Sunday, 10 June 2012 16:12

2012 Week #5 Summary

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Week 5 June 9th @ Coolidge HS
6315 5th St. NW Washington, DC 20011

(3-2) Prince George's County Swarm
 27  (1-4) Fairfax County Colts
(3-2) Charles County Heat
 53  (0-5) Southern MD Wildcats
(4-1) Baltimore Metro Stallions  14  (1-4) Loudoun County Eagles  6
(0-5) Prince William County Lions   0  (4-1) District of Columbia Warriors  46
(5-0) Montgomery County Bearcats  22  (4-1) Howard County Stars  12

We had another great day. It was a warm day, but it was sunny and gorgeous in NW Washington, DC. Coolidge HS was the setting and the folks at Coolidge treated us very well. Big thanks to Deric Davis, who was our point of contact and game day coordinator. He was a wonderful host.   A number of HS coaches showed up once again as always and we were very much appreciative. GYFL Commissioner Doc Walker was on hand again and GYFL Co-Owner, Vice President, and 11 year NFL veteran Chad Scott was on the premises taking in the festivities and oversee his investment.

Archbishop Carroll All-American and Syracuse University Star QB Marvin Graves was on the sidelines checking out the talent. We heard from St. John’s Defensive Coordinator Rashod Gillespie that former St. Johns HS RB, Syracuse star, and current Washington Redskin Antwon Bailey was at one of our games and we did not acknowledge him. Antwon! We are sorry man and if you read this please come back and see us. Let us get an interview with you and have you speak to some of the kids.

We had a chance to promote the most exciting Post Season Youth Football Tournament ever. In a little over a week, June 18th to be exact, we are holding tryouts for the MD State All Star Teams that will participate in the Football University (FBU) Youth National Championship Tournament. 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. 

It doesn’t get any bigger than FBU and for them to ask to partner with the GYFL is truly an honor and a blessing for us and for your kids. FBU owns the Eastbay 7th and 8th Grade All American Games. They run some of the most premiere football camps in the country that culminate with their famous Top Gun Camp in July. They own the US Army All American Game which Is played on NBC in January of every year. That game is the granddaddy of HS All Star Games. It was the first of it’s kind and is the standard bearer.

FBU’s newest property is the National Championship Tournament which features 64 teams from states all across the country. Some large states have multiple teams like Florida and California. There is only 1 team for the state of Maryland and GYFL is selecting it. We will play in a March Madness style 64 Team Tournament with the Final Four being played in San Antonio. The Championship Games will be played in the Alamodome right after the US Army All American Game in January of 2013. The tournament begins in late November and runs through early to mid December so it does not conflict with the youth football season. We are just beginning early with the evaluation period. We will have a team of 35 kids on our 6th grade team, another 35 kids on our 7th grade team, and an additional 35 kids on our 8th grade team.

Last year, our 8th grade team was phenomenal. It was made of many of the 7th graders who played in the 2011 Grassroots season. We expect to have our best current 7th graders on the 2012 8th grade team, but you still must try out.   Last winter, 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. To see the games, click here.

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, and calling all 5th, 6th, and 7th, grade ballers!

As far as Saturday went, we had another exciting slate of games. We did unfortunately have 2 blow-outs, but we had two great games and one that was closer than the score indicated. We don’t do our detailed write ups until we have had a chance to go through all of the film, which will hopefully be available by Monday morning. We will give a very general recap of the first two games without the benefit of video. Enjoy!


Game #1: Prince Georges County Swarm 27, Fairfax County Colts 6


We expected this game to be a lot closer than it was. We were right on the team prediction, but not the core. We picked PG by 6 points. Fairfax County had come out of the gate with a very tough schedule. They faced the undefeated Montgomery County Bearcats in the opener, and then they ran into Howard County in week 2. They saw the reigning champions DC Warriors in week 3, so starting out 0-3 was very understandable. They beat Southern MD in week 4 and it looked as though they were coming together. We were confident that this would be a good game.

The PG Swarm were 2-2, but it was hard to get a good read on how good they were. They did beat Southern MD pretty convincingly.   They surprised us last week by handling Loudoun County by a surprising margin, but we still were not able to determine where they fell in the hierarchy of the league. We thought this game would tell us a lot and it did. PG has improved a great deal. Coach Jordan has rallied the team and they are making strides each week.

