Pop Warner: Junior Midgets fall just short
Matched up against a bigger, faster, stronger and flat-out more athletic football team, the Douglas Pop Warner Junior Midget football team came out and matched the Tri-City Titans punch for punch in the Pacific Northwest Regional Championship game in Woodside Calif., Saturday.
As it turned out, all that ended up seperating the two teams on the scoreboard was two little points.
Tri-City emerged with an 8-6 victory, ending the Tigers season.
“Really, all it was was they were able to block our extra-point attempt and they kicked theirs through (extra-point kick attempts are worth two points in Pop Warner football),: Douglas coach Clay Peterson said. “They were a very, very good team.
Our kids showed so much heart just in staying with them.
“Defensively, it was an incredible game for us. We played sound football all the way around ” no penalties and no turnovers. The kids went down fighting, there was no question.”
Douglas came out with the momentum as Conner Peterson took the opening kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown and the early 6-0 lead.
Tri-City, however, broke through and blocked the extra point attempt. The Titans got on the board midway through the second quarter and converted their extra points and that ended up being the difference.
Tri-City kept Douglas from getting anything going offensively in the first half as the Tigers were held without a first down.
Douglas got a drive going in the third quarter that showed plenty of promise, starting out at its own 7-yard line.
The Tigers drove 81 yards, highlighted by a 42-yard pass from Sam Cochran to Connor Hughes and a 22-yard swing pass from Cochran to Peterson, before sputtering at the Tri-City 12-yard line.
The Tiger defense was particularly strong against the physical Titan offense, highlighted by the efforts on the line from J.P. Garner, Dylan Wilson, Jake Connoly, Jason Connolly, Steven Werth and Jackson Ketron, linebackers Jack Crawford, Cochran, Michael Hoyt and Peterson and defensive backs Michael Nolting, Hughes and Erik Edwards.
Douglas fared better than its two Northern Nevada counterparts in the regional championships as the Carson midgets suffered a 28-0 loss and the Reno junior pee wees lost their game 34-6.
“Joe Tobia, the Pacific Northwest president, said out of all the playoff games he saw this year, ours was the best,” Peterson said. “That was cool to hear.”