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Sun, Dec 21, 2014

Middle school football action heats up early

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Jamborees are fun. They are dress rehearsals, sometimes under the lights with officials and a crowd. Some coaches hide everything and don’t play at all, others play starters a limited time or not at all, and most coaches play a “vanilla” offense.

The middle School jamboree was hosted by Stewarts Creek Middle and Stewarts Creek High. Blackman was the most impressive team there. The Flames dressed 67 players and appear to have some serious talent. However, the league seems balanced and I was impressed with two time defending champion Oakland, Siegel, Stewarts Creek (who played twice) and an obviously an improved Rockvale squad.

The regular season opened up Tuesday night with five games (see scoreboard) and I went to see La Vergne vs. Oakland in a matchup of two of the top 2013 teams and watched Oakland grind out a 22–6 win.

In a typical first half of game one, both squads struggled. La Vergne got some good plays from running back Angel Garcia, QB/RB Keith Fant and receiver Jonathan McCall, but La Vergne couldn’t do much against the Oakland defense.

Meanwhile Oakland had a couple of crushing penalties and lost a fumble. Running back Woody Washington had 50 first half yards (he finished with 105) and quarterback Sabiatian Matlock did everything. He had an intercepted pass, three tackles, passed for more than 40 yards, had a couple of nice runs and managed the game beautifully. The lone first half score was a second quarter 26-yard run by Washington and a 2-point conversion pass from Matlock to Christian Cantrell.

The third quarter was more of the same as La Vergne lost a fumble and Oakland began a long drive that ended in a Charger touchdown run from scatback Malik Sibert early in the fourth quarter. Sibert had more than 40 rushing.

Oakland scored again a couple of minutes later as linebacker Mitch Heath picked up a Hawk fumble and raced 40 yards for the touchdown. Sibert ran in the 2-point conversion.

La Vergne made some fourth-quarter changes that may yield some positive results. Fant moved to halfback and Quinton Hunter played quarterback and eventually scored on a 7-yard run. The conversion was unsuccessful.

There were stars on defense for both teams. The most impressive for Oakland were Eriq Swan, Jackson Riley and Justin Crismon. Chris Pryor also had a terrific sack in the game.

For La Vergne, Josh Brooks had nine tackles and Yudjy Cherubin played well on defense, along with Fant, Hunter and Garcia.

See our schedule for next week’s games.

 

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