and this is just what we got. The Stars came out once again. We were deep with high school coaches as always. Obviously Coach Padilino and AD David Holm, who were gracious hosts to us were there and loving it. St. Albans was in the house. Bishop O’Connell was there again. Bullis was strong as usual. DeMatha came with a mob this time. St. Mary’s of Annapolis is always deep. Forestville Military Academy came out in force. Good Counsel is ever present. Wilson HS was in the building. Woodgrove from Louduon was there. There were a number of other coaches there but we can’t name them all.

One of the treats of the day was David Sills Sr. and Coach Duane Thomas from Eastern Christian Academy coming down from Elkton MD to see what all the fuss was about. ECA has 22 kids who have already been offered scholarships to college on their current roster. David Sills Jr. was offered a scholarship by USC when he was in the 7th grade and he is the real deal.

Another treat for GYFL was to see Adam Freidman of Rivals.com in the stands at 9am in the morning to identify future talent. He promised that he would make it out and he did. He left very impressed. Of course Commissioner Rick “Doc” Walker was on hand, as was 5 Star Rivals recruit and US Army All-American and MD signee Stefon Diggs. It is always a who’s who at a Grassroots Saturday. You never know who may show up.

The biggest treat of the day was to see U of MD offensive coordinator Mike Locksley in the building. MD has a football camp called Little Terps coming up this summer that we want to promote and coach came by to drop off some flyers and say hi. I couldn’t just let him leave without seeing some of the talent and he was blown away. I don’t know what else middle school parents can possibly ask for. I the parent truly understood what Grassroots is providing for their kids, we wouldn’t have room at a training session or a combine next winter.

In a little over a week, we have the biggest treat of all coming down.  You guys keep reading these summaries and you read about some of the kids in the league who were MD State All Stars in the Football University National Championship Tournament last winter.  It was one of the most amazing experiences we have ever had.  We played a tough Virginia State team and beat the breaks off of them 42 - 6.  Then we faced an even tougher New York State Team and beat them 42 - 20.  We were one game away from the Final 5 in San Antonio Texas before we got beaten in Massachusetts by their state team on cold and wintry day.

For my current 7th graders, 6th graders, and 5th graders, along with any other youth athletes who want to test themselves against the best, tryouts for the 2012 Teams will be held on Monday June 18th at Walker Mill Regional Park in Capitol Heights MD from 6pm to 10pm.  Click here for a link to the detailed information, which will take you to the registration page.  You do not want to miss this guys.  Calling on Renaud, calling on Beander, calling on Lea, calling on Golston, calling all 5th, 6th, and 7th, grade ballers!

Let me get to the action……

 

Game #1: Fairfax County Colts 13, Southern MD Wildcats 2

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We picked Fairfax to win by 2 TD’s and were glad to be wrong by the score. We hoped this would be a tough, hard fought game and it was. We were very interested to see how hard the Southern MD Wildcats were going to fight after 3 lopsided losses. Were they going to come out and give maximum effort from the opening whistle to the final horn, or where they going to pack up their tent and fold?

They came out fighting! On the first drive, it was obvious the defense came to play. Fairfax County came out in the Wildcat offense behind Bill Abusei (Bucknell/Hayfield) and Mohamed Kamara (Ft. Hunt/Mt. Vernon). Southern MD made them work for everything they got. Derrick Easter (Solomons Steelers/Patuxent), Deandra Bush (Prince Frederick Eagles/Calvert), and DeMartez "Petey" Thomas (Pax River Raiders/Ryken) made big tackles early causing the Colts to have to work deep into 3rd and even 4th downs. On the first 4th down from the 29 yard line, Abusei got the handoff and was trapped in the backfield. Somehow he juked left, looked back to his right side and saw a crease that he exploited. He slipped through the line of scrimmage and raced back across the grain.

The next thing we knew, Abusei was in the secondary turning on the great speed and racing his way into the end zone for the first score. Bush chased him all the way down to paydirt and showed great effort, but it wasn’t enough to keep Abusei from scoring and making the first quarter score 6 – 0.

Southern MD muffed the kickoff and it was recovered by the Colts. Immediately Abusei breaks off a 30 yard run down to the 13 after some great blocking by the right side of the Colt line. Lewis Djonkam (Springfield/O’Connell) got a great block to spring him. The Colts put the ball in the hands of big Kreshawn Dikes (Ft. Belvoir/Undecided) in the backfield and he banged up the middle and it looked bad for the Wildcats until Brandon Beavers (Mechanicsville Braves/Chopticon), Easter, and Jhordan Green (Prince Frederick/Calvert) began dominating blockers and making a string of tackles, pushing the Colts away from the goal line.

Tyler Payton (Leonardtown Wildcats/Leonardtown) got into the action with a big stop and before we knew it, Alex Alvarado (Leonardtown Wildcats/Leonardtown) and the DL had their first effective goal line stand, giving them life and confidence. After a first down the Fairfax Colts defense held and Southern MD was forced to punt. Abusei came out running like a man possessed before Justin Hanson (Solomons Steelers/Patuxent) put the brakes on him with a hard tackle. Reyquon Holland (Solomons Steelers/Patuxent) came up from his corner spot to stop Abusei for a big loss after they had gotten back into scoring position. On 4th down, Petey tracked down QB Mark Ellis (Ft. Hunt/7th Grader) on a scramble to turn them over.

At that point the Wildcat offensive line began creating small creases for Petey and his hard running allowed them to convert first downs. Asiedu Duah (Ft. Hunt/Mt. Vernon) and Ozzie “Showtime” Opuku (Gum Springs/Undecided) began making tackles on the drive. They forced a turnover and Carlston Burch (West Potomac) took over the QB duties on the drive which ended with the halftime score Colts, Wildcats 0. The Wildcats were in their first game of the year.

They opened second half with an effective running game led by a big offensive line which was very effective. Liam Magee (Solomons Steelers/Patuxent), Bradley Ditmars (Prince Frederick Eagles/Calvert), Randy Burke (Prince Frederick/Calvert), Alvarado, and Dejuan Marble (Owings Outlaws/Huntingtown) were getting it done. After driving deep into Colt territory inside the 10, the Colts got tough and stiffened. Max Nail (Ft. Hunt/West Potomac), Austin Bostic (Bucknell/West Potomac), Hunter Wilkens (Ft. Belvoir/Undecided), Taye Diggs (Bucknell/West Potomac), and Opuku took control and stopped Petey to force a turnover on downs.

