We played an extra “Bowl” game this weekend to wrap up the season at Kansas State University’s Bill Snyder Family Stadium. We won 28-24 in a very odd, but in the end, satisfying game. Many thanks to the fine people of Manhattan and coach Tommy for allowing us to play in such a great venue against a well coached and sportsmanlike opponent.
After losing our Super Bowl game last weekend after having a 26-14 lead with 6:00 left, our kids may have lost a little of their edge. We had 2 very light and short practices the week leading up to the game, we kept the practices upbeat and fun. Most of the kids came down the night before and stayed in the hotel. There was a big party that night, kids up pretty late, goofing around all day etc. When I got up to do my workout at 7:30 am I saw about 10 kids outside climbing fences and throwing balls around. We didn’t play until 2:00, which was really 3:00 with DST. I had purposely not had a short leash on the team- we wanted to make it a fun reward trip. During pre-game when we went to full speed tackling drills, one of my starting LBs missed all 5 of his tackles. We looked pretty lethargic on defense for a good part of the game, like our kids feet were in cement and our CBs while not being very atheletic- were out of position several times. The late game, warm sun and late night probably all added up to us playing kind of flat.
The team we were playing was a good well coached 6th grade team, who had been together for 4 years, coached by a real sharp former KSU player. One of the teams in their org runs my stuff, so he had the book and film to work off of. They were well prepared for our offense and defense. We are a 5-6th grade team, more 5ths than 6ths so they had us on both size and age. We battled back and forth with us taking the first series down for a score, but we trailed 14-12 at the half.
We had not allowed any counters our reverse plays to hurt us most of the season, but we got hurt on 1 counter for about 25 yards and 1 reverse for a 6 yard score. Our corners who are not very athletic at all got burned on about a 50 yard slant for a TD as well. After throwing an interception on our spinner pass, they got the ball with 3:50 left and a 24-20 lead. They ran 1 play in the middle, then a sweep, both for no yardage. I called time after the 2nd and 3rd down plays right after they were whistled dead. We got the ball back at our 20 with 2:45 left and 1 timeout. We are no-huddle wrist band team, which made going quickly MUCH easier. We put together an 8 play touchdown drive, scoring on a run pass option play from the 12 with 52 seconds left to play. We completed 4 passes on the drive. Our QB ended up at 10-16 with 2 TDs and 165 yards for the game. It was an exciting youth football game against pretty evenly matched teams. We were not flagged for a single penalty and 4 different pass receivers caught at least 2 balls each. We used quite a bit of our newer Omaha, Special and Both calls as well as a heavy dose of our counter pass (Thanks to Todd Reeves), 14 Power and No Play Black.
Our Hudl game film clearly showed we didn’t play our best game, but we did kust enough at the end to pull the game out. That made for a much more enjoyable ride on the way home Sunday evening. These guys only play 8 minute quarters, MAN does that go by fast, we play 10 minute quarters in Nebraska.
For the season:
We went 11-1
Did it with 10 kids brand new to football- our starting FB and BB had never touched the ball before in a real game
Scored 66 TDs
9 Different Boys scored TDs
Every non-striped player on the team carried the ball at least 2 times
We scored 18 TD passes- and in our league we CAN NOT throw when up by 21- which we were in 8 of our games in the first half- really limits us throwing the football. We threw 5 interceptions for the season.
We fumbled 4 times- only 2 times by running backs
We didn’t lose a single player and we fully expect each to re-up for next season