By Hector Gonzalez
In the final round of the ” Best-of-the-Best” Miami Dolphins Youth Football Bowl Championship series, the North Miami Beach Sun Devils (105lbs) triumphed over the mighty Ft. Lauderdale Hurricanes (95lbs) 14-13.
It was a dog fight.
The Sun Devils handed the Hurricanes who had been on a tear with a 54-3 record since 2008, and four Super Bowl appearances–the loss after #4 saw daylight taking off for a 65-yard touchdown that proved to be the winning score, and the extra point in the fourth quarter.
Ft. Lauderdale were in good shape during the start of the contest, the defense stepped up to plate forcing a three-and-out for the Sun Devils, and then running the ball on offense like champions –#4 gained 50-yards to put them in the red zone where #2 without trouble ran 15-yards for the touchdown.
There it was the Hurricanes 6 Sun Devils 0 in the first quarter.
North Miami Beach’s will, however, helped them step up to the challenge of putting away a Super Bowl champion.
The Sun Devils defense forced Ft. Lauderdale to three turnovers throughout the game, capitalizing on one of them a fumble, by setting the offense up for a long scoring drive where there were four first downs, and a 9-yard touchdown pass #88 from his quarterback #7. They made the extra point, taking the lead 7-6 in the third quarter.
So with Ft. Lauderdale in an unfamiliar territory down in the game, were resilient as they put the ball in the hands of one of their star running back ( part of that ” Three-Headed-Monsters”), and with his speed it was off-to the races 45-yards for the touchdown.
The Hurricanes made sure they made the extra point this time taking over with a 13-7 command, but right after that the Sun Devils in a blink-of-an-eye took back the game as #5 shocking the defense breaking free on what would be the game winning score.
Back-to-back scores by both teams surely meant this one might be going into overtime. Not quite so.
The Hurricanes, turned the ball over after a costly fumble during the ensuing kick-off return as the Sun Devils recovered the ball with the game in their hands.
North Miami Beach offense turned to their pair of running backs, #7 & #4, as the tandem put on a long drive that killed the clock, going down all the way into the red zone, the Hurricanes defense wanted another shot-at-it and beefed up to stop the Sun Devils during those four-goalline downs, taking over on downs.
Both sides were fired up, on one end you had North Miami Beach’s sideline yelling ” defense, defense”, on the other side the Hurricanes pumping up their hurry-up offense who faced a the tall-task of going 98-yards to score with under 1:41 left in the fourth quarter, and no timeouts left.
They fell short.
As the Sun Devils defense buckled up, the Hurricane’s #4 started the drive on a 25-yard run, then #7 caught a 30-yard pass from #,1 moving the chains, but there with little time left, a critical penalty made it impossible for Ft, Lauderdale, ending the game as time ran out.
North Miami Beach ran into their sideline in celebration as they were about to be crowned the state’s champions. Emotions ran high for the young Hurricanes, but showed good sportsman ship clapping their hands in respects for their opposing team.