By Eric Ikpe
North Miami – The NPFA (National Prep & Youth Football Association) held their inaugural Rising Freshmen All American game this past Saturday at F.I.U Biscayne Campus.
The game featured the nation’s top 7th and 8th grade football players who traveled from New Jersey to California and competed against one another in the game of future High school superstars and NCAA prospects. The North team was head coached by Carrie Galloway and the South team was head coached by Eddie Alford of Miami Pop Warner.
Right out the game, the North team scored first on a New Jersey connection from Quarterback D’Andre Blue-Eli (Turnersville, NJ) to J.P. Roane(Williamtown, NJ) to take a 6-0 lead in the first.
The South team attempted to respond, but Josh McKenzie (Wall, NJ) alongside others stopped any momentum from happening midway through the first quarter. The South team did not let up, by driving the ball down to the 1-yard line with a big run from Terrell Powell (Tallahassee, Fl). On the next possession Auz Seifert (Youngstown, OH) plunged his way in the end zone to tie the game.
At the start of the second quarter, the North team made strides to take the lead, but came up short behind a strong defense led by the South Team’s all-star, Terrell Powell. The North team was determined to take the lead before half and they did behind D’Andre Blue-Eli who dove in from the 5 yard line. On the ensuing drive, the South teams was close to striking back, but turnover the ball on a fumble which was recovered by the North’s defensive player,Donnell Henriquez (Newark, DE).
At the start of the 3rd, the South team evens the score behind a touchdown strike from Chase Owens (Johns’ Creek, GA) to Elijah Beamer (Mint Hill, NC). The North team was unable to respond and was held up by the strong defensive until up front.
As time was winding down and it seemed as if the game was going into overtime, the South team scored on a huge run by Terrell Powell to take the lead 19-13. On the next possession, D’Andre Blue-Eli threw a game-deciding interception to Terrell Powell which sealed the game.
The MVP of the game was Terrell Powellwho was humbled for the award.
“I just played hard, and we were determined not to give up,” he said. “This was a battle and we knew it would not be easy.”
This was a great showcase of the rising freshmen; this game will only continue to grow bigger and better each year. We look forward to evaluating some exceptional talent through this platform for years to come.