On the next possession, with the Wildcat defense stepping up, they forced a punt, which was blocked by Easter and resulted in a safety giving the Wildcats 2 points. With score 6 -2, the Wildcats were deep in this game as the 3rd quarter came to an end. Opuku got a big sack that pushed the Wildcats back into punting position. Abusei had a great 20 yard return. On the next play, Kamara broke off the left side, escaped a couple of tackles and got to the left sidelines. He turned on the speed and 56 yards later he was in the end zone. Kamara is a phenomenal athlete. With the extra point the score was Fairfax 13, Southern MD 2 with 8:37 left in the 4th quarter.

Both team stopped each other and forced punts until an misjudged put by 2 Time GYFL All Star Aaron Ince (Ft. Hunt/O’Connell) gave the ball back to Southern MD in Colt territory. A couple of plays later, Ince redeemed himself when Jessiah Rojas (Owings Outlaws/Ryken) tried to go deep on him to Deandra Bush down the right side of the field. Bush and Ince were one on one and Ince used some of the techniques taught to him by GYFL VP and 12 year NFL veteran JB Brown. Ince had perfect coverage on Bush, kept inside position and made a diving catch for the interception and close the game out.

The Fairfax OL was solid all day with Joe Calhoun (Bucknell/7th Grade), Jay McCargo (O’Connell), Djonkan, John Day (NOVA/West Potomac), John Holzworth (Ft. Hunt/6th Grade), Taye Diggs (Bucknell/West Potomac), and Max Gallahan (Springfield/St. Stephens) putting in work.

Defensively for the Colts, Max Nail (Ft. Hunt/West Potomac), Jordan Napper (Undecided), Hunter Wilkens (Ft. Belvoir/Undecided), Brad Schaefer (Ft. Hunt/West Potomac), Ince and Ozzie Opuku had strong performances.

For Southern MD, there were a number of kids who played well. Thomas and Beavers stood out, but we though Randy Burke (Prince Frederick/ Calvert), Dejaun Marble (Beach Bucs/Huntingtown), Josh Murphy (Prince Frederick/Huntingtown), Thomas Bowens (Solomon Steelers/Patuxent), Tyler Stamps (Solomons Steelers/Huntingtown), Joseph Meador (Owings Outlaws/Huntingtown) and Myron Young (Solomons Steelers/Patuxent) deserved mention.

We were happy for the Colts to get their first win, as well as proud of Southern MD for playing hard to the end. The DeMatha coaches were on the Wildcat sideline getting contact information the last time I saw, so even in a loss, those kids won.

We are going to continue to highlight an outstanding performer for the winning team each week with a photo on the website that will run all week, but we decided to add a new wrinkle to our promotion. After each game, the announcers and statisticians are going to select a player that gave Outstanding Effort throughout the game. It is not an MVP award, but will be for the players who impressed us with their effort. We will select a different player every week from the winning team and the losing team. That player will have a special photo taken, do an interview on the microphone after their game and we will run a promotion on the website for an entire day for each kid. It will have the photo, along with a biography and an interview online so that coaches and people can get to know the player that we spotlighted.

The winners of the spotlight for this game were Hunter Wilkens for the Colts, and Brandon Beavers for the Wildcats.

 

Game #2: PG Swarm 25, Loudoun County 8

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This one was a true shocker. We picked Loudoun County by 3 points and couldn’t have been more wrong. The Swarm literally came out swarming. Their defense was all over QB Damani Neal (7th Grader). They clogged up the power running game, and controlled the passing game. They were playing without massive lineman Savion Williams (Spirit of Faith/Undecided), who was serving a one game suspension for fighting last week. We just didn’t see this coming, but that is Grassroots. There is a ton of talent in the league and some great coaches that will make adjustments.

Coach Lamont Jordan simplified the offense a bit this week and it paid off. He basically said to QB Miles Temoney, “Throw the Ball to Pick 6.” The kid’s real name is Trevon Diggs (Montgomery Village/Undecided), but we gave him the nickname “Pick 6” because of his penchant for picking off passes and taking them back to the house for TD’s. Every week he did that in the FBU National Championship run. Well, on this day it was not his defensive prowess but his offensive prowess on display. He made about 3 highlight reel catches right in front of coach Mike Locksley, who is the U of MD offensive coordinator and future coach of Trevon’s big brother Stefon.

To the action… On the opening drive for Loudoun County, Neal found his TE Nick Clarkson (Loudoun County HS) open down the left sideline for the first long completion of the game.  The Loudoun began pounding bruising RB Charlie Clewis (Woodgrove) behind the mammoth OL led by Michael Sheehan (Woodgrove), Daniel Renaud (7th Grader), Hunter Smith (Woodgrove), Johnny Jordan (Heritage) and Noel Hijazi (St. Johns).  TE’s Brent Smith (Heritage) and Clarkson did a great job blocking early for the Eagles, along with FB Gunner Hilling (Woodgrove).

As the PG defense began to stiffen on the drive, FBU All Star Taheeb Sonekan (South Bowie/Undecided) put pressure on Neal and the rest of the defensive line closed in the get him in the backfield.  FBU All Star Yuka Onya (Undecided), Marlon Murray (Undecided), and Jordan Jacobs (Silver Hill/Undecided) applied the pressure.  Josh Bonner (Accokeek Ravens/McNamara) played tough on the drive.

After a turnover on downs caused by a great defensive play by FBU All Star Terrell Dance (Southern MD Eagles/O’Connell), Bonner, and Sonekan, the PG offense took possession of the ball and the OL led by Sonekan, Onya, Bonner, Jacobs and Bernard Moore immediately began to control the line of scrimmage.  FBU All Star Aaron Speight (Riverdale Baptist) broke off a couple of good runs and FB Keven Thomas burst through the middle for a big run right up the gut and the Swarm were in business.  FBU All Star James Green (Forestville Boys Club/Forestville Military Academy) entered the backfield and broke a long run around the left side.  Green was in for a phenomenal day.  He must have realized that the University of Maryland was in the business along with Pick 6 because they both put on shows for Locksley.

Maceo Barbosa (PG Chargers/7th Grader), who has been very effective all season for the Swarm playing out of position at TE, showed his versatility with acrobatic catch inside the 10 yard line that was thrown by his teammate on the PG Chargers, QB Miles Temoney (7th Grader).  On the next play, it was Green, who exploded around the left side of the field and carried 2 defenders into the end zone for the first score of the day.  After Green sprinted around the right end for the conversion, the Swarm led 7 – 0, which is the way the quarter ended. 

