BY JONAH WOULLARD
(October 16, 2011)-This past Saturday, youth football history was on the line. The Weston Warriors 120 LB. team had an opportunity to break an American Youth Football League record for consecutive wins set by Coach Mario Perez in 2008 with the West Pines Wildcats.
The stage was set for the Weston Warriors to break this prestigious record in front of the Warriors’ home crowd against a Pembroke Pines Bengals’ team that had previously taken three losses earlier in the year. Also, the Warriors previously defeated this same Bengals team in 2010, with a score of 20-0. With all these conditions favoring the Weston Warriors, it seemed like a strong possibility that a new record was just on the horizon for the Weston Warriors.
The Weston Warriors 120’s, head coached by David Demeter, laced up their cleats once again to go for their 38 consecutive win, but that win would have to be at the expense of the Pembroke Pines Bengals 120’s, head coached by Johnny O.
Without any extra motivation on either side of the ball, this particular 120 LB. matchup is one the AYFL’s most intense rivalries. So when you add in that the Warriors were even more pumped with the possibility of breaking a three year old AYFL record, and the Bengals were motivated by team pride, which they did not want to be on the wrong side of history, you have set the stage for one heck of a football game.
The Bengals kicked off to the Warriors to ignite one of the most hard hitting youth football games that you will ever see in the American Youth Football League. The Warriors gained positive yards on their opening drive, but eventually the drive stalled and the Warriors would turn the ball over on down to the Bengals. The Bengals realized they needed to strike early to set the tone for the game, and they did just that.
Bengals’ quarterback, #1 Stanford “BJ” Samuels, handed of the ball to Bengals’ running back #4 Anthony “Peanut” Johnson, for jet sweep play that resembled a jet taking off on the run way, as #4 Johnson sprinted into the end zone for a 21 yard touchdown, Bengals 6-Warriors 0.
The Warriors respond to the Bengals’ score by doing what they do best, executing plays and long methodical drives. The Warriors ran a series of inside traps, and sweeps that consume more 5 minutes of the quarter. Led by Warriors’ quarterback, #4 David Demeter, running back #22 James Houston, and fullback, #33 Maris Martino who capped off a powerful 6 yard touchdown run, making the score Warriors 8-Bengals 6 at the half.
The second half displayed stellar defenses from both the Warriors and the Bengals. Neither offense could put a drive together that could penetrate the opposition’s red zone. It wasn’t until the Warriors punted the ball to Bengals’ return man, #1 Stanford Samuels, who returned a punt back to the Warriors’ 25 yard line. The Bengals then called on their playmaker, #4 Anthony Johnson, who assisted getting the Bengals closer to the end zone, but would have to come out of the game as he got injured on the play.
The Bengals, needing a score to take the lead, called a fullback dive to #26 Fred Siplin who scored on a 2 yard touchdown run putting the Bengals ahead, 12-8. But the game wasn’t over just yet; the Warriors forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter and went on a drive of their own. The Warriors drove down to the Bengals 19 yard line where their drive would stall out and the Warriors turned the ball over on downs. The Warriors defense still playing inspired football tacked the Bengals for losses on two consecutive plays, pushing the Bengals back against their own goal line.
Bengals Head Coach, Johnny O, did not want to risk punting the ball so close to the Bengals’ own end zone, he instructed Bengals’s quarterback #1 Samuels, to run out of the back of the end zone to give up a safety to ensure the win. Final score Bengals 12-Warriors 10. The Pembroke Pines Bengals end the Weston Warriors winning streak at 37 games.
Bengals’ head coach, Johnny O. told Generation Nexxt, “It was truly a bitter-sweet win. Of course were excited about defeating a team as solid as the Warriors, but in the last week we have lost some of our key players to injuries for the rest of the season. These kids work hard all season, and we know they want to be out on the field battling it out with their teammates for victories like this one. Even with these injuries we have a great nucleus of hungry kids, and we’ll make a strong run for the big show.”