The biggest thing they have done was simplified the offense and made a concerted effort to get the ball into the hands of their playmakers on offense. They have some very talented players on both sides of the ball. They are not very big across the front lines, but they have had periods of effectiveness. Taheeb Sonekan anchors the line, with Yuka Onya and Jordan Jacobs. Getting Savion Williams back in the lineup was important for them and he played well.

The worked hard to get the ball into the hands of Trevon Diggs and James Green. Diggs is a sensational player who missed the first game that they lost to DC.   The Swarm did not make it a point to get the ball in his hands in the Baltimore game, but against Southern MD and Loudoun they made him a priority and he delivered. The same was true on this day. He had 4 catches for 67 yards and another TD.

James Green is a kid that not many people knew about prior to GYFL, but we did. We found him at the FBU practice last winter. He is the type of kid that Grassroots was designed for. He is an elite player that is beginning to make a name for himself. He blasted on the scene from the backfield against Loudoun County at Landon last week and picked up where he left off yesterday. Green rushed for 109 yards on 14 carries. RB Aaron Speight had another strong day on the ground with 7 carries for 72 yards.

QB Miles Temoney had another solid outing and is getting more and more comfortable with this offense.   He passed for TD and rushed for one, showing his versatility. WR Aris Mayfield got a chance to show off his athletic talent on a long TD catch at the end of the game.   Malik Lewis led the Swarm in tackles with 8. Michael Collins, Kraig Hill, and Marlon Murray each chipped in with 4 tackles a piece.

Fairfax did not have a good day as a team. Bill Abusei, who seems to make plays every week kept it exciting early with a 75 yard kick return, but after that Furqaan Moseley’s defense put the Colts in shackles most of the day. They were the first team to keep Abusei in check from the backfield. He was only able to rush for 5 yards on 14 carries.

On the defensive side of the ball, Max Nail had 8 tackles and Ozzie “Showtime” Opuku collected 7. We will prepare a more detailed write up once we have reviewed the film in detail. Prime time player for PG was James Green and the prime time player for Fairfax was Max Nail.

There is one final note for this game that we want to report on. As many of you know, there was a spectator that fell out on the track and we had to call an ambulance.   Thankfully, we had athletic trainers on the scene to administer initial support.   It was actually not a player, it was a female spectator that had a personal health issue that affected her. She was released from the hospital and is doing fine! Thank GOD and thank you for all of your prayers.

Game #2: Charles County Heat 53, Southern MD Wildcats 0

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This was a very tough game for all of us. We pray for healthy players and we wish for close and competitive games. We know that this league is about so much more than just winning and losing and kids receive major benefits from just being a part of the league. Our focus is to help kids get better and help them get exposure and that is happening regardless of the score. However, we do play the games and the objective is to win. For teams to be blown out is hard for the players, the coaches, and the parents.   There have been questions that fans have regarding “running up the score.” I will address that topic, as well as a number of others in this week’s Presidents Pen. Our dilemma is that we have a 4 team playoff schedule at the end of the year and all of the teams that are still eligible are desperate to be in the final four.

We have a tie breaker system in the event that some teams have the same win-loss record. The first tie breaker is head to head completion. The second tie breaker is point differential. Point differential is the only way that we can objectively differentiate between teams that have exact records and where the head to head matchups can’t break the tie. People have suggested that we only use the least amount of points scored on a team throughout the season, which would not incentivize teams to need to score as many points as possible. There is merit to that, but it is not a fair determinant of how good a team is. A team is made up of offense, defense, and special teams. It is not just about how good the defense is.   Point differential is the only fair way to do it, but it incentivizes teams to score as many points as possible and give us as few points as possible.

Southern MD has had a number of factors going against them in the first 3 years that has made it very challenging for them to put together enough talent to be competitive every week. There are some All Star players on that roster for sure, but there are just not quite enough of them to match the numbers on the opposing teams. That has been tough for the Wildcats, but we are so proud of them and appreciate them so much for coming out and playing their hearts out week after week.