As the 2nd quarter began, Diggs began to take over the game.  No WR can do it by himself.  The QB needs to deliver catchable balls.  The OL needs to provide protection.  When those things happen, it creates the opportunity for great receivers to shine.  But, not all receivers are great.  This kid can do it.  On the first play of the 2nd quarter from the Swarm 47 yard line, Diggs starts out in the backfield and goes in motion to the right.  On the snap he sprints up the right side of the field and Temoney let it fly.  It looked like the ball may have been a bit overthrown but Diggs laid out with one hand and made a perfect diving 27 yard catch right in front of coach Locksley and DM Head Coach Elijah Brooks who was also on the Swarm sideline. 

On the next play, Coach Jordan went right back to Diggs again.  This time he was double covered in the down the right side of the field and Temoney threw it to the outside shoulder where only Diggs could get it.  He made a second diving catch for the 25 yard TD!  When you see the film, you will notice the subtle move that he learned from his big brother.  He leaned into the defender as if the ball was inside, which caused the DB to lean inside, and then he dove back to the outside to make the diving catch unobstructed.  This time he used two hands.  The score was 13 – 0 after the failed conversion.

The Loudoun OL opened a huge hole for Clewis and he burst threw it for a gain of about 30 yards before Sir Scott (PG Storm/Undecided) made the saving tackle.  The Eagles fans got excited.  The PG defense held as DB Ejaaz Mosely (South Bowie/Undecided), DB Calil Wilkens-Coleman (Accokeek Ravens), FBU All Star LB Malik Lewis, and LB James Green stepped up the pressure.

On the next PG possession, the interior of the defense played tough.  Led by Daniel Renaud and Taron Vincent (6th Grader), Malik Crowe (Potomac Falls), Billy Mullen (Woodgrove), Ben Cross (Flint Hill), Seth Reif (Woodgrove), and Kevin Burke (7th Grader), the Eagles were gaining momentum.  Next they appeared to get the break they needed.  Neal tried to force a pass to Diggs, but the double coverage was effective this time and Anthony Page (Briar Woods) picked it off and brought it back up the sideline deep into Swarm territory, but a penalty flag negated the play giving it back to the Swarm.

This did not look like the same Swarm offense that could not move the ball against the Stallions last week.  Temoney hit Diggs on two more big pass plays on this drive.  They converted a 3rd down with a 10 yard post pattern, and then they connected deep down the middle to about the 10 yard line on another completion.  The Swarm offense was clicking on all cylinders.  Of course on the next play, the slant pass to Aris Mayfield was tipped up in the air and this time it was picked off by Anthony Page, giving the Eagles life and keeping the Swarm out of the end zone again before the half.  At the half the score was PG Swarm 13, Loudoun County Eagles 0.

Julian Gorham and the rest of the PG offense kept blocking and James Green kept running hard.  The Swarm began moving the chains on the ground consistently with Green, who is making a name for himself as a big time runner.  The combination of Aaron Speight and Green give the Swarm a formidable running attack.  With a healthy Christian Melgar, the Swarm running game will be hard to stop.  Temoney continued to connect through the air.  He caught Green out of the backfield for a big gain, then went back over the top to Diggs, who delivered again down to the 10 yard line beating double coverage.

On the next play, Diggs performed an imitation of his big brother on a jet sweep.  He ran to the right side of the field, picked up some blocks but had nowhere to go.  He decided to reverse field and cut back to the left side.  He shook a defender in the backfield, broke to the left side, picked up another great block by Barbosa, then got another great block by Jacobs and Sonekan, and then he scooted into the end zone for another TD.  That made the score 19 – 0 with 4 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

The Swarm defense kept the pressure on with Jordan Jacobs and Malik Lewis.  Jacobs forced Neal out of the pocket and he tried to hit his receiver on the right sideline.  FBU All Star Michael Collins stepped in front of Neal’s pass and pulled off a “Whodini” like interception on the Loudoun County sideline.  Back on offense, the kid Diggs just wouldn’t stop.  Temoney had the hot hand and he knew who to go to. He hit Diggs on a quick slant, then went to the air deep again on the Swarm sideline with a perfectly thrown flag pattern that Diggs caught and tiptoed to keep his feet in bounds. 

As the 4th quarter began the Eagles had to try to pass their way back in the game and on the first deep pass, Sir Scott had great coverage and leaped high to intercept the ball and had a nice run back that was negated by a clipping penalty.  The Eagles got a break when on 4th down Calil Wilkens-Coleman was pressured and couldn’t get the kick off.  He was tackled in the backfield giving the Eagles the ball in scoring position.  Three plays later, big Malik Crowe bulled his way into the end zone to put the Eagles on the board and give them some hope.  The sidelines got pumped as they realized there was enough time to come back and score if they could hold the Swarm on defense and contain Diggs.

After the completed kick the score was 19 – 8 and the Eagles were in reach.  All of those thoughts ended when Coach Jordan put James Green in the Wildcat and he got the direct snap.  He started towards the right side from his own 37 yard line.  He shook a tackle, cut all the way back to the left side and turned the corner.  The kid has blazing speed so as he exploded down the left sideline he had one man to beat.  He set the kid up like a chess player by slowing up, and running right towards him for a few steps, then put in 5th gear and was gone!  It was a 63 yard touchdown run.

Terrell Dance and the Swarm defense just kept the pressure coming on the Eagles, who had to turn it over.  Then Mississippi Johnson (Briar Woods), Darius Taylor (Loudoun County HS), Clewis, and the Eagle defense stepped up, keeping 2 Time GYFL All Star and FBU All Star Aaron Pray (7th Grader) in check from his RB position.  Teyon Davis (PG Storm) stepped in front of a Neal pass and returned it 30 yards before being pushed out of bounds, but the run back was called back by a penalty. 

As the Loudoun offense was forced to throw, Dance continued to apply tremendous pressure, along with Amani Bey, and Ejaaz Mosely continually had great coverage downfield, knocking down two passes.  On the final possession, Green showed why everyone is so excited about his talent, as he broke off another 30 yard run as the time ran out on the game.

Outstanding performers were Trevon Diggs for the Swarm and Kevin Burke for the Eagles.

 

Game #3: Charles County Heat 46, DC Warriors 34

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This was one of the marquee games of the day and it did not disappoint by any means. It was the 1pm game and everybody was there. All the HS coaches were on board from all over the DMV. Locksley was there. Adam Friedman from Rivals was there. Stefon Diggs was there. The players knew it this was the one people came to see. The stands were full and loud!

We made controversial prediction on this one. We picked Charles County by 3 points. The Warrior faithful didn’t like it and came to play with a chip on their shoulder. But, the Heat came desperate and played like it.

