Craig’s Doak Walker yearly football champions declared |

Craig’s Doak Walker yearly football champions declared

Tigers, Saints big winners of youth football

Coach Nathan Campbell congratulates the members of the Hayden Tigers, as the winners of the fifth- and sixth-grade Doak Walker tackle football league. The team won the championship, 39-13, over the Cook Chevrolet Broncos Tuesday night at Woodbury Sports Complex.
Andy Bockelman

Craig Parks and Recreation Doak Walker tackle football 2014 rankings

Fifth- and sixth-grade

  1. Hayden Tigers
  2. Cook Chevrolet Broncos
  3. Victory Motors Chargers
  4. Hertzog Photography Packers
  5. Craig Daily Press Vikings
  6. Boy-Ko Supply Saints

Third- and fourth-grade

  1. Masterworks Mechanical Saints
  2. Three Sons Construction Broncos
  3. Hayden I Tigers
  4. Intermountain Appliance Chargers
  5. Clarion Inn & Suites Raiders
  6. Craig Police Department Titans
  7. Hayden II Tigers

With the long tweet of a whistle, another season of Craig Parks and Recreation’s Doak Walker tackle football was officially finished Wednesday evening, with plenty of memories for the pint-sized stars of the gridiron and their families.

Champions were named Tuesday and Wednesday night during the final games of the season for the fifth- and sixth-grade and third- and fourth-grade divisions, with the honors going to the Hayden Tigers and the Masterworks Mechanical Saints, respectively.

The Tigers faced off with the Cook Chevrolet Broncos in a game that was as close as could be in the first quarter, only to have the Tigers get on a breakaway for the remainder of the match, eventually coming out on top, 39-13.

Hayden Coach Nathan Campbell kept his players revved up throughout the entirety, not allowing them to get too comfortable even with a sizable lead going into the fourth quarter.

“We’ve got this,” he told his team. “This is what we’ve been conditioning for all year, right here.”

The Tigers let out a collective roar of triumph as they clustered on the field after congratulating their opponents.

“There’s so much camaraderie with these guys,” said Nathan, who has seen many of the same kids for several years.

Nathan’s 11-year-old son, Kyler, tailback for the Tigers, had to play through some pain and was limping as the game ended, but the exertion was worth it to be part of the celebration.

“It’s been great just being with my team,” he said.

While the older kids’ finals featured a blowout, the third- and fourth-graders were neck and neck, as the Saints, several of whom hailed from Baggs, Wyoming, met with the only team to give them a loss in the regular season, the Three Sons Construction Broncos.

“It was a little bit of a grudge match for us, but we were so evenly matched,” said Saints Coach Stanley Peroulis.

Held to one touchdown apiece with careful coverage by both teams, the score was 6-6 after four quarters, which sent the game into sudden death — both squads got the chance to go four downs from the 10-yard line, the first to score winning it all.

After the Broncos were unable to close the game, the Saints took it to the ultimate ending: fourth down and one yard to go, knowing not crossing the goal line right then might cost them the game.

And so, the Saints went marching in; perhaps only a few inches over the line on a run up the gut by 10-year-old Cort Murphy, but that was enough for parents to erupt with cheers from the sidelines as the team won, 12-6, having an emotional effect on many players.

“It’s tears of gladness, and that’s exactly what we want,” Peroulis said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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