TRI VALLEY POP WARNER CROWNS CHAMPS-BULLDOGS TAKE JR. MIDGET DIVISION
Now that’s a pose! Utica’s Chris Feliciano (6) has an award winning look as he puts a move on Rome’s Ja’Quan Rollins (34) early in the 3rd quarter.
The Utica Bulldogs and the Rome Colts have been the teams to beat in the Tri-Valley Pop Warner League throughout the entire 2011 season.
In fact, two weeks ago the two teams met with perfect (7-0) records at Bell Road Field in Rome to decide the regular season championship.
On Saturday at Waterville High School, the Tri-Valley Pop Warner League, comprised of 26 member organizations and well over 100 teams, convened for its annual slate of Championship games.
The last game of the day, considered by many to be the “Grand Daddy” pitted the Romans (8-0) still unbeaten after their big win over VVS last week, and the Bulldogs (7-1) who marked October 29th on their calendars two weeks ago following a sound beating at the hands of the Colts.
With frigid temperatures settling in on the turf in Waterville, the Romans jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on the Bulldogs, on a nifty touchdown run by Bradley Dougherty.
After the point after run failed, the Colts found themselves right where they left off in the last meeting, taking a 6-0 lead with 4:04 to go in the first quarter.
After receiving the kickoff from Rome, the Colts set up 1st and 10 at their own 34 yard line. On the first play from scrimmage Utica’s Chris Feliciano called his own number as quarterback in the “wildcat” and scampered 66 yards for a touchdown.
The point after failed and with 3:38 to go in the first quarter, the two heavyweights were all tied at 6-6.
Then, with the loud and proud fans from both cities at fever pitch, Rome’s Dougherty struck again, this time on a 70 yard kick off return for a touchdown, to make it 12-6 Colts, with 3:12 remaining in the first quarter!
The point after run was successful and the Colts had the lead again at 13-6.
Unfortunately for the Romans and most fortunately for Utica , it seems that the flurry of first quarter scoring woke up a snoring Bulldog. And he woke up angry!
The Bulldogs ran off 34 unanswered points in the final three quarters of play to take this game by a score of 40-13, avenging the earlier loss to Rome, landing the TVL Crown and earning a spot in next week’s New York State Playoffs.
Utica got two more scores from Feliciano, two touchdowns from teammate Jerome Brabham and a single score from Juan Geigel to seal the deal for the Bulldogs.
Rome found itself in third and long on far too many occasions in the second half and couldn’t handle the spread offense that Utica brought to the table, which utilized Feliciano and Brabham at the controls.
Congratulations to both teams on really great seasons and good luck to Utica next week when you represent the TVL Pop Warner in the playoffs.
Rome finished their season at (8-1). Utica is now (8-1).