Turf Bowl crowns youth champs
HUNTINGTON -- Saturday's Turf Bowl at Joan C. Edwards Stadium turned out to be historic for the four division champions of the Tri-State Youth Football League.
Tolsia used an interception by Robert Dalton and a defensive stand on the final drive to edge Beverly Hills, 14-6, in the A Division championship game. Tolsia coaches believe it's the first A crown for the Rebels in 11 years.
Douglass/Cammack got two TD passes from Jaylon Adaway and turned in a fourth-down stop on the final drive in the game to rally from a 12-0 deficit and edge South Point, 14-12, in the B finale. It's the first Turf Bowl B crown for the Express.
Ceredo-Kenova did the history making in the C Division and D Division contests.
In the C game, Jeremiah Milum scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and the Wonders made the score hold up for a 6-0 win over Douglass/Cammack. The Express advanced to the C-K 33 on its final drive, but turned the ball over on downs.
In the D game, Graeson Malashevich racked up 260 yards on 30 carries and scored five times to spark C-K past Barboursville, 44-12.
Before Saturday, C-K never had a team win a Turf Bowl crown and had just two teams in the finals since 2003.
All four champions in the Tri-State Youth Football League's season wrapup finished unbeaten.
Tolsia 14, Beverly Hills 6
Tolsia capitalized on a blocked punt for its first score and a 52-yard TD sprint by Jennings Holland in the fourth period clinched it for the Rebels (10-0). This season, A teams had to punt (no automatic 20-yard markoff) and coaches stayed on the sideline.
"We went after it. Special teams are huge," Tolsia coach Steve Stroud said. "We wanted to strike first. That's why we took the ball first. It didn't work, but we got it on our second try." Tyler Stroud scored the TD on a 7-yard run.
Late in the third period, following a Tolsia fumble, Beverly Hills quarterback Clark Wilson IV hooked up with Trey Sims for an 84-yard touchdown pass. Sims broke one tackle and sped down the right sideline to score, but the Rebels stopped the Blackhawks on the try for two.
Beverly Hills drove to the Tolsia 28 late in the fourth period and Dalton picked off a pass intended for Frederick Hightower for a drive-killing interception. On the next play, Holland found daylight up the middle and sprinted in for a TD. The Blackhawks marched to the Tolsia 17 in the closing seconds, but after a pass completion, the clock ran out as they were out of timeouts.
"Our pass defense is not the greatest in the world," Stroud said. "We worked on it because we knew we'd face D/C and Beverly Hills. Dalton made a great play on the ball. We didn't want to give up the big play."
"I read the quarterback and he took me to the ball," Dalton said. "I cut in front, jumped up and got it. I was elated and relieved. I was nervous at the end. The goal was not to let anyone get behind us."
As for Holland's TD, Stroud said, "it was a game-breaker. When he breaks free, no one's going to catch him."
Douglass/Cammack 14, South Point 12
South Point used TD runs of 30 yards by D'Angelo Palladino and 40 by Brandon Layne to open a 12-0 lead after one period.
Douglass/Cammack (12-0) battled back on TD passes of 15 yards from Adaway to Dajon Congleton and a 9-yard strike from Adaway to Dionne Jackson and the same two hooking up for the go-ahead 2-point conversion pass. A South Point fumble set the Express up.
With 2:29 left, the Pointers got one final chance as they recovered an Express fumble at the South Point 39. They drove to the 13 where they had a fourth-and-1 and the D/C defense stopped D'Angelo Palladino for no gain to clinch the title.
"These young guys never quit," Express coach Mike Thomas said. "That last drive was tough. We had to make tackles. First downs didn't matter. That last play we sent all three linebackers. You know you're probably going to have to tackle No. 34 (Palladino). We hit the gaps, got penetration and made a stand."
Ceredo-Kenova 6, Douglass/Cammack 0
Milum's TD came just 54 seconds before halftime. Early in the fourth period the Wonders (10-0) had a big stop on defense as they held Dakota Eubank to no gain on a fourth-and-13 at the C-K 19.
"These kids put in a lot of time," Wonders coach Jeff Edwards said. "This is special. C-K (Ceredo-Kenova High School) won a lot of state titles. We'd never won a Turf Bowl title."
Edwards said his defense came up big when needed. This was the eighth shutout of the season for the Wonders.
"D/C's got some capable players who could break one at any moment," Edwards said. "Our first defense wasn't scored on. In the game of football, that's tremendous. You get guys in the right place, but they still have to make plays. The TD was the drive of the game. Then we had to get stops and we did."
Ceredo-Kenova 44, Barboursville 12
Malashevich and Jayce Gould of Barboursville each scored twice in the second period. Gould's runs covered 66 and 63 yards, but the Wonders (11-0) contained the Pirates in the second half and continued to pile up the yards as well.
"We thought we could block them and our backs ran hard," C-K coach Billy Malashevich said. "Our backs ran really hard. They couldn't do anything without the guys up front. On defense, once we gained control I knew we'd be fine.
"This is very special. C-K has only two teams make it (Turf Bowl finals), we have two today and we're the first to win. This is big for us and the community."