The Warriors jumped out on the Heat 6 – 0 immediately. Two Time GYFL All Star and FBU All Star Lorenzo “Lo Lo” Harrison (Westlake/DeMatha) struck early down the right sideline on a swing pass and phenomenal move. He showed off the whole package on that one play on the first drive.  He caught the swing about the 35 yard line and before we knew it he was at top speed crossing the end zone, right in front of coach Locksley. 

Charles County’s Joshua Chase (Undecided) muffed the kickoff and the Warriors recovered at the Heat 25 yard line and were back in business.  TB C.J. Rainey took his first carry about 10 yards down to the 15 yard line, then on the next carry, he broke to the right, got some great blocking from his offensive line and cut back against the grain for a beautiful 15 yard TD run where he went untouched for 6 points.  Big Richard Merritt (FBU All Star/Undecided) and Gary Anthony (Beacon House/7th Grader) got great blocks on the play.  QB DeWayne Shorter (Watkins/Friendship) connected with FBU All Star Delante Hellams Jr. (Watkins/Undecided) for the conversion and the Warriors were ahead 13 – 0 before the fans could get comfortable in their seats.

On the ensuing kickoff, Chase made another critical mistake by picking the ball up and trying to run it out from the 1 yard line.  He was tackled on the half yard line and the Heat were in the worst possible predicament. Jordan Clark (Jefferson JHS/Friendship) recorded the safety on the second play.

Before we knew it, the Heat had their backs against the wall down 15 - 0. The crowd was stunned. Situations like this create opportunities for those that have ice water in their veins. The non-ballers will look to run and hide when adversity like this occurs. The staff of the Heat and the players are elite, no matter what the record was.

Their QB Aaron Parker wanted to prove some things and answer some questions. The kid showed us against Howard County that he had ice water running in his veins and Head Coach Danny Hayes at Gwynn Park has a special talent coming to Brandywine. We predicted that Parker would want to put himself into the discussion regarding the best QB’s in the GYFL. He obviously read that and decided he wanted in. This game would tell whether or not he was officially in.  Would he rise to the challenge at hand, or would he crack under pressure.  We would know in 2 hours.

On the kickoff, the always dangerous “Lo Lo” got the ball and had a chance to do something special, but Shaquon Dyson (Pax River/Leonardtown) made a big tackle on the kickoff.  The Heat defense rose up and forced a 4th down.  The Warriors normally don’t punt and they chose to go for it and did not get it, giving the Heat a short field to work with.  They took over on the 31 yard line.  Swaid Belt (White Oak/7th Grader) and Two-time GYFL All Star Donnell Lowery (White Oak/Undecided) made hard tackles early on.  Then Parker put one up for grabs into double coverage to Alic Martin (Peppermill/Undecided).  Martin, who made 3 circus catches last week picked up where he left off with an acrobatic deflections catch where he concentrated on the ball and kept his feet in bounds.  This kid can ball.  Heat had the ball on the 4 yard line with some momentum.

Two plays later, Damien Jones (Pax River Raiders/Ryken) burst through the line for a touchdown.  The conversion attempt failed and the score was 15 – 6.  On the next drive, we got to see some of the quick feet and moves of Lo Lo, as he shaked and baked through the defense.  DeMarco Blount (Westlake/Laplata) faced Lo Lo and came up and made a sure two handed tackle on one of the best 8th grade running backs we have seen.  We have much respect for Dyson and Blount for being able to tackle this kid in the open field.

On the next play, Shorter tried to hit Lo Lo who was being triple covered by LB’s.  Lo Lo shorthanded the catch and it deflected into the hands of Jones, who picked it off and returned it into Warrior territory.  The Heat were back in business again as the first quarter came to an end.  Jones went into the slot and Parke hit him on a short post pattern that he caught and took down to the 7 yard line. On the next play, Joshua Chase redeemed himself from the kickoff blunders and scored around the right side of the line from 7 yards out.  Tim Ursery (Pax River/Leonardtown), Terrance Davis (Westlake/DeMatha), and Jones got great blocks on the TD, as did Martin from his WR position.  Gene Blair’s (Westlake/Ryken) two point kick was good and the score was Warriors 15 – Heat 14 and we had the game that we expected.

Jones and Blount blitz and got big pressure on Shorter on the first play for DC sacking him behind the line of scrimmage.  On fourth down, Shorter tried to hit Lo Lo on a slant, but a good defensive play by Myles Plummer, who had an awesome game, caused the incompletion.  There may have been some early contact, but it was close and nothing was called.  Warriors turn it over in their own territory and the Heat had another short field.  Two Time GYFL All Star Darrin Pullen (Beacon House/Friendship) stepped up his play on this drive with a hard tackle on the tough running Jones.  But on the next play, Shorter drops back and finds his big receiver Jayson Johnson (Westlake/Ryken) on a post pattern and hit him perfectly.  The Parker to Johnson connection worked wonders for the Westlake Bulldogs last fall and worked again on this play to perfection from the 22 yard line.   The kick was good by Blair and the score was now 22 – 15 Heat, and the reigning Champs were reeling and shocked.

The Warriors went for it again on 4th down after good defense by Andrew Rothstein (Westlake/Ryken) for the Heat.  Shorter overthrew 2 Time GYFL All Star and FBU All Star Navon Prince (Beacon House/Wilson) who was streaking down the middle of the field wide open and they turned it over on downs again on their 30 yard line.  On the next play, Parker rolled out to his left and found Dyson running a flag pattern into the left corner of the field.  He made a perfect pass and Dyson made a perfect catch giving the Heat the ball on the 5 yard line. 

Then Jones gets the hand off to the left, cuts back to the right, breaks a tackle and sprints into the end zone to push the score to 30 – 15 after the converted kick.  The Warriors brought in their 7th grade QB Anthony Brown (Washington Boys Club/7th Grader), who had a nice run on his first play from scrimmage.  Big Squeal (Terrance Davis) broke through the line on the next play and sacked Brown.  After a pass interference call on Plummer pushed the ball into Heat territory, Brown tried a swing pass to Rainey out of the backfield that was deflected into the air.  Dyson came out of nowhere to make a diving interception on the Warrior sideline to give the ball right back to the Heat.  This Dyson kid is an unsung hero for the Heat.  He gets in done on both sides of the ball every single week.

