The Dayton Sun Devil Junior Midget Pop Warner football team concluded its dream season with a 28-6 win over the Rogue Valley Eagles of Oregon in Santa Clara, Cal. to win the Pacific Northwest Division III Regional Championship.
The Pacific Northwest includes Northern Nevada, Northern California, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.
This is the first season that the Pop Warner League has been divided into divisions allowing areas with smaller populations to advance to the playoffs. Division II teams come from Reno, Sparks, Carson City and Douglas County while Division III teams include Dayton, South Tahoe, North Tahoe, Quincy, Truckee, Lovelock, Winnemucca and Lassen.
Against Rogue Valley, Dayton moved to the ball to the Eagle 4-yard line in the first quarter before turning the ball over on downs. Early in the second quarter, Dayton recovered a fumble at the Eagle three, which set up a quarterback sneak for a touchdown by Trent Wood, who kicked the extra point to make it 8-0.
After Rogue Valley closed to within 8-6, the Sun Devil defense stopped a reverse before it developed, causing another fumble. Wyitt Freitas recovered the fumble and returned it 40 yards for a score. Wood kicked the two-pointer to give Dayton a 16-6 halftime lead.
The rest of the game was dominated by the Sun Devils with Trent Wood connecting with his younger brother, Travis, for two long TD passes of 55 and 40 yards.
Defensively, Freitas had two fumble recoveries, James DeHaven recovered a fumble and Travis Tapp made an interception. Dayton took a knee at the Eagles three as time ran out to end the game.
After Quarterback Stephan Owens broke his arm in the first game of the season, Trent Wood took over to lead an explosive offense. Behind the running of Jordan Keeney, Josh Aaker, Cody Bell and Freitas, Dayton averaged 250 yards a game on the ground.
Wood used seven different receivers in averaging 150 yards a game in passing. The offensive line of Justin Earwicker, Avery Bell, Robby Bell, Tony Sandoval and Jeremy Earwicker, tight ends Jason Vickers, Trap and Travis Wood and Wyitt Freitas paved the way with their blocking.
The Sun Devil defense recored six shutouts, with Dayton outscoring its opponents 276-60. In three playoff games, the Sun Devils allowed six points.
The defense had 12 interceptions and 26 fumble recoveries in 10 games led by defensive backs Cory Cupp, Charlie Buxton, Cody Bell, Trent Wood and Justin Earwicker. Linebackers Travis Wood and Keeney were responsible for more than half the tackles on the season.
The defensive line of DeHaven, Jeremiah Chapman, Brandon Seymour, Jacob Jackson and John Merrill controlled the line of scrimmage. Defensive ends Tapp, Aaker and Freitas led the pass rush.
Dayton will have 10 players returning from its 10-0 team for next season.