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White Oak Warriors vs. Far West Jets
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by Lyndsey Diggs, Pop Warner - December 14, 2013
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Today consisted of a grueling matchup between two fierce teams in Division IPee Wee age division competing not only for bragging rights but also for the ability to call themselves number one and be crowned Super Bowl champions. And once the clock struck 12:30pm and the game had ended that team was the White Oak Warriors. This game exemplified disciplined running game, clutch passes, and magnificent heart.

The Far West Jets (AZ) taking on the White Oak Warriors (MD). Penalty flags from the beginning seeming to be the enemy of the White Oak warriors, with two back-to-back false start calls going against them. Definitely an enthusiastic crowd out today, most of it in good spirit though, although some heckling from spectators definitely put a damper in the spirit of the Pop Warner Super Bowl event. Fantastic execution of running game gets a White Oak Warrior player into the end zone with a phenomenal touchdown run, but a holding penalty brought them to an unfortunate 4th down.

The Far West Jets attempt to do a combination of both running and throwing but neither of which seems to work to their advantage as the go 3 and out on their next possession! What will the White Oak Warriors do with this next possession? Well for starters they'll be 1st and 10 from their own 33-yard line. Tried their hand at both the running game and throwing as well, which in turn produced no positive gains as they also went 3 and out. The Far West Jets Now looking to make some noise and put the first points up on the scoreboard. With the Jets deciding to go for it on 4th down, there is a turnover on downs and the first quarter ends with a scoreless ball game thus far, lets see how the end of the first half finishes off.

Starting off the second quarter, Warriors have possession of the ball but aren't able to convert that into points to tack up onto the board, but instead try to go for it and end up with a turnover on downs. But the Warriors defensive line came out ready to go on the next drive creating a 4th and 12 situation for the Jets and forcing a quick punt from them. Let's see which team's offense is really going take charge and put the first points up on the board. Nice passing execution on the part of the offense with a one-handed catch by the receiver, and a penalty flag thrown at the end of the play, this time going against the defense with a facemask call. However, another pass play attempt INTERCEPTED by the Jets for a complete momentum change.

This is a great game of football out here today! With a great interception, the Jets just cannot seem to capitalize and we have yet another turnover on downs. With 5:14 left to go in the first half, we're looking for one team to take charge of this game put some points up on the board and set the tone for the second half of play. Warriors doing a great job trudging toward the end zone and now penalty flags becoming a point of adversity for the Jets, getting another flag, this time for illegal participation, thus moving the Warriors closer and closer to the goal! The Warriors doing a phenomenal job implementing both their run and pass game and keep the defense unprepared for what's coming next. The Warriors now found themselves at the threshold, being first and goal….TOUCHDOWN! White Oak Warriors, who put up the first points of the game, but missed the kick for the additional two points, thus leaving the score 6-0 as we head into halftime as the Jets weren't able to respond with any quantifiably explosive offense of their own.

The start of the third quarter, and the beginning of a fresh half, the Warriors lead, but the Jets are relentless and are looking to generate some momentum to go in their favor, as they are, too, still on the quest for a Pop Warner Super Bowl championship. Warriors start off with ball and already suffer the harsh stings of an early penalty flag which has them sitting at a 2nd and 14, but gives them an opportunity to showcase their passing ability to overcome that and get a huge first down. Another flag is thrown, and once again the Warriors have to try to combat that adversity that they are causing themselves, creating a 3rd and 8 situation, and forcing the White Oak Warriors to be under great pressure and generate a turnover on downs and potentially a swing of momentum for the Jets. On a clutch 4th and 1 play, the Jets were able to get some great momentum finally swinging their way, with a receiver slipping through some gaps to get that much needed first down for them. Continuing to chomp at the bit and gain yardage, the Jets are making significant strides toward the end zone, finally executing a successful run game that the Warrior are experiencing a little bit greater difficulty picking up and defending.

Trying their hand at some passing proved to be unsuccessful and off the mark so they revert back to their running game to gain some significant yardage; with their eyes hyper-focused on one gem: the ENDZONE! The Jet's momentum swing was short-lived though, as they come up shy of their ultimate goal of scoring, and create a turnover on downs, giving the Warriors the ball on the 26-yard line. And the momentum shifted in enormous proportions with the White Oak Warriors getting a touchdown on a fantastic display of running ability, but not quite being able to capitalize on all ends, fumbling the ball on their extra point kick attempt. That marks the score at 12-0 in favor of the Warriors. The Jets are experiencing their successes in spurts but are experiencing difficulty stringing that success together to produce that results they would want. But this could be their big break as one of their receivers gets loose for a HUGE first down, with a 27-yard gain at the end of the third quarter. Let's see if the Jets can capitalize on this opportunity as we play the final ten minutes of this enticing matchup.

Fourth quarter begins with the ball in Jets possession on the 24-yard line and they only have one goal in mind this time…scoring! Anything short of that, would be consider a failure in their eyes. It's desperation time to say the least, as time continues to tick off the clock and they have yet to score. A great effort as they manage to get their first 1st and goal attempt of the game. Their fans are surely enthusiastic, and electrifying the stands to say the very least. TOUCHDOWN! Jets, and the kick is good…making the score very interesting at 12-8. The White Oak Warriors have to be a little bit more uncomfortable at this point with their generous lead being cut severely, and now there only being a 4 point differential. But let's see how they respond!

They open up with a great blast of their own that's followed by two flags being thrown out on the field, one for defense and one for the offense, however the penalties offset and the 1st down will be replayed. Another flag, this time for holding on the offense will cost the Warriors a valiant touchdown run effort. But they respond to the adversity and find ways to continue to gain yardage and get a much needed first down. Their running game is proving to be a dangerous offensive weapon, and their greatest asset in this game. On 4th and 11, Warriors decide to go for it all, with a risky passing play, but it pays off as they score in the end zone with only a minute left on the clock, and get the conversion to make the score 19-8. Jets get the ball and execute some fantastic running, but try their hand at passing and the pass is intercepted with only 40 seconds remaining in the game. The Warriors decide to take a knee on their next three consecutive plays to exhibit some class and respect for their opponent. This was an extremely hard fought battle from start to finish.

It's been a hard fought contest and these boys from both teams deserve an extensive round of applause for they all played with heart, relentlessness, tenacity and pride, and that is something to truly be proud of. Congratulations to the White Oak Warriors…the 2013 Division I Pop Warner Super Bowl Champions in the Pee Wee age division! Good luck moving forward and remember to strive for excellence in all that you do.

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