Warriors forced a punt and were back on the move.  Dyson made a shoestring tackle on Lo Lo.  Then Jayson Johnson deflected a pass by Brown that was picked off by Perrin Turner (Westlake/North Point) who has just been playing lights out for the Heat.  Coach Byrd loves all of his players but he could not stop raving about the way Plummer, Turner and Warren Clements (Lackey HS) played on Saturday.  As the first half of this thriller came to a close, the Heat were ahead 30 – 15.

The second half opened with Parker throwing and errant pass that was picked off by the safety Hunter Echols (Takoma Park Rams/Wilson).  We can’t make out the jersey number from the film and will update with the correct name when we receive that information.  The Warriors began to move the ball behind their running attack.  The spread the defense out and began feeding elite TB Lo Lo Harrison and he began to gobble up yardage.  Jesse Stauffer made a great open field tackle on Harrison to keep him from breaking one.  Shorter was not very effective passing on the day, but he was moving the chains with his feet on this drive.  Stauffer made another great tackle on Lo Lo.  People may not understand why I am writing about tackles, but I know how hard it is to tackle this kid because I have seen him against some of the best in the country, who could not do it.  I was very impressed with the form tackling of the Heat on this day.  As soon as I say that on the next play, Lo Lo catches a swing pass and breaks 3 ankles!

A couple of plays later, Shorter finally finds his favorite target Hellams on a TD pass in the right corner of the end zone over double coverage.  Hellams is a TD catching machine and when the final stats are tallied for week 5, I am certain he will be one of the league leaders in TD receptions.  After Lo Lo converts we have a game again at 30 – 22, Heat.

The unbelievable Damien Jones brings the ensuing kickoff all the way back to the Warriors 38 yard line.   Parker gets flushed out of the pocket, but finds Jones open in the middle of the field for a first down.  There is a violent collision by Hunter Echols the safety, but Jones held on to the ball.  Two plays later Parker strikes again with his favorite receiver Alec Martin.  Parker put it up towards the end zone and let Martin go for it.  There were two defenders there, but Martin leaped in the air like he was going for a alley-oop dunk.  He and the defender went up together and Martin wrestled the ball away for the big catch.  This kid is a highlight reel waiting to happen.  He does this every week.

Jones got back behind that big offensive line led by Davis, Matthew Hunt (Marlboro/St. Johns), Clements, Craig Lindsey, Jamie Higginbotham, and Anthony Whigman (Leonardtown HS).  He punched in another one for 3 yards and the Heat were up 38 – 22 after Blair’s kick with 2:30 left in the 3rd quarter.  On the ensuing possession, DeMarco Blount made a great open field tackle on Shorter during a QB draw.  Shorter then began to run with more passion and with great ball folks and good blocking by Mike Williams (Maryland Bison/Wilson) and Lawtez Rogers (New Carrollton/7th Grader), he moved the chains a few times.   Rainey banged up the middle, then Shorter hit Lo Lo on the swing pass that he converted into 6 points, to make the score Heat 38, Warriors 28.  We still had a game as the Warriors have been known to score in bunches.

Parker connected with his Westlake partner Johnson on a nice pass, then Turner got a carry from the backfield and almost popped loose.  Then Lo Lo started stepping on defense from his linebacker spot, getting Jones in the backfield.  Then Jones went away from Lo Lo to the left side behind a great kick out block by Rothstein.  He dipped in, broke outside and scored from the 13 yard line, pushing the score up to 46 – 28 after the 2 point kick by Blair.  On the next possession Perrin Turner got a big interception going one on one with Hellams.  But, Jones fumbled on the next play giving the Warriors the ball inside the 20 yard line.  Shorter was finally able to connect with the speedy Navon Prince for a 3 yard TD pass that brought the score closer to 46 – 34, and that is the way it ended.

After this performance Parker is officially in the running.  He stood up like a soldier and made the plays he needed to make.  Speaking of making plays, we must acknowledge Damien Jones.  If there were any doubts before the game you must put those doubts to rest. The young man is a flat out animal. He is a devastating hitter from his safety spot and a terrorizing runner, who combines speed, power, and ferocity when he runs. He left us spell bound on Saturdy.

On the Warrior side, this may have been good for them. The coaches will have their attention from now on. They are tremendously talented at every position and they showed it. They got a strong game from Shorter, but it wasn’t his best performance. They were playing without the speedy Patrick Johnson. But they have enough depth to be effective without him. Harrison was exciting. C.J. Rainey was explosive. Delante Hellams caught another TD pass.

The Warriors defense had trouble stopping the heat and the lack of punting did come back to hurt them finally. We understand that Johnson is their punter and may have made more of a difference in the punt game than from his receiver position. The Heat had too many short field opportunities and converted on most of them.

It was a high scoring and exciting affair. Many of the parents complained about the Heat having too many players on the field on defense on multiple occasions. The coaches didn’t want to have any part of excuses.  The Heat deserves credit for consistently scoring points and coming back from a 15 point deficit to run off 28 straight points.

Outstanding effort performers were QB DeWayne Shorter for DC and RB Damian Jones for Charles County.


 

Game #4: Howard County 39, Prince William county 0

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We predicted Howard County by 2TD’s in this one at halftime it looked like we may have been dead on. The score was 8 – 0 and once again, Eric Levenberry’s defense was keeping the Lions in the game. The Prince William County offense, which has been unable to score yet this season, just could not get In gear. Brandon Hilton (Osbourn Park) was sensational in the backfield for the Lions, which was a move designed to give them a spark. But, the Lions couldn’t sustain much on offense. On the defensive side, the Lions were led once again by Marcus Brooks (James Monroe). The whole defense has a ton of heart and we appreciate them so much. If they can get the offense in gear before the DC game next week, they have a chance to get a run going, as they would have played all of the 5 elite teams in the first 5 weeks. Their last 4 games will be against teams with .500 or below records.

The game started out with Brandon Hilton in the backfield showing his quickness and speed.  A fumbled snap on the second down and a sack on the third down forced the Lions to punt.  The punt was muffed and the Lions got the ball back.  A penalty hurt the Lions on the possession and they turned it over on downs.  After a couple of long runs by Adrian Platt (Elkridge/Undecided) and Abdul Adams (Laurel Hurricanes/Undecided), who are both elite running backs, a sack by Jordan Heisen (Osbourn Park) slowed the drive.  The DB’s C.J. Childs (Forest Park) and Hilton made a great play on the long ball in the back corner of the end zone.  Then, Brett Lembke (Hylton) and Khalil Woodall (Garfield) made a play on Platt in the right flat on 4th down.

