Douglas Pee Wees in national title game | RecordCourier.com

Douglas Pee Wees in national title game

by Joey Crandall

The dream season continued for the Douglas Pop Warner Pee Wee team Tuesday morning.

Douglas beat the Yuma, Ariz., Scorpions 14-12 at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Florida to advance to the Pop Warner Super Bowl championship game Thursday morning.

“We played very well,” Douglas coach Mike Dillon said. “We got some big plays when we needed them and just maintained as a team to pull out the victory.”

Douglas quarterback Luke Peterson hit Conner Dillon with a touchdown pass in the first quarter and Theo Denson kicked the conversion to put the Tigers up 8-0.

Peterson hit Clayton Limacher for a 28-yard completion later in the first half and Michael Benson punched it in for the score from the two-yard line to put the Tigers up 14-0.

Douglas’ defense shut the Scorpions out through the first half but Yuma scored off an interception return in the second to close the gap.

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Leading the defense was Fred Rodriguez, Michael Sepulveda, Mathew Metz, Cole Freeman, Theo Denson, Cameron Jorgenson, Shane Connelly, Cody Valente, Eugene Bedow, William Sherwood, Scott Rudnick, Kevin Telles, Tanner Egan, Landon Wynar, Jacob Fowler and Joey Yniguez.

The Scorpions scored again, but Douglas managed to block the extra point, leaving the score 14-12.

The tough Tiger defense shut the Scorpions down from there on out.

Douglas took over possession and picked up some key first downs to run out the clock and clinch the berth in the national championship game.

The offense was led in the game by Shane Derbyshire, Michael Benson, Joe Ahart, Patrick Miller, Luke Peterson, Michael Darby, Derek Gillmore, Ben Reed, Dylan Singh, Collin Inwood, Pierce Dykes, Chris Lanier, Jason Perko, Zach Squier, Luke Peterson, Clayton Limacher and Conner Dillon.

Douglas faces the Newington, Conn., Knights Thursday morning at 10 a.m. EST.

The Pee Wee age group can have players between the ages of 9 and 11 weighing between 70 and 115 pounds. and 12-year-olds weighing between 70 and 95 pounds.

The Tigers reached the Pop Warner Super Bowl by defeating the Almaden, Calif., Chargers in the middle of a snow storm Nov. 27 to claim the Pacific Northwest Regional Championship.

Eight regional champions advanced to the national competition in Florida and compete two separate brackets to crown a national champion.

Douglas has compiled an 11-1 record this season. No team from Douglas has ever even qualified for the national playoffs before.

— Joey Crandall can be reached at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.