Redskins, Falcons Claim Optimist Tourneys
The Sandhills Optimist Club youth football leagues closed out their seasons last week with tournament championship games.
In the tackle football tournament, the Redskins held off the Panthers to claim the championship.
In the double-elimination flag football tournament, the Falcons defeated the Panthers, the regular-season winners, in the championship game.
Tackle Championship Game
Redskins 16, Panthers 14: After trailing most of the game, the Redskins scored twice in the fourth quarter to finish as league champions. Jackson Maples scored on an eight-yard run, while Dalton Bullard added a score on a five-yard run. Maples kicked both crucial extra points, in a league that awards two points for a kicked extra point.
The winning score came with less than two minutes remaining after the Redskins recovered a Panther fumble on the 40-yard line. David Ivey caught a 25-yard pass from Bullard to set up the score.
The win, which left the Redskins with a 6-2 mark this season, was a total team effort with special help coming from Austin Hubbard, Davis Bortins, Samuel Cantrell, Mathew Clark, Lane Henslee and Bailey Benton. Tanner Haley, Will Morris, Tyler Thompson, Tyler Prince, Devon Oldham, Jacob Hofstedder and Andrew Turner turned in strong defensive performances.
Packers 22, Steelers 8: The Southern Pines Packers scored two touchdowns on offense and one on defense to defeat the Pinehurst Steelers, 22-8, in the consolation game of the season-ending tournament.
For the Packers, Chance Castillo, Brandon Smith and Austin Embler combined for 175 yards rushing, while the defense was led by Tristian Mullins, Bryan Hedrick, Gregory Mello and David Carrier. Mullins ripped the ball from a Steeler ball carrier and rumbled 70 yards for the Packers' defensive touchdown.
Four Steelers combined for 163 yards rushing on the day. Nick Lacy recorded 50 yards, Ryan Baker had 42 and a touchdown, Hunter Phillips had 41 yards and Chris Isom had 30 yards. Justin Marks, Griffin Cryan and Moose Parsons also had solid offensive efforts. Bryant Smith kicked a two-point conversion.
Defensively, Ben Remington led the way for the Steelers, forcing a fumble, recovering another while disrupting the Packer backfield most of the day. Cody Lundy also forced a fumble for the Steelers, while Lacy recovered a fumble and Baker tallied nine tackles. Corley Walker, Colin Williams, Ryan Weibert and John Threatt had strong defensive efforts for the Steelers.
The Packers' ended the season with a 6-2 record, while the Steelers ended up 3-5.
Early Round Tourney Games
Panthers 22, Patriots 6: The Patriots were led on offense by 8-year-old Crash Burns at quarterback, Tristan Helms at tailback, who also handled some quarterback duties on passing situations, and Ryan Bender at receiver. The offensive line also did a great job opening large holes for Helms, Justin Sengkamphong and La'Shawn Hollingsworth.
The offensive linemen are Joseph Davis, Reid Batton, Malik Newsome, Will Millikan, John Major, Brandon Parks, Thomas Baggett and Dakota Nelson.
A gritty defense was led by Grant Williams, Dakota Hill, J.D. McIntosh, Zaire Graham, Zion Ervin and Alexander Knight, with big plays from Newsome, Helms, Baggett, Hollingsworth and Crash Burns.
Redskins 20, Steelers 14: The West End Redskins defeated the Pinehurst Steelers, 20-14,to advance to the championship game of the tournament.
In what turned out to be the play of the game, the Redskins' defense forced a Steelers fumble on its own 22-yard line with less than two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Redskin running back Jackson Maples took advantage of the miscue, scoring the go-ahead touchdown on a 10-yard sweep with under a minute to go in the game to give his team a 20-14 win.
Maples also had scores on runs of 60 and 35 yards in the contest. Linemen Will Morris, Tim Morphin, Bret Stewart, Eric Gunthert, Dylan Leija, Conley Lomax and David Ivey led the offense. Dalton Bullard, Andrew Turner and Tyler Thompson led the defense with help from Tyler Prince, Devon Oidham, Jacob Hofstsdder and Cody Artman. Tanner Haley finished with 10 tackles.
For the Steelers, Nick Lacy ran for 144 yards and scored two touchdowns. Ryan Baker ran for 24 yards and Chris Isom was one-for-two on two-point kicks. Eight-year-olds Jacob Scott, Moose Parsons, Henry Duncan and Sam Williams were solid on the offensive line.
Linebacker Ryan Baker and tackles Ryan Weibert and Ben Remington led the Steelers defensively with six tackles each. Bryant Smith recorded an interception. Alex Holler, Logan Crisp and Matthew Mindak also recorded strong defensive efforts.
