BY JONAH WOULLARD
Deep in South West Miami, off of exit # 1 stands a humble recreational park. Named after Dan Roberts, Roberts Park is the home of the Florida City Razorbacks, Pop Warner Junior Midgets, (135 LB.) 2010 National Champions.
Roberts park, which is located in Florida City with population of 10, 568 people, served as a weekly stage to showcase the Razorbacks, the top Jr. Midget team in entire United States of America in 2010. The Razorbacks would not only represent the faithful 10,000 people of Florida City, but the entire South East region of the United States; as they would take on the Watkins Hornets at Disney’s Wide World of Sports last December. The Razorbacks defeated the Hornets who are based out of D.C. with a score of 34-6, sending confirmation to the nation of their dominance in their respective weight class.
That was then, and this is now. This same Razorback Jr. Midget team led by Head Coach Curtis Dewberryhas now moved up in their weight class, and are now proudly representing Florida City once again but in the Midget (160 LB) weight division. With all of last years’ accolades, national champion parades and post win celebrations; the youth football community had questions. “Would the celebrations interfere with the Razorbacks’ performance and focus in 2011?” Well, the Razorbacks would have an opportunity to answer those questions week one with an intriguing match up against a very athletic Liberty City Warriors’ team.
The matchup between two cities, Florida City vs. Liberty City was finally underway. The Warriors would kick off to the Razorbacks symbolizing the start of a new journey for both respective clubs. Florida City would set up their multi-dimensional offense on their own 39 yard line. The Razorbacks would go to their run game early which featured Razorbacks’ fullback #10 Roshard Phillips and tailback #8 Javis Johnson. The first couple of downs were hardnosed runs by both running backs, which set the stage for beautifully orchestrated play action pass from Florida City’s quarterback, #3Maurice Alexander, to a wide open Razorback wide receiver, #1 Dartavius Thomas for the game’s first score, on 45 yard fade route to the end zone. The Razorbacks would take an early lead on their opening drive, with the score 8-0.
Liberty Warriors would attempt to respond immediately on the very next series by establishing the run with an extremely physical, aggressive running back named Robbie Robinson #24, who dragged would be defenders an extra three to four yards after first contact. The Warriors would continue to feed running back #24 Robbie Robinson three consecutive plays, which covered over 31 yards. Observing the Warriors’ offensive game plan, Florida City’s defensive coordinator, Rod Terry would then have the Florida City linebackers key in on the Warriors’ running game. The Razorbacks’ defensive adjustments would then force the Warriors into a punting situation which put the ball right back in the hands of the very dangerous Razorback offense.
Razorbacks’ offensive coordinator, Troy Terry noticed after scoring on the first drive with a potent air attack and throwing efficient passes to an extremely talented Razorback wide receiver, #4 Dionte Mullins, the Warriors’ defense was primary defending the pass. This would prompt Coach Troy to signal in a well designed run play which featured Florida City’s tailback, #8 Javis Johnson, who would know exactly what to do once his number was called, scoring a 20 yard touchdown to put the Razorbacks up 18 to zero.
The Razorback’s defense led by middle linebacker #9 Cedric Wright, outside linebacker #11 Ocie Rose and linebacker/defensive tackle #2 Patrick Smith would provide a steel curtain type of defense which at times seemed absolutely impenetrable. Closing fast on the run and multiple interceptions, compliments of Razorbacks’ cornerback #5 Antonio Callaway was just part of the recipe to serving up a “hot do-nut,” which the players refer to as a shutout.
The Liberty City Warriors knew the Florida City had offensive weapons such a Razorbacks’ MVP of last year, #4 Dionte Mullins, which they rolled their safety over the top to ensure extra coverage, but seemed to be caught slightly off guard by the new edition to the Razorbacks’, wide receiver #1 Dartavius Thomas who brought his talents over from the Modelo Timberwolves. Florida City’s new wide receiver would take advantage of his one on one coverage as #1 “Tay” Thomas was able to utilize his large frame on his second touchdown pass of the day on an 11 yard slant pattern to the end zone, putting the Razorbacks up 24-0.
With Razorbacks being up three touchdowns over Liberty City in the fourth quarter, Florida City implemented their 4 minute offense, which means a heavy dose of fullback #10 Roshard Phillips, alternate fullback #2 Patrick Smith, running back #8 Javis Johnson, and #4Dionte Mullins, who can play just about any position on the football field. This run heavy play selection would carry the Razorbacks deep in Liberty City’s territory. The Razorbacks’ would cap of this drive with a fake to the fullback, and a quarterback bootleg, sending Florida City’s quarterback, #3 Maurice Alexander over the pylon scoring the last points of the game, Florida City 30-Liberty City 0.
The Razorback’s unveiled their 2011 roster which included a lot of new faces which impacted the game on both sides of the ball. Florida City’s head coach, Curtis Dewberry said, “I am happy to see our new kids get involved early. We know a lot of teams anticipate on matching up with us based on last years’ personnel and that’s why we felt it was important to get even better than last year’s national championship team.”
Look for the Razorbacks to continue their reign of dominance in the Pop Warner ranks. And congratulations to the Generation Nexxt Impact player of the game, Florida City wide receiver #1 Dartavius Thomas, finishing the day with over a 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns.