BY JONAH WOULLARD
The South Florida Youth Football League would kick off its 2011 season in style; featuring one of South Florida’s marquee 135 pound match ups between the Miami Gardens Vikings vs. the 2010 defending super bowl champs, the Miami Gardens Ravens. Both of these teams enter this long awaited clash on the grid iron with long list of accolades, and a strong tradition of dominating their opponents.
If you are follower of youth football, you would truly appreciate the story leading up to kick off. The Miami Gardens Vikings led by head coach Buddy Baileycircled this date on the Vikings’ payback calendar. The Vikings previously took a loss at the hands of the Miami Gardens Ravens the year before in a game that came down to the last minute to decide the winner. The winner of that game would then go on to represent the South Florida Youth Football League as the undefeated 2010 Super Bowl Champs.
Both teams understanding how important this game would be, not only in theconference standings, but for the ultimate bragging rights for supremacy of the city of Miami Gardens. The intensity was already in the air as both teams would line up for their pre-game weigh ins, yelling out their chants, and clapping it up, indicating that both teams were ready for a Miami Gardens collision course.
The Ravens would win the toss, and deferred to the second half. Vikings’ offensive coordinator, Martin Maultsby would waste no time by dialing up a methodical 60 yard drive which was capped off by a 1 yard touchdown run by Vikings’ running back, #1 Mark Walton, putting the Vikings up, 8-0. The Vikings defense would prove to be equally as impressive as Vikings defensive coordinator; Coach Tone called an aggressive 5-3 defense that left no room for any Ravens’ error.
The Vikings’ defense would force a turnover on downs which would set up their run heavy offense at their own 44 yard line. Now, the Vikings would show off their quick strike ability as the 23 power lead play would quickly turn into a 68 yard touchdown, compliments of Vikings’ running back, #0 Atler Blaise, who didn’t hesitate to blaze down the sidelines, putting the Vikings up two touchdowns to nothing.
Approaching the second half the Vikings’ offense wasn’t quite finish visiting the end zone. The Vikings would put another impressive drive together which would consist of straight ahead power runs, and aggressive offensive line play. This Vikings’ drive would cover over 46 yards, which the exclamation point to well scripted series provided by Vikings running back, #0 Atler Blaise, once again on a hardnosed 8 yard touchdown run, putting the Vikings up three touchdowns to zero at the half.
At the half, Vikings’ head Coach Buddy Bailey yelled out to his team, “Don’t let up, its zero to zero, you have to work just as hard this second half.” The Vikings’ 135 LB. squad would respond to coach Buddy’s instructions, coming out in the second half playing disciplined defense, cutting off all cut back lanes that the Ravens’ talented running backs attempted to exploit. The Vikings’ defense would force yet another three and out and would quickly call on their explosive running game to add to additional points their score box. The Vikings’ play call would send Vikings’ running back, #1 Mark Walton across the goal line, which increased the Vikings commanding lead, four touchdowns to the Ravens’ zero.
The Vikings’ impressive defense would be led by all game by Vikings’ linebackers, #2Pete Joseph, #5 Hosea McMullen, and #00 Kenneth Donaldson Jr. who ripped through the Ravens’ offensive line for an intense quarterback sack, which set the tone for the Viking’s defense all day. Now in the fourth quarter the Ravens would put their own drive together which was capped off by 9 yard touchdown.
With the Vikings starting defense pitching a shutout the first three quarters of the game, giving a late fourth quarter score seemed to energize the Vikings’ offense to cap off the game with a bang. The Generation Nexxt Impact Player of the week, #0Atler Blaise, would live up to his last name and score a blazing 68 yard touchdown, finishing the day with 8 carries for 173 yards, and three touchdowns.
The Miami Gardens Vikings 135’s squad starts off this 2011 season sending a strong message to all 135 pound contenders in the South Florida Youth Football League. With over 300 yards rushing and only yielding 51yards on the starting defense,Coach Buddy says, “Let the league know, the Vikings are back!” His team backed coach up at the Generation Nexxt post game interview as they chanted, “Viks Viks, Yo Yo!” The Vikings holding up their helmets in victory, defeating the Ravens, 31-7.