On a wet Saturday November afternoon, The 10U Bulldogs took on the 10U Dalton Catamounts in Super Bowl VIII in the North Georgia Youth Football League. The Dogs had a long road here. Chris Harris and Al Smith had coached these boys since they were 5 years old only to come up short for 5 years in a tough division. On this day..looking back the goal seemed within reach. They had vanquished their long time adversary Summerville Indians in the semi finals just one week before in a tough contest that went into OT and had all the Bulldog faithful holding their breath. You would think getting over the Summerville hump would have them relaxed and loose for this Super Bowl matchup but standing in their way was the 10U Select Dalton Catamounts. A team put together from over 100 kids from the Dalton Rec. program and throughout Whitfield County.
This was an all star team. Earlier in the year, The 10U Dogs had eaked out a 7-6 victory over Dalton, but you had to figure the Cats would be eager for revenge and would come in ready for battle.
As the 1st quarter began, The Dogs kicked off and right away the defense stifled the Cats, forcing a 3 and out on the first possession. The Dogs then took the ball and went on a long methodical drive that took up all of the first quarter clock. Trion mixed in a combo of run and pass and hit the Catamounts from all directions. Early in the 2nd quarter with Dalton on their heels, Lane Harris broke up the middle for a 15 yard TD run to put the Dogs up 6-0. Trion would add the 2 point conversion on a sweet 3 yard pass from Kade Smith to Logan Stokes to make the score 8-0 Dogs.
Conditions were starting to get worse as the rain began to fall. Coach Harris thought the time was right for an onside kick and he was correct. Conley Harris fell on the wet pigskin and the Dogs were in business with 3:00 to go until halftime. Trion moved the ball into the red zone but had one scoring play called back. With 5 seconds to go until the half, Smith lofted a beautiful pass to Conley Harris from 14 yards out as time expired to put the Dogs up 13-0. The conversion was no good but the Dogs would have a commanding lead at halftime. Smith was outstanding on the 2 minute drill before half and the Dogs got big runs from Stokes, Lane Harris, Ethan Willingham, and Zachary Camp.
As the 3rd quarter unfolded the Dog defense continued to stymie Dalton. The Dogs defenders made up of Kaden Ramirez, Connor Harris, Jason Jenkins on the edge, Cameron Durham, Noah Bowman, Preston Ward, Landon Dixson, Kase Shaver, and Dillard Stricklin built a wall and kept the Cats behind it. Dalton could not move the ball against Trion and late in the 3rd, the Bulldogs went on the offensive again. Lane Harris and Stokes again bullied their way through the Dalton D line. Camp and Willingham had big runs as well. With 7:50 to go in the 4th, Smith hit Conley Harris again. This time from 1 yard out and the Dogs led 20-0.
Dalton finally scored on a long TD run to make the score 20-7. Stout Defense the rest of the way from Hunter Cook, Girmia Farmer, Brier Johnson and Armon Walker kept the Catamounts at bay the rest of the way. Braden Henderson watched from the sidelines with an injury but cheered on his teammates.
The Dogs ended the game with a long drive…running out the clock. They had finally climbed the mountain and won the Super Bowl! Congratulations to Coaches Chris Harris, Al Smith, Kelly Stokes, David Ward, and Chris Jenkins on an OUTSTANDING job this season.
Via: Trion Recreation Center