The visiting Hoffman Estates Hawks gave Florida's Jensen Beach Falcons all they could handle for nearly three quarters of play, but the Falcons rattled off three straight second-half scores to pull away for a 36-14 victory.
With the win, the Falcons captured the 2013 Division II Pop Warner Jr. Midget National Championship and the second national title for the program in the last three years.
The Falcons jumped out in front early, courtesy of an impressive 40-yard interception return by Tyrese Jackson in which he eluded defenders dashing back and forth across the field and into the end zone, putting Jensen Beach up 6-0.
Just a few minutes later, however, the Red Hawks responded with a ten yard touchdown scamper by running back Markee Prude. After an extra point kick, worth two points in Pop Warner, the Red Hawks found themselves on top 8-6.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Red Hawks kept the momentum going after securing a perfectly placed onside kick to take over once again with just over 40 seconds remaining before the half.
After driving down deep inside the red zone, the Falcons made a momentum changing play - incercepting a Red Hawks pass in the end zone to keep the score at 8-6 heading into the half.
Receiving the opening kick, the Falcons put together a string a first downs, marching down to the Red Hawks 3-yard line and chewing up nearly eight minutes off the clock. Jackson finished off the drive, scoring from three yards out to put the Falcons back on top, 14-8. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
After stopping the Red Hawks on a fourth down try on their next possession, the Falcons proceeded to rattle off three straight fourth quarter touchdowns, two of them courtesy of Jackson on runs of 30 and 41, to pull away. Jamien Sherwood also added a 4-yard plunge to round out the scoring for Jensen Beach.
After the final whistle blew, Jensen Beach was on the winning end of a 36-14 game and the recipients of the 2013 Pop Warner Division II Jr. Midget National Championship.
They played as a unit, they played as one," said Jensen Beach head coach James Cannata . "This was a collective unit, one strong team...and honestly, that's what you saw here, it was great."