When it comes to championship tradition, no one knows it better than the Overtown Midgets' Head Coach Shanton Crummie.
"My teams have a record of nine wins here at ESPN Wide World of Sports and no losses. We have a Jr. Pee Wee National Championship in 2004, a Midget title in 2010 and today another Midget title. But, it took everything we had today to outlast those Blackhawks. Hats off to them."
No arguing with Coach Shanton on that point. In fact, right up until the last 17 seconds, this game was still undecided.
Halfway through a scoreless first quarter, the Overtown Tornadoes recovered a fumble on the Blackhawks 34 yard line. Overtown completed a beautiful pass down to the Blackhawks one yard line.
On the next play, the Tornadoes slammed in over left tackle for the touchdown. The PAT kick sailed wide-right and, at the end of the 1st quarter, the score stood Overtown 6 - Blackhawks A.C. 0.
With both teams battling hard on defense, the score at the half stay 6-0 in favor of the Overtown Tornadoes.
The second half opened with taking the kickoff and pushing to their 46. But, an alert Blackhawks secondary pilfered the ensuing Overtown pass on their own 20 yard line.
On the next play, a tough run by the Blackhawks' tailback ended with a fumble that the Tornadoes recovered on the Blackhawk 16 yard line. But, the Overtown drive ended when the Blackhawks again rose up to intercept a Tornadoes' pass.
Battling back and forth across the fifty yard line, the Blackhawks offense finally took control blasting down to the Overtown 20 yard line. Another twisting, driving Blackhawks run moved the ball to the Tornadoes 3 yard line.
From there, the Blackhawks hammered the ball over the goal line for the score. The Blackhawks' PAT kick attempt sailed wide left and at 8:00 to play and this game was all knotted up 6-6.
Both teams were again stymied in drives. Finally, with 5:16 left, Overtown got the ball on its 43 yard line. A beautiful slant pass moved the ball to the Blackhawk 27. With 1:01 left, Overtown wideout Rishad Dames made a beautiful leaping catch going over the middle and hung on for a first down at the Blackhawks 6 yard line.
On the very next play, Rishard's twin brother Richard swept into the end zone for the go ahead touchdown. This time the kick for a two point PAT was good, and the Tornadoes led 14-6.
But, the Blackhawks never gave up. A pass play went just off the fingertips of one wide receiver. Then a second pass bounced off the chest of another. A Blackhawks run was stopped, and finally, with 17 seconds left the Tornadoes stormed through to sack the Blackhawk quarterback and end this thriller of a game.
Congratulations to both Overtown and Blackhawks A.C. on one of the best D-1 Midget Championship games of recent years. And, congratulations to both for a fantastic Pop Warner 2013 season. Hope to see you both here again next year!