BY OLIVERUS D. JACKSON JR.
As day one of the first annual championship series presented by the Miami Dolphins and powered by Generation Nexxt was coming to a conclusion, it could not have ended any better than this. The Unlimited PPO Bengals set to go head to head for the championship against the Orlando Outlaws. It was an emotional day for the PPO Bengals because on Thursday morning their commissioner James Ross lost his mother early that morning. She was a very big part of the PPO family. Not only were the Bengals playing against a heavy team but they were playing with heavy hearts. The players and coaches didn’t want to just win this for themselves but they wanted to win it for Mama Ross.
No team was highly favored in this game. Both teams came in with a stout defense and an explosive offense. All season the Bengals have only given up 34 points combined and the Outlaws have only given up only 13 points all season. The stage was set for an exciting state championship.
Both teams come in well rested after their superbowl victories in the prior weeks, so the questions was which team would get off to the quicker start. The Outlaws come in with arguably the biggest QB in youth football. He is the Cam Newton of the little leagues. Standing at 6’2 weighting 215 pounds, hes the biggest and more than likely the best QB the Bengals have ever had to face off against. Generation Nexxt was able to catch up with both coaches before the game, Coach Frank Avery of the Outlaws and Coach Richie Jospitre of the Bengals. Both coaches felt the same way about the game that they just want their kids to go out and play hard and have fun, and most importantly don’t get hurt.
On the Bengals side of the ball there are a number of players to look out for but most importantly starting on the offensive end is their dynamic star WR #15 Cavin Ridley who also stars at safety for the teams wall defense. Cavin may not be who he is without his strong-armed QB #2 Temachas Harrington. On the defensive side of the ball a couple of players are not just doing it it’s the whole 11 that plays on defense doing the job. The Outlaws as mentioned before have the best QB in the state #20 Richard Warren coming into the game that has a combination of size speed and did I mention he has a cannon for an arm. He comes in with talent and speed all around him especially from his two RB/WR the lightning boys #1 Clarence Heggs and #8 Courtney Avery. If any of them get in the open field its bye bye defense. These guys are not only staring at offense but they are stars on this wall of a defense.
After a 15-20 minute delay the game is ready to kick off and you can just feel the energy from these two teams. The Outlaws win the toss and they elect to receive and the State championship is on the way. On the first series of the game PPO shows why they have the number 1 defense stuffing the Outlaws forcing a 3 and out. The Bengals were on the move until #6 Cardelus Livingston gets his first of interceptions in the game to put an end to the Bengals hopes of a touchdown.
The outlaws are back on the field but they give the ball right back to the Bengals by way of a fumble to set up the Bengals deep in the Outlaws territory. The Bengals take advantage of the turnover. After a long pass and catch by QB #2 Temachas Harrington and #15 Cavin Ridley the Bengals punch it in at the 1-yard line with a run by #3 Gerardo Arroyo and the Bengals are up 6-0.
After the kickoff the Outlaws give the ball right back to the Bengals on an interception by #11 Javontae Boyd. PPO again takes advantage of the turnover after another great catch by #15 Cavin Ridley and another by #8 Rethan Boyd #2 Temachas Harrington and the PPO Bengals are up 12-0. After the kickoff the Bengals are really showing why they have the best defense because on the very next play they cause another turnover this time a fumble. This time the outlaws defense hold and force a turnover on downs. On the very next play from scrimmage they force yet another turnover this time #3 Gerardo Arroyo picks off #20 Richard Warren and this time he takes it back 50 yards for a td, and PPO leads late in the and qtr 20- 0.
This game was looking like a complete blowout and shutout in the first half but the coaches on the Outlaws side kept saying it’s not over and we can win this. With the ball back and little time to work with before the half #20 Richard Warren hits #8 Courtney Avery on a long pass eating up 30 yards and the Outlaws are in business. They were back in business only to suffer another turnover this time an interception by #8 Rethan Boyd but the Outlaws defense hold once again and do not allow any points. The Outlaws have not seen a deficit like this all year better yet they haven’t even allowed this many points all year. On the very next play from scrimmage #20 Richard Warren hits #6 Cardelus Livingston with a huge gain that put them all the way down to the PPO 20. After a few plays #20 Richard Warren caps off the drive with a QB keeper for a 13 yd touchdown. On the very next offensive series by the Bengals they fumble the ball and the Outlaws take over on the Bengals side of the 50 with 5 seconds left. At halftime the PPO Bengals are shocking the Orlando Outlaws 20-6 with a whole other half to go.
With a sluggish start to the game by the Outlaws hopefully they can pick it up in the 2nd half. First play from scrimmage to get the 2nd half going the PPO Bengals pick up right where they starte das #7 Ravon Boyd breaks off a long 50 yard td run for the td but it was called back. That play shows the type of 2nd half we are going to witness. The Outlaws will not go away quietly. Their defense holds the Bengals to a 3and out and drive down the field for a td after a gutsy call by Coach Avery to go for it on 4th down but a great catch was made by #80 D’shawn Powers to get the ball all the way down to the PPO 10 yd line. Once again the turnover bug strikes again as the Outlaws fumble again as they were driving. The Outlaws needed a big stop and they got with #6 Cordelus Livingston picking off the Benagals and would run it all the way for the score and cuts the deficit to 20-13.
After getting the ball back the Outlaws to have seemed to regain confidence. The Outlaws drove the field and on a crazy play down in the red zone where it seemed like Outlaws’ QB was about to be sacked by a host of Bengals he gets out the grasp of three players and completes the ball to #4 Kamba Vanderpool to get them to the 1 yd line with a 1st down. The Outlaws get into the end zone by way of a QB keeper by #8 Courtney Avery and he shrinks the PPO lead to 1 but the extra point to take the lead is missed and the Outlaws still trail late in the 4th 20-19.
The Outlaws have the momentum on their side as they stop PPO on their next drive to get a shot at the win. On a controversial no call of pass interference the outlaws turn the ball over again by way of interception by # 11 once again Javontae Boyd. That pick seemed to have sealed the deal but a late touchdown catch by #15 Cavin Ridley sealed it. The PPO Bengals are first time State Champions and Mama Ross is smiling down on them as they dedicate the win to her.