On the next offensive play for the Lions, DJ Wright (Hylton) broke off a 30 yard run around the round side of the field on a toss sweep.  The defensive struggle was 0 – 0 after the first quarter.  The Lions tried an option pass on first down, but it was picked off by Eddie King (Laurel Wildcats/Palotti).  On 2nd down, impressive 7th grader Keith Evans made big stop on Platt in the backfield.  Howard County began to move the chains but the sure tackling Lions didn’t make it easy.  Marcus Brooks, Peter Finley (Forest Park), and Jonte Criag (7th Grader) were making plays.   

As Platt broke into the secondary, LB Brooks and his cousin Shawn brought him down deep in the secondary of the Lions.  Sonny Csorba is probably the best blocking fullback in the league and although the Stars OL is not very big, they are very good.  Michael Coolie (W. Laurel/Meade), Alex Leger (Laurel Wildcats), Marquis Chambers (High Road Academy), Craig Williams Jr. (Columbia Ravens/Bullis), and Nathanial Randolph (Severn/Undecided) are studs.  The created a hole up the middle for Adams who exploded through the line and got to the end zone for six.  The conversion was no good and the score was Howard County 6, Prince William County 0.

On the next possession, the Stars John Sterling (Laurel Hurricanes/Laurel HS) was in the backfield wrecking havoc.  Sterling is a GYFL favorite who made the most of the GYFL conditioning clinics and got himself into great shape for the combines.  It is nice to see him playing and playing well.  The punt was snapped over the punter head and Prince William gave up a safety to make the score 8 – 0. The Lion defense got stiff on the next possession and caused a turnover on downs.  The defense was really playing tough, but the offense couldn’t get in sync.  The center was snapping the ball over the QB’s head in the shotgun. 

Then Sterling showed up again in the backfield with a sack.  Jaquan Ball (W. Laurel Stallions) was on the sack on the next play.  As the first half came to a close we had a good football game with an 8 – 0 score.  The 3rd quarter started with the Stars having the ball, but he defense gave up nothing and forced a punt.  The Lions went to the power running game with C.J. Childs but there wasn’t much room.  QB Nick Arnold (Stonewall) took over for Brandon Pitt (Woodbridge).  After a big run by Platt, Issa Hazou (Woodbridge) made a big stop.  Later on the drive, that beat Eric Burrell ran a fly pattern down the right sideline and QB Armani Ceballos (Laurel Hurricanes) threw a perfect long ball.  The coverage was good by Brett Lembke, but Burrell is so big and so good.  He leaped high for the ball, caught it and tapped the pylon for the 21 yard TD catch.  After the conversion the score was 15 – 0 Stars over the Lions.

A fumbled pitch by Wright that was recovered by House gave the Stars the ball deep in Lion territory.  The Stars quickly converted with Ceballos on the QB sneak, making the score 21 – 0 in the 4th.  Brandon Hilton brought the kickoff back across the 50 yard line and made it interesting for a moment.  Ball got another big QB sack pushing the Lions back into their own territory.  When the Stars got the ball back they changed QB’s and put Keyshawn Ebron (Peppermill/Undecided) in along with Trey Simpson in the backfield.  Simpson (Columbia Ravens/Undecided) is an excellent dual threat player as a shutdown DB and WR/RB.  On a great ball fake, Ebron rolled around the left end for a touchdown. 

As Brandon Pitt tried to cut into a 27 – 0 lead late in the 4th by going to the air, 2 time GYFL All Star and FBU All Star R.J. Rountree was having none of it.  He made a great defensive play on the Lion receiver to break up a pass.  To add insult to injury, the center snapped the ball over the QB’s head again and this time the Stars recovered deep in the red zone.  Platt broke up the middle for another late touchdown to pad the score to 33 – 0.  The Lions fumbled the kickoff and the Stars recovered again!  This game just would not end.

Some of the fans were upset when Ebron threw another TD pass to Deandre House (Columbia Ravens/Hammond).  They felt like the Stars were running up the score and that very well could have been the case.  This is a very competitive league and teams want to make it to the championship.  If we have a tie at the end of the season to make the playoffs, one of out tie breakers will be point differential so unfortunately implementing a mercy rule and saying that teams have to take a knee could cost them a playoff spot down the road.  The final score was Howard County 39, Prince William County 0.

Outstanding effort performers were Marcus Brooks of Prince William and Adrian Platt of Howard County.

 

Game #5: Montgomery County 14, Baltimore Metro 12

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It was the marquee game of the day and it was worth the price of admission.   We had been treated to a great Fairfax County vs Southern MD game.  We had a chance to see Trevon Diggs put on an unreal performance.  The DC vs Charles County game was spectacular and now we had this chess match. 

The Head Coach from Eastern Christian Academy in Elkton MD was down evaluating talent, along with David Sills, Sr., who is the father of the QB who was offered a scholarship to USC when he was in the 7th Grade.  The Stallions received the opening kickoff and began featuring Azariah Bratton-Bey (Baltimore Stallions), who is a phenomenal talent and two time GYFL All Star Rostin Bromell (NW Bulldogs), who is a multi-dimensional athlete on both sides of the ball.

The Baltimore Metro offense has been impressive in the first 3 weeks with QB Kasim Hill (Eastern Christian Academy/7th Grader) showing tremendous poise and accuracy for such a young signal caller.  He has weapons all over the place to throw to and hand off to.  Steven Smothers (Pikesville) AKA “Optimus Prime” was spectacular in his GYFL debut last week.   Morgan Scroggins (East Side/Calvert Hall), who had to miss this game due to a graduation, has been phenomenal as well.  Shamar Shanks (Hamilton/Gilman), is a vicious hitting DB that can also be an effective WR for the Stallions.

The Stallions however, have not seen a defense like this yet, with these kind of athletes.  The Bearcat secondary is arguably the best in the league with a trio of Montgomery Village Chiefs roaming in the defensive backfield.  Malcolm Littlejohn (Paint Branch), Juron Woodyard (Watkins Mill), and two time GYFL All Star Travon Stott (Good Counsel) team up with Carlton Taylor (Montgomery County Cowboys) to wreck havoc on opposing QB’s and receivers and that is what they set out to do today.  On the first drive, they made Kasim look human for the first time this season and forced a punt.

The Stallions slowed down the high octane running game of the Bearcats on their first possession with “The Law Firm” Johnson Lloyd (Woodlawn) leading the charge on defense.  Daqwan Hill (Montgomery Village/Good Counsel) is a two time GYFL All Star and a devastating power runner with vision, quickness and speed.  He was unable to move the chains on the first possession and the Bearcats were forced to punt.

