Broncos, Hayden take titles for Craig Parks and Rec’s Doak Walker football leagues
There must just be something about the color orange…
Craig Parks and Recreation’s top teams experienced Wednesday night lights the past two weeks as the Doak Walker tackle football program determined the champions for the season on the turf of the Bulldog Proving Grounds at Moffat County High School.
Squaring off for the title this week in the fifth- and sixth-grade division were the Big O Tires Broncos and the Flint Personnel Services Saints, boasting records of 3-1 and 4-0 heading into the final game.
The Saints were the only team to have handed the Broncos a loss this year, and the orange and blue bunch immediately made a statement against their undefeated opponent on the Saints’ first play with a strip sack by Colt Call. The Broncos recovered and quickly scored to set the tone, to which the Saints responded with a huge run by Osbaldo Quintana for more than half the field and a touchdown to tie it at 6-6.
The Bronco defense contained the Saints for most of the night, leading 12-6 at halftime, and quarterback Hayden Urroz and running backs Call and Eric Warrior kept the offense going.
Still, the Saints kept closing the gap on the scoreboard, and were able to retain the ball for a late drive thanks to a Doak Walker specialty rule.
The youth organization no longer allows kickoffs, but after scoring, teams can attempt the equivalent of an onside kick with one down from deep in their own territory, earning possession and a first down if they gain 15 yards.
The gambit paid off with another big sweep by Quintana, who kept pushing downfield until the clock ran out with the Broncos ahead 24-19.
“I’m super proud of those guys that they didn’t give up, even in the last one-and-a-half minutes,” said Saints coach Mark Carlson.
Likewise, Broncos’ Neil Call said athletes were focused on flipping the score from the last time the two teams met, falling 36-6 to the Saints.
Head coach Gary Warrior prepared the group to flip the score.
“We just had some experience this time, worked in practice and were able to execute plays better tonight,” Call said. “Our defense just dominated.”
A third-place game for fifth- and sixth-graders preceded the championship, with the Hayden Tigers rallying to come back late in the match to defeat the Boy-Ko Dolphins 20-12.
The younger Hayden group had an even better time in the playoffs a week earlier.
Throughout the season, the visiting team consistently put Craig opponents through their paces, with their lowest scoring effort 32 points and their biggest 44.
The same energy and then some carried the Tigers to a 5-0 record with a 37-0 win over the Masterworks Mechanical Chiefs during their Sept. 26 face-off for Doak Walker’s third- and fourth-grade league crown.
The shutout was the second one of the year for the squad and an indicator of how well players have clicked, said coach Nate Campbell.
“They’ve just come together as a team, built that camaraderie,” he said. “We started off really slow this year in practices, but everybody did their jobs. We knew we just had to go out there and be aggressive, and we did it, got it done.”
When in doubt, stick to the animal kingdom, blockbuster movies and children’s literature. The winners of the 20th annual Whittle the Wood Rendezvous were named Saturday evening to conclude the yearly festival that sees tree stumps become works of art in a matter of four days.