Placing five teams in today’s championship, it’s no surprise that Pembroke Pines Optimist has stolen the show at the American Youth Football Super Bowl being played at Plantation’s PAL field. The 95, 105 and 115 pound teams all won Super Bowl championships with only Plantation’s Pee Wees preventing PPO from having won the first four games contested in today’s championship games.
Plantation’s win was impressive, winning the Pee Wee division (8 & Under) in overtime by a score of 13-12. What’s even more impressive is that they beat a previously undefeated PPO team to get the win. But that would be PPO’s only setback on the young day.
The 95 pound team coached by Chris McGonigal was stout in their close victory over a good West Park Hurricanes team. The star of the day was Jaden McBurrows who held the Hurricanes’ best player (Geter) in check much of the game with the exception of one long run. His exceptional defense and strong running on offense balanced the Bengals 95 pound team. Overall, the team used excellent special teams play and a ground and pound defense to wear West Park down. The 8-7 win was secured off the running legs of Julian ‘J’Bird’ Rodriguez who scored up the middle when the Bengals had the ball inside their own 5 yard line. The winning points were added by Cameron McDuffie who punched in the extra point through the uprights giving PPO a one point edge after West Park struck first.
Coach Ceaser Tavares’ team was valiant in their efforts but probably suffered from having less than 20 players on the roster as the game wore on and was played so tightly and so physical. Credit both coaches in this game, as the evenly matched contest really could have gone either way. But PPO proved to be the best team down the stretch because they ran hard, tackled surely and wore West Park down, keeping their burners on offensive contained.
In the 105 match up, the loaded PPO squad took on a feisty Miramar team and just had too much for them all day long behind the strong running of Twan Massie, K.J. Owens and Brian Brewton. Coach Jermaine Smith’s team had a lot to play for as they’d been denied the past two championships by losing to a Northeast Rebels team that was recently discovered to have illegal players (key players were found to be too old).
Today’s championship brings their efforts full circle and the third time was indeed the charm for coach Roly Reyes’ offense who ran away from the Wolverines to the tune of 22-0. Miramar is an organization that has nothing to be ashamed of, putting a team in the Super Bowl in their inaugural year in the AYFL along with West Park. This is unprecedented and both of their commissioners deserve a lot of credit.
The 11 and under game played by the 115s also produced a victory for PPO. Coach Chuck Bender won his second consecutive Super Bowl behind the strong play of his veteran laden team, 32-20 over Plantation in a shoot out.
Overall the Bengal faithful colored the Plantation PAL field from 9 a.m. until the end of the 115 game. They wore decorative shirts emblazoned with their logos and some that read ’65-0′ indicating the combined record of the regular season and playoffs victories, all with undefeated teams. Having suffered only one loss so far today, and with another win possible at the Unlimited (14U) weight class later, you can image another t-shirt concept is on the way in Pembroke Pines as their AYFL domination continues.