On the Stallions next possession, bruising fullback Malik Alston (Bluford West/Undecided) went barreling through the lines of scrimmage and showed a nice combination of speed and power on a 30 yard run.  Then the Law firm Johnson Lloyd went off the right side for a nice gain.  The Mo Co defense tightened up and the first time Hill tried to get the ball to Prime, he was blanketed Littlejohn and Woodyard and Littlejohn picked him off and headed the other way.  7th grade scat back Marvin Beander (Maplewood) took over for Hill and got loose in the secondary on his first carry.  This kid is electrifying.

The Bearcats start a 6th Grade QB named Doc Bonner that we apparently inspired with our week #4 preview.  We favored the Stallions because we didn’t believe that a 6th Grade QB would be able to put the game on his shoulders and win it in crunch time.  It was no knock against Bonner, who we love.  We just knew that this was a big boy game and there are not many 6th graders good enough to even be on a team, much less have to win a game with his arm.  Bonner was out to prove us wrong.  We would know in a couple of hours whether we were right or not.

After a nice stop of Beander by Bromell, the first quarter ended with no score.  Bromell, Lloyd, and Bratton-Bey continued to make big stops and forced a turnover on downs.   Just as Lloyd, Alston, Bratton-Bay and Bromell made big plays from the LB positions; the Bearcats have some backers of their own.  David Sangwa (Silver Spring Saints/Kennedy) is a stud, as is Joey Freeman (Rockville Bears/Gonzaga).  Cedric Content is a fierce hitter (Montgomery Cowboys/Blake).  Clarence McNeary (Montgomery Village/Watkins Mill) makes plays all over the field as well.  Carter Griffen (Olney/Good Counsel) got a big sack on Hill to force a punt. 

It was a good punt by Shanks but maybe too good.  Sometimes the bad punts just roll dead.  The good punts often end up providing great punt returners an opportunity to do damage.  Travon Stott is as good as they come and had it not been for the blazing speed of Smothers, Stott would have returned this one to the house.  He brought it back to the Stallion 20 and the Bearcats were in business.  Myron Turner (CC Ravens) made a couple of tackles on Hill, then Bonner found Beander in the flat and he shaked and baked his way for a first down. 

The Stallions tightened up on the run, but the young fella Bonner stepped back and fired a strike to Littlejohn who was running a quick post on Smothers.  Bonner put it on him and Littlejohn made the catch for the TD.  Bonner was looking good so far, but the real pressure wasn’t on yet.  Would he be able to do that a crunch time?  I must be honest.  I still didn’t think so.  After the failed kick, the score was 6 – 0.

On the next possession, Hill hit Shanks with a perfectly timed out, but he dropped the pass.  On the following play, Hill tried to go back to Smothers on a quick slant and for the second time on the day, he was picked off.  Daqwan Hill dropped back under the curl and picked off the pass, giving the ball back to the Bearcats.  Big Javon Childs (Hamilton) shut down Jonathan Wanat (Silver Spring Saints/Good Counsel) on a run up the middle.  Bratton-Bey and Bromell made tackles.  Smother broke up a pass and the secondary from Baltimore did a good job on the next series forcing a turnover on downs. 

Kasim finally hooked up with Smothers on a quick curl and he transformed into Prime for us once again almost breaking it down the right sideline before the half ran out.  If not for a great tackle by Content, he was gone.  Time ran out in the half with the score Montgomery County Bearcats 6, Baltimore Metro Stallions 0.

As the 3rd quarter began, Kasim found Smothers early and they had some life.  Sangwa came through and got a big sack on Hill on the next play.  Childs and Turner began to control the line of scrimmage and shutting down the backs from the Bearcats.  The next play could have been the play of the game.  Malik Alston broke through on a blitz of Doc Bonner.  He swung Bonner around and slung him to the ground.  Bonner fumbled, and then Alston picked the ball up and ran it in for a TD.  The score was 6 – 6 with 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

Stott made another great return.  This time it was on the kickoff.  However, he fumbled and it was recovered by the Stallions.  The momentum had officially turned in the Stallions favor.  From the 43 yard line, the Stallions coaches called a great play.  They knew it was time for the Transformer.  They ran an out and up pattern to Smothers.  He went down 5 hard yards on Carlton Taylor and ran an out pattern.  As soon as Taylor bit on it, Smothers transformed into Optimus Prime, turned it into a go patter and Kasim put the ball right on the money.  Prime caught it with his hands, dipped inside of Woodyard who was coming over from his safety postion, then turned on the burners and just like that they score was 12 – 6.  Murad Hussain (Pikesville) caught the extra point, but there was a penalty that negated it.

On the Bearcats next possession, they attempted to establish that running game behind arguably the best offensive line in the GYFL.  They were without Mike Drolet who twisted his knee last week.   But, Cody Peterson (Montgomery Cowboys), Jalen Lea (Montgomery Village/7th Grader), Charlie Siarkas (Rockville Rams/Sherwood), Brandon Ngati (S. Germantown/Magruder) and Kyle Laughner (Rockville Lions/Good Counsel) are as good as you will find at this age.  They had a new player wearing #70 whose name was not on our roster but he played very well.  If his parents can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with that information, we will update this post.

Although the running game wasn’t working yet, Bonner popped up and hit TE Michael Briggs (Rockville Bears/Good Counsel) on a quick pass that he converted into a first down.  At the end of the 3rd quarter the score was still 12 – 6 Stallions.  On 4th down, Bonner escaped the rush and put a nice ball in the back of the end zone for Stott, but he went down in the corner.   Bearcat fans thought it was interference, but it appeared on film as though his feet got tangled up with the defender.

The Bearcats stopped the Stallions on the next possession and another great punt return gave the Bearcats great field position.  J’uan Campbell (Old Town), who was in great coverage all day long stayed close to Littlejohn making it difficult for him to run after the catch.  Campbell played great in the run game cutting Daqwan Hill’s legs out from under him.   On 2nd down and short in the red zone, the Law Firm Lloyd made a big time tackle on Hill making it 3rd down.  Then the Baltimore defense stepped up again with Montrez Watt (Woodlawn) and Tyler Burton (Charm City) converging to stop Hill and push it to 4th down.

This was that pressure situation that I was talking about in the preview.  I was right that Baltimore would load up the box to stop the run and they did so effectively.  Now it was 4th down and they had to pass to convert a first down or score.  Would Bonner be able to make the play?  I didn’t think so.  We would find out if I was right or wrong in a few seconds.  Bonner took the snap and rolled out to his right.  He was under pressure and on the move looking for a receiver.  He had Stott dragging across the back of the end zone and he let it fly.  A perfect pass could have gotten in there.  But…….it was not a perfect pass.  The ball sailed on him and flew out of the back of the end zone.  Well, I guess I was right.  He had been pretty accurate all day, but not when it really counted.  I felt for the kid, but I knew that he had two more years to come back to GYFL and next year, he would make that play.

