Teams come up short at AYF nationals

Teams come up short at AYF nationals
December 19
00:00 2014
(pictured above: Tiny Indians had a great season.)

Unlike last year when the Tiny Rams U14s and Tiny Indians Cadets reigned supreme, there will be no national champs in youth football from Winston-Salem. Even so, it was still a productive outing for the six teams that played in the American Youth Football National Championships in Kissimmee, Fla. last week.

The local contingent advanced to the final round of consolation play and five of the six teams won their games to earn third-place trophies. Division I third-place winners: South Fork Panthers Cadets and Tiny Rams U14s. Division II: Tiny Indians had three of its teams (Cadets, Junior Pee Wees and Pee Wees) to finish up at No. 3.

The South Fork Panthers Cadets.

The South Fork Panthers Cadets.

Division I

Panthers Cadets: Entering the consolation final, there was a question mark concerning the Panthers Cadets. Would they be emotionally spent after a narrow loss in the semifinals to the eventual national champ?

South Fork answered the bell with a 24-6 win over the Vallejo Jaguars (Calif.) in the third-place game. The Panthers bolted to a 18-0 halftime lead. Cam Hill threw touchdown passes of 30 and 10 yards to D’mon Stokes and Nasir Graham rushed for a score. The Jaguars finally got on the board in the fourth quarter. Tre Pate added the Panthers final touchdown on a 65-yard run up the middle.

The Panthers turned in another solid defensive performance with Charles Miller and Anthony Davis dominating the trenches.

In the 21-19 semifinal loss to the Peppermill Pirates (Md.), the Panthers were down 21-6 after the first eight minutes of the game. But with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Panthers mounted a comeback. Hill scored on a 30-yard quarterback keeper, then hooked up with Stokes on a 70-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to two points. South Fork attempted an on-sides kick, but Peppermill recovered and ran out the clock to end the game.

“It was a tough loss (semifinals), but my guys bounced back,” said Coach Danny Mensh. “They would not allow a letdown. Now our guys know that there’s no team in the country that’s heads-and-shoulders better than them.”

All-American Division

Tiny Rams U14s: Winston-Salem’s Tiny Rams had high hopes of duplicating last year’s national championship success. But the title quest ended abruptly in a 20-14 semifinals loss to the River Plaza Chargers (N.J.).

In the consolation game, the Rams got back on track and secured third place with a convincing 20-6 victory over the Silk City Cardinals of New Jersey.

Grayhounds U15s: After suffering a shut-out loss in the opening round, the Grayhounds played much better in the consolation, but lost 14-6 to the Poinciana Predators (Fla.). Quarterback Larry Richardson scored the lone touchdown on a 20-yard bootleg run.

Turnovers contributed heavily to the demise of the Grayhounds, who finished fourth. Sscoring fizzled when they lost a fumble inside the Predators’ 20-yard line. In the second half, a Predators interception short-circuited another promising scoring drive.

“Just to get to this (national) level is a huge statement,” said Coach Kelvin Carter, whose team finished fourth. “It’s always been an uphill battle for this group. So, for them to have earned a spot in the nationals is a major achievement. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that nobody can ever take away from them.”

Division II Tiny Indians Cadets: The aerial attack delivered when it mattered most in the Tiny Indians 20-6 victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the consolation game. While it wasn’t the expected outcome, Coach Fred Brown is pleased with the progress shown by a team that had 10 players who prior to this season, had never played organized football.

Zen Sadler threw touchdown passes to Zion Dixon (37 yards) and Lance Patterson (25 yards). Patterson scored again on a 60-yard touchdown run.

“We had a lot of inexperienced players this year, but there was a lot of improvement, too,” said Brown. “Sure, we had our sights set on winning another title, but it didn’t work out that way this time. There’s no shame in being No. 3 in the country.”

Defensively, the Tiny Indians were physical and disruptive. Fred Brown Jr. (16 tackles and one interception) and Iyacht Clark (15 tackles) were the ringleaders.

Junior Pee Wees: Coming off a blow-out in the semifinals, Coach Anthony Morrison’s team regrouped nicely to take a 18-13 win over the Dale City Cowboys (Va.) in the consolation final. The final outcome wasn’t decided until the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Leading by five points, the Tiny Indians put the game away with goal-line stops on back-to-back plays. Jevon Blackwell, Terry Leak, Devon Plater and Quintin Deloatch spearheaded the defense.

“We had a bad loss (39-6 to Garden Villa, Tex.), but the kids came back strong,” said Morrison. “It was our best effort of the season. I’m very proud of our players and what they accomplished. All game long, I could hear the players chant to each other: Who’s got your back? I’ve got your back.”

Jaquan Kelly put the Tiny Indians on top with a 40-yard touchdown run in the first half. Tyrese McIntyre added another score on a quarterback sneak in the third quarter. McIntyre then connected with Talli Price on a 30-yard touchdown pass to close out the scoring. Aside from Kelly, the Tiny Indians got solid production from their rushing attack with Andre Campbell, Tresean Stewart and Christian Sutton doing most of the damage.

Pee Wees: A defensive stand by the Tiny Indians in the late stages of the fourth quarter secured a 14-6 win over the Fauquier Wolfpack (Va.). With 3:30 left to play, B.J. McIntyre intercepted a pass near the goal line to help turn back the Wolfpack.

D.J. Moyer provided all of the offense for the Tiny Indians. He had a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown and finished the day with a 30-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

“This team overachieved,” said Coach William Hardy Sr. “They did a great job. Overall, it was an excellent season for us.”

The Indians hopes for reaching the title round were crushed in a 24-19 opening round loss to the Hunterdon Huskies. As things turned out, it proved to be a costly contest. Starting quarterback Karon Crawford suffered a broken leg right before the end of the first half.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors