BY JONAH WOULLARD
Under the Friday night lights in the city of Deerfield, home of the Rattlers, an epic battle was about to take place within the 120 LB division. The Deerfield Packer Rattlers 120’s, led by head coach Albert Caldwell, and assistant head coach, simply known as Coach Mike; took the field, ready to defend their 2010 Super Bowl Championship bragging rights from the previous year.
On the opposite side of the field stood a silent, but focused opponent. Known for wearing all black jerseys and all black helmets, Lauderdale Lakes 120’s, led by head coachEdward Shuler, would have his team ready for some Friday night grid iron action.
In all the preseason talks amongst the youth football purist, the consensus was theroad to the 120 LB South Florida championship would go through the Deerfield Packer Rattlers.Edward Shuler, Vikings’ head coach said, “What better way to start our journey this season with this road to the championship here. To us, this is just another game, but we know what’s at stake here. We’re going to leave it all on the field.”
The Vikings would do just that, lining up their modified five-three defense in the gaps of the Rattlers offensive line, seemed to give Deerfield problems in their blocking assignments, allowing backfield penetration by Vikings’ linebackers #4 Keyandre Carr, #0 Najea Frederick , & #6 Alvin Davis for majority of the night.
The Deerfield Packer Rattlers’ quick strike defense would also bite down on the Vikings’ offense for the entire first half with key defensive plays from #3 Cornelius Riley Jr., #5 Demetrice Bellamy Jr., and #9 Giavante Evans which held the Vikings offense under 70 total yards in the first half. Both the Vikings and the Rattlers would go into the half 0 to 0.
At the half Generation Nexxt asked Vikings’ head coach, Edward his keys to generating some offense, he replied, “We just have to stay on our blocks, and make some adjustments to what they are doing upfront. We’re going to win this game, just watch and see.”
The second half would be more display of domination provided by both defenses. Both, the Vikings and Rattlers offenses would stall short of converting first downs until the 2:00 minute warning in the fourth quarter. The two minute warning seemed to give Deerfield some urgency to break the zero to zero tie before the end of regulation. This is when the Rattlers’ offensive coordinator, Coach Mike would send in a play that would spring Deerfield’s talented #1 Matthew Ray in the open field scoring the games’ first touchdown, putting the Rattlers up 6-0.
But, on the ensuing kickoff, the Lauderdale Lakes Vikings would have their own sense of urgency, with a special teams play that would allow Viking’s return man, #8Amaru Smith to return the kick off all the way inside the Rattlers’ 20 yard line, with under a 1:30 left in the game.
The Vikings’ offense would waste no time as they put the most important 3 play drive together. Being mindful of the clock, the Vikings’ rushed to the line of scrimmage, Vikings’ QB #5 Aaron Pierce handed the ball off to running back #0 Najea Fredrickwho scored on a 12 yard off tackle play, which tied the score 6-6 with :54 seconds left in the game.
Lauderdale Lakes’ QB #5 Aaron Pierce would throw a dart to TE #4 Keyandre Carron a comeback route, converting the point after attempt, winning the game with only seconds to spare, Lauderdale Lakes Vikings 7, Deerfield Packer Rattlers 6. The Vikings know they will see the Rattlers again in the playoffs, but for tonight Vikings are happy to victorious in the snake pit.