A ball control offense with a few big plays mixed in helped power the Blue Devils to a 16-6 win over the previously unbeaten Dragons’ Black in the Junior Pee Wee Unified Football Finals on Monday night at Redmond Field at Riverview Park.
The Blue Devils set the tone for the contest early, launching on a 12-play drive that covered 80 yards and took almost the entire first quarter. Cael Harris finished the drive, breaking loose for a 40-yard touchdown run, handing the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead with 38 seconds remaining in the opening quarter.
It took three plays for the Dragons to answer the score with tailback Dakaylan Penn breaking loose for a 65-yard touchdown jaunt, tying the game at 6 in the opening moments of the second quarter.
The Blue Devils’ offense wasted no time getting back on track. Harris carried the ball on all eight of the plays in the drive, including a three-yard touchdown run to cap it and retake the lead. He also scored on the two-point conversion attempt, extending the Blue Devils’ lead to 16-6 going into halftime.
The third quarter featured a good bit of drama and a whole lot of the Dragons, as the squad started at the 20-yard line and moved steadily down the field utilizing 14 plays and converting on two fourth-down attempts to keep the drive alive. The methodical offense ran the clock down without allowing the Blue Devils’ offense back on the field in the third quarter.
The key play on the Dragons’ drive came on the second snap of the fourth quarter. Facing a fourth and 12 at midfield, the Dragons managed to get 11 yards and about four inches but fell just shy of the necessary yardage for first down. After a close measurement, the Blue Devils took over on their own 36-yard line with 6:30 remaining in the game.
Much like they did in the first and second quarters, the Blue Devils put it in Harris’ hands and let him loose. The tailback carried the ball nine times, moving the Blue Devils to the 18-yard line and milking every last second of the clock before he took a knee and the Blue Devils’ players, coaches and fans celebrated.
Harris finished the game with 28 carries for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Myles Bridges and Cannon Lawhorn also had carries for the Blue Devils.
The Dragons spread the wealth utilizing several tailbacks on the evening. Harris led the way for the Dragons, compiling 73 yards on four carries and scoring the lone touchdown. Tyrone Bryant rushed six times for 36 yards, and Landon Brand recorded 49 yards on six carries.