As far as the game went, it was pretty much a rout from beginning to end without many bright spots for the Wildcats. They did not have their QB Jessiah Rojas available, which hurt them. I am not suggesting he would have affected the outcome a great deal, but they don’t have enough players on the roster at this point to be able to manage effectively without their starters. Jhordan Green was the prime time player for the Wildcats on a day where they couldn’t muster up much offense or defense.

Charles County is fighting hard to get back into the playoff hunt and had the 1st week in 3 weeks that they didn’t play one of the Titans of the GYFL. They showed off their talent on this day. QB Aaron Parker was awesome completing 10 of 11 passes for 146 yards and 2 TD’s. His favorite target Alec Martin was the recipient of those two TD’s. He caught 3 passes for 56 yards. Shaquon Dyson had 4 receptions for 62 yards. Joshua Chase had 3 rushes for 83 yards, including a 79 yard TD.

Matthew Hunt, Jordan Holmes, and Dyson each tied for the lead in tackles with 3 a piece. Parker was the prime time player for the Heat.


Game #3: Baltimore Metro Stallions 14, Loudoun County Eagles 6

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We were a lot closer on this one than the first two. We predicted a Baltimore margin of victory by 10 points and it ended up being 8. However, it was much closer than most people expected. Loudoun County came out just like they did against DC. They drew first blood and led 6 – 0 at the half. The Stallions were down a number of players but they still had plenty of firepower. We look forward to seeing them again at full strength, which should be next week, but they got a few of their troops back right at halftime. One of the parent’s cars broke down coming from Baltimore and they were not available in the first half. They were missing the law firm Johnson Lloyd and the electrifying AZ Bratton-Bey.   But, they did have “The Archer” Kasim Hill at QB and WR Steven “Optimus Prime” Smothers, along with Shamar “Ball So Hard” Shanks and Rostin Bromell, so we didn’t feel sorry for them.

Loudoun came out with tough defense and a heavy dose of the running game on offense. That 6 – 0 lead had the crowd stunned at halftime, when the troops arrived.   As the 3rd quarter began, we saw the missing pieces running onto the sidelines. It did not take long for the late arriving Stallions to make their presence felt. Early in the 3rd the Law Firm Johnson Lloyd stepped in front of a Loudoun pass and returned in 53 yards for a TD.

The Stallions took the lead for good on a Hill pass to Smothers for 24 yards in the right corner of the end zone. Smothers had 3 receptions on the day. Two more nice catches were ruled out of bounds. Late in the 4th quarter, after playing great defense most of the day, the Eagles had a chance to go in for the score to tie the game, but the Stallion defense stood tall and stopped them after a couple of standout defensive plays by Bratton-Bey. Baltimore got some great receptions by newcomer Taj Washington, who played big time defense as well while earning the Prime Time Player Award. Washington had 9 tackles on defense and Bromell chipped in with 5.

Daniel Renaud had another outstanding performance on offense and defense for Loudoun and was named the Prime Time Player for the Eagles. The final score was Baltimore Metro 14, Loudoun County 6.


Game #4: District of Columbia Warriors 46, Prince William County Lions 0

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We are 4 for 4 on predictions so far, but this was not as challenging a week for predictions. We called this one by 3 TD’s and it was over a 7TD advantage. I must be honest, I thought there was a chance it could have been closer.   The Lions made an offensive change last week and decided to go to the spread offense, which we thought may catch the Warriors off guard.

Prince William has the athletes to make the spread work, but it is not an offense that is easy to install and they were going to need at least a week to get the kinks out. It was unfortunate for them that they had to debut it against the Warriors who were playing at home and who had come off of a devastating loss last week at the hands of Charles County. They were out for blood and took it out on a Lions team trying to get acclimated to a new system.

We saw glimpses that the spread can work for the Lions. QB Brandon Pitt connected with speedy DJ Wright, Dominic Benson, and Eric Kumah. It was not nearly enough against the athletic Warriors who were on a mission. Darrin Pullen had an interception for a TD. Swaid Belt led the team in tackles with 3. QB/LB DeWayne Shorter had an INT, as did Ray Yarborough and Deon Jones.   Shorter even had a sack and a forced fumble.