Flag Championship Game
Falcons 26, Panthers 20: The regular-season champion Pan-thers couldn't hold on to a late lead and their bid for the tournament championship fell short.
The Panthers never gave up and battled to the final play. The loss completed their season record at 12-2-1. The good news for the Panthers is they will have six returning starters coming back next year.
Cole Kirkpatrick and T.J. Raper were outstanding leaders on this year's team and will be sorely missed next year.
Returning starters will be quarterback Davis Byrd, running back Christian Hiatt, receivers Patrick Ballard and Parker Nelson on the offense and defensive leaders will be cornerbacks Nick Kuzma and Tommy Vinson.
Panthers 31, Vikings 24: Tyrese Kelly ran for two touchdowns and Jacob Robins and Caleb Hendrix also added scores for the Vikings in a hard-fought battle against the Panthers. Quarterback Andrew Harmody hooked up with Evan Braswell on several nice passes to keep drives alive for the Vikings. Matthew Walters played an excellent game at center and was a leader for the Vikes. On defense, Garris Stokes, Noah Thompson, Kelly, Robins and Hendrix made several nice stops. But it was Orion "Big-O" Kamrowski-Poppen, who became known as "Big-D," who kept constant pressure on the Panther quarterback with three sacks for the game.
For the Panthers, quarterback Davis Byrd threw for two touchdowns, one to Christian Hiatt and the other to Cole Kirkpatrick. Panther running backs Nick Kuzman and Hiatt also had rushing touchdowns. The Panther defense was led by defensive ends Kirkpatrick and Parker Nelson. Safety Tommy Vinson had two pass breakups. The Panther offense was led by receiver Patrick Ballard and stellar blocking from center T.J. Raper.
Broncos 32, Raiders 20: The Broncos started off the tourney by upsetting the sixth seeded Raiders behind the rushing of J.D. Robinson (two scores), Owen Valenti (two scores) and Bryce Davis (one score). Jared Via also caught a two-point conversion pass from Ryder Giles. Robinson led the defense with five tackles, followed by Tommy Maginnis with three tackles.
49ers 30, Broncos 14: Owen Valenti scored twice on six rushes to led the offensive scoring. Bryce Davis rushed 5 times and completed two passes. On defense, Tommy Maginnis and JD Robinson led the defense with 3 tackles each.
Dolphins 7, Broncos 6: For the Broncos, J.D. Robinson scored on a long run to lead the scoring, and had four rushes for positive yards. Bryce Davis and Owen Valenti had five and four rushes, respectively. Ryder Giles and Josh Mugglin had four tackles each, while Tommy Maginnis had three tackles to lead the defense.
Panthers 33, Vikings 26: Tyrese Kelly ran for two touchdowns and an extra point to lead the Vikings. Andrew Harmody hooked up with Noah Thompson for a touchdown and an extra point, and also connected with Evan "The Bus" Braswell for another touchdown. The Viking defense was paced by Jacob Robbins, Orion "Big-O" Kamrowski-Poppen, Caleb Hendrix, Matthew Walters and Garris Stokes.
The Panthers improved their record to 11-0-1 and advanced to the championship game where they would face the Falcons. The Panther defense showed up for the second half of the game, limiting the Vikings to two touchdowns. Safety Christian Hiatt had one interception and defensive ends Cole Kirkpatrick, Davis Byrd and Parker Nelson led the charge for the defense. Cornerbacks Tommy Vinson and Nick Kuzma had numerous pass knockdowns for the Panther defense. The offense was led by Byrd, Hiatt, Kirkpatrick, T.J. Raper and Patrick Ballard.
Vikings 34, Dolphins 6: The Vikings got back on the winning track with a very balanced offensive attack in the win against the Dolphins. Noah Thompson started things off with an interception return for a touchdown and Caleb Hendrix added the two-point conversion. Tyrese Kelly, Orion "Big-O" Kamrowski-Poppen, Caleb Hendrix and Evan "The Bus" Braswell also added touchdowns for the Vikings. Andrew Harmody connected with Braswell for a score, and also caught a pass from Thompson for another extra point. On defense, Jacob Robbins, Matthew Walters, Garris Stokes, Thompson, Hendrix and Kelly had some nice stops.
Vikings 40, 49ers 26: Tyrese Kelly helped the Vikings jump out to an early 20-point lead with three touchdown runs on his first three carries as the Vikings hung on for the win. Quarterback Andrew Harmody hooked up with his neighbors Noah Thompson and Jacob Robbins for a pair of touchdowns and two-point conversions. On defense, Caleb Hendrix started the second half on the first play by picking off a pass and taking it the distance for a Viking touchdown. Garris Stokes had a big night with several stops, as did Evan Braswell. Thompson also had an interception. Matthew Walters helped provide constant pressure on the 49er quarterback.
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