Baltimore got the ball back and all they needed was a first down or two to run out the clock.  But, the Bearcats were having none of it.  The defensive line, led by Izon Pulley (Montgomery Village/Good Counsel) stepped up and made plays.  Pulley made a big stop.  Content cut down Bratton-Bey for a short gain.  Big Craid Cissel made a sack on Hill on 3rd down.  I need his name to update the post. 

Coach Ty made a great call on 4th down by taking an intentional safety.  It would give the Bearcats 2 points, but allow them to kick off and give themselves a chance to force the Bearcats to go 60 or 70 yards in under a minute.  Rostin Bromell was set to kick off and somehow he missed the body of the ball and hit the top.  The ball only travelled 7 yards and gave the Bearcats and Bonner another opportunity in striking distance.  Bromell kicked off with 54 seconds on the clock.  How much more pressure can you put on a 6th grader.  I thought eh last possession was pressure packed, but it just got intensified.  If Bonner couldn’t do it on the last possession, there was no way he was going to be able to carry this burden… Right?

It came down to the final possession.  I love it when I am right, but in the case of Grassroots predictions; I love it when I am proven wrong as well.  Could Bonner possibly prove me wrong?

On first down, he had Littlejohn on a skinny post wide open.  He overthrew him by just a bit.  Told you! On second down, he had Littlejohn again running a deep in route in the end zone.  The actually threw a good ball that hit Littlejohn in the hands.  It was great defense by Shanks and Littlejohn couldn’t hold on to it. The stage was set for the young fella if he could really do it.

The game was on the line. It was a passing situation on 3rd down. The Bearcats were down by 4 and they couldn’t afford to run the ball and come up short. The kid drops back and sets up, reads the defense and throws a perfect strike to Malcolm Littlejohn who needed redemption after dropping a TD pass on the play before.

Littlejohn played a great game on offense and on defense and he did redeem himself by catching the game winning touchdown pass. Congratulations young Bonner. You read my words. You made copies of them and taped them up all over your bedroom. You used my words as motivation because you want to be the best and you don’t want to wait to be great. God provided the opportunity for you to grab your destiny and you rose to the task. I am very proud of you.

I have never been happier to be wrong about anything in my life.  The kid is still young and has a lot of work to do to get where he wants to go.  But, he proved today that he is not afraid of the pressure.  He lives for it.  He didn’t look rattled all day.  He made very good throws.  He showed good footwork and poise.  When the game was on the line and all the pressure was on his shoulders, he delivered two strikes on consecutive passes and he got it done.  We tip our hats young man.

This was a great football game.  The Bearcat defense was able to make Kasim Hill look human on Saturday. They picked him off a couple of times. He was able to get the ball to Steven Smothers who caught another TD. But, he was not able to dominate the game like he did against PG last week because of the outstanding defensive scheme put together by Sal Gorgone and the Bearcat staff. The kids executed perfectly. They tackled well all day and did not let the Bearcat game breakers loose.

The outstanding effort performer for Montgomery County was Malcolm Littlejohn. For Baltimore Metro it was Azariah Bratton-Bey.

 

Wow! We did it again. God blessed Grassroots with another amazing day! After the torrential rain covered the DMV on Friday night and early into Saturday morning, many of the faithful were concerned that it would affect the game day extravaganza on Saturday at Landon. The good Lord had different thoughts. In the first 3 years of the GYFL, as crazy as this may sound, we have never had a rain for any of our games. We are prepared for rain, which is why we play on field turf. If we do get rain, we will play. The only thing that will stop a Grassroots game is lightning. This is football guys! With that being said, we have just been so blessed over the first two years and we were blessed again in a major way on Saturday.

The weather could not have been more beautiful. It was clear and 77 degrees all day without a cloud in the sky. We partner with some of the most amazing campuses throughout the DMV and play at unbelievable facilities. No facility is more gorgeous than Landon school, which is tucked away in Bethesda, MD.

After the day was set, the stage was set for what we thought would be the best week of the year so far and this is just what we got. The Stars came out once again. We were deep with high school coaches as always. Obviously Coach Padilino and AD David Holm, who were gracious hosts to us were there and loving it. St. Albans was in the house. Bishop O’Connell was there again. Bullis was strong as usual. DeMatha came with a mob this time. St. Mary’s of Annapolis is always deep. Forestville Military Academy came out in force. Good Counsel is ever present. Wilson HS was in the building. Woodgrove from Louduon was there. There were a number of other coaches there but we can’t name them all.

One of the treats of the day was David Sills Sr. and Coach Duane Thomas from Eastern Christian Academy coming down from Elkton MD to see what all the fuss was about. ECA has 22 kids who have already been offered scholarships to college on their current roster. David Sills Jr. was offered a scholarship by USC when he was in the 7th grade and he is the real deal.

Another treat for GYFL was to see Adam Freidman of Rivals.com in the stands at 9am in the morning to identify future talent. He promised that he would make it out and he did. He left very impressed. Of course Commissioner Rick “Doc” Walker was on hand, as was 5 Star Rivals recruit and US Army All-American and MD signee Stefon Diggs. It is always a who’s who at a Grassroots Saturday. You never know who may show up.

The biggest treat of the day was to see U of MD offensive coordinator Mike Locksley in the building. MD has a football camp called Little Terps coming up this summer that we want to promote and coach came by to drop off some flyers and say hi. I couldn’t just let him leave without seeing some of the talent and he was blown away. I don’t know what else middle school parents can possibly ask for. I the parent truly understood what Grassroots is providing for their kids, we wouldn’t have room at a training session or a combine next winter.

Let me get to the action…….

The film has not been posted yet as of this time and I can’t do the detailed breakdown until I have seen all the film. The first couple of weeks we tried to get a write up out there for you asap and had to do it without film. We missed some kids who performed exceptionally well and we don’t want to do that again. Therefore, you will need to come back to this write up every day to see the updates. All we will provide initially is a very generic summary prior to breaking down film. Once we begin reviewing film, we will begin posting summaries as we complete them. We will go in the order of the games. For now, we will give you the headlines and generic information. Over the next few days you will have all you need.

Read 9130 times Last modified on Saturday, 02 November 2013 13:45

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