Sandhills Patriots Reach Super Bowl
For the second consecutive year, the Sandhills Patriots varsity football team has advanced to the PYFL Super Bowl.
On Saturday night, the Patriots defeated the New Birth Steelers 34-6 in the American Conference championship game. The Richmond County Packers defeated the East Charlotte Cowboys 20-0 and earned the right to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.
The Patriot’s offense was led by Chance Castillo, who ran for over 150 yards with three touchdowns. Castillo leads the PYFL in rushing with over 1,000 yards in just eight games.
Carson Maples rushed for 80 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown run to put the Patriots up 14-6 in the second quarter. Patriot quarterback Bradley Black connected with tight end Jordan Denny on a 17-yard bootleg for the other Patriots score.
Black has been outstanding for the Patriots, throwing 13 touchdown passes during the season without an interception. Denny, Troy Roper and Hunter “Crash” Burns have been on the receiving end of most of Black’s touchdown passes.
The offensive line of Will Milliken, Eric McCaskill, Alex Mason, Layton Barber and Sam Fetla have been outstanding all year. The Patriot offense has scored 287 points in just eight games.
The Patriot defense, led by middle linebacker Ryan Lipomi and outside linebacker Jaylen Taylor, have been equally impressive, yielding just 14 points in eight games. Against the Steelers, outside linebackers Taylor and Caleb Hendricks put constant pressure on the Steelers quarterback. Defensive linemen Joseph Lewis, Ryan Brooks, Thomas Lehto, Connelly Lomax and Ayinde McKnight stuffed the Steelers attempts to run the ball.
Ben Remington and Lipomi made multiple tackles at the middle linebacker position, and defensive backs Bailey Benton, Keegan Goode, Detavia Baker and Landon Winningham prevented the Steelers from completing a single pass.
The Patriots look to extend their PYFL winning streak to 19 games on Saturday night at 6:45 p.m. against the Packers. The Packers are 6-1 on the season with their only defeat coming at the hands of the Sandhills Patriots 22-0.
The Patriots are affiliated with the Sandhills Optimist Club, and the organization has three teams ranging in ages from 7-13. The varsity squad includes local seventh and eighth graders.
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