7th Grade QB Anthony Brown got an opportunity to throw the ball today and showed what he could do. He completed 7 passes for 254 yards and 2 TD’s. His favorite target on this day was Navon “Skully” Prince who had TD receptions of 62 and 98 yards respectively. Prince is a two time GYFL All Star, a MD State All Star for FBU and a GYFL favorite who finally had a chance to show the region what we already knew. The kid runs great routes, he can catch the football, and he has tremendous speed.   We love the way the DC offense spreads it around. Every week it seems like a different receiver is showcased. Delonte Hellams has been magical this year and had 2 nice catches on this day as well. We expect Patrick Johnson to be the next DC receiver to go off before the season ends.

C.J. Rainey was solid on the ground again with 62 yards on 12 carries and a TD. QB Shorter had an scintillating 58 yard TD run, which was sprung on a great block by Prince. Jordan Heisen led the Lions in tackles with 4 and won the Prime Time Player Award for the Lions. Navon Prince won the award for the Warriors. Shawn Brooks chipped in 3 tackles for the Lions.

Game #5: Montgomery County 22, Howard County Stars 12

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We thought this would be a thriller and it was just that.   Howard County was down 15 – 12 with less than two minutes left and deep in Montgomery County territory. This was the second week in a row that the Bearcats were in the marquee game of the day and it came down to the last two minutes of the 4th quarter before it was decided.

In the preview, when I went with the Bearcats, I mentioned that there was a reason that I could not state in the preview. That reason was that I knew that Eric Burrell, who is arguably the best player on the Stars team, was on vacation and would not be available. I am not suggesting that Howard is a one man team, because they are far from that. I am not suggesting that had Burrell been there that they would have beaten the Bearcats. I am only stating that Burrell is a special, game changing type of player on offense and on defense and if there was one player that they did not want to miss for this game, it was Burrell.

Without him, the Stars were still in position to win until Jonathan Lee made an emphatic statement that this game was over. Lee is a fantastic running back out of White Oak that missed the last two weeks nursing a groin injury. He is obviously healthy now based on what we saw and when you guys get a hold of the video you will see it to. This kid is AMAZING!

He had an ESPN type burst through the middle of the field earlier in the game that was jaw dropping. It was a 25 yard run where he broke at least 4 tackles and showed off the power and the speed. But at the end of the game, when the stars had turned the ball over on 4th down, the magic happened. The Stars had 2 timeouts left and with 1:40 seconds left in the game they had a chance to get the ball back if they could have held the Bearcats.

Jonathan gets the ball and runs off of left tackle. He breaks a tackle, makes a move and cuts to the left sidelines. We were all expecting him to get pushed out of bounds, or get caught by one of the blazing fast Stars. Well, just the opposite happened. Lee got to the sidelines and just put it into another gear. He was officially gone and there was no catching him!!! TD….. Game OVER!

We look forward to getting the film so that we can give you guys a detailed account, but we gave you the best part first. Lee carried 8 times for 123 yards and 2 TD’s. QB Doc Bonner 4 passes for 58 yards and a momentum changing 32 yard TD pass to two-time GYFL All Star Trevon Stott, which gave the Bearcats the lead 15 – 12. Stott had 3 catches for 50 yards and showed off his vertical jump on one of them where he leaped over a Star defender and took the ball. The kid Bonner is legit too! Marvin Graves was salivating at the opportunity to work with young Bonner and help take him to another level.

The Bearcat defense did a great job containing the explosive running backs from Howard County. Adrian Platt still averaged 4 yard per carry, but he only got 32 yards on the day, which is very low for him. It is not a knock against him though. He is an extraordinary talent who will be a star at the next level, but it was testament to the Bearcat defense. They held game breaking Abdul Adams to 25 yards on the day.

Keyshawn Ebron, who was the Prime Time Player for the Stars made a great run for a TD from 6 yards out where he showed great athleticism, and then he produced the other points with an INT return for a TD. Adrian Platt, Deandre House, and Travis Levy tied for 4 tackles on the day for the Stars.   Malcolm Littlejohn led the Bearcats in tackles with 7 and Jaron Woodyard chipped in 4, along with the Interception at the goal line to stop the Stars late in the 4th.

Jonathan Lee was the Prime Time Player for the Bearcats.

Player of the Week:

Aaron Parker (Charles County Heat)

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