By Justin Brockway
The 7th grade B team Flyers’ storybook season had its final chapter written Wednesday at high noon. In a semifinal football matchup between the Flyers and the University Giants of Florida, the Giants walked away victorious by a score of 27-6.
Both teams came out ready to play. The Giants won the toss and elected to receive the first half kick. The team wasted no time marching right down the field from their own 33-yard line, but the Flyers defense forced a fumble and safety Orlando Rosario recovered. The Flyers made it to the 50-yard line before the offense stalled out and failed to convert on 4th down.
The Giants took advantage of the good field position and pounded their way into the endzone for the score. The Flyers stopped the extra point and the score remained 6-0 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Flyers offense had trouble getting going and were stopped at the Giants’ 40-yard line. The Giants runningback smashed his way up the middle, shaking off tacklers and sprinting his way to a 60-yard touchdown. The extra point was good, making the score 13-0.
The Giants would soon threaten again, but the Flyers defense held strong on a goalline stand led by defensive lineman Kevin Sager, Gavin Dingus, Zack Siegal and Alex Useloff.
At the end of the first half, the score was 13-0 Giants.
The Flyers received the second half kickoff. Backup quarterback Jared Brockway led the offense and quickly moved the ball down the field from their own 30-yard line, highlighted by an Edrick Bodley run of 40 yards. Runningback Charles James plowed his way up the middle and set up a first and 10 for the Flyers at the Giants’ 12-yard line. On 4th down and 6 yards away from the endzone, Brockway took the snap and faked the handoff, rolling out to his left and diving for the endzone, sticking the ball out to just cross the plane, leading to the first Flyer score of the day.
It appeared as if the Flyers were ready to storm back into the game as the score was 13-6 at the end of the third quarter.
On the following Giants drive, the Flyer defense held tough, and forced the Giants to turn the ball over on downs. Sean Coote returned to the head of the offense and handed the ball off to Bodley, who ran to the Giants' 15-yard line, but was stripped and the defense returned the fumble for a touchdown.
The Giants would tack on another score after that, making the score 27-6.
The explosive Flyers offense was held in check and the defense quickly found themselves back on the field.
This time though, the Giants would not score as Alex Ramos, cornerback, made a spectacular interception on the Flyers’ 40 yard line. The Flyers spread offense came onto the field and Coote completed passes to both Brockway for 30 yards and James for 10 yards. A Giants’ interception was waved off due to pass interference and the Flyers had one more chance. The snap went direct to runningback Rosario who lofted a 30-yard pass to Brockway that was deflected at the last second. The game was over and the Flyers found themselves on the losing end.
The team received medals from the American Youth Football league for making it to the national championship tournament. They were the first Framingham team to ever make it to nationals.
The future looks bright for this young Flyers team, who demonstrated tremendous growth from two years ago; going from not winning a game to losing only one game in the regular season this year and winning the Bay State championship, the Massachusetts state championship, the New England Regional championship and of course making it to Florida.
Head coach Tony Tolson would like to thank the Framingham Youth Football & Cheerleading organization, parents and all the players who participated and especially all the sponsors, who made it possible for the team to travel down here.
"I think it was a great learning experience for the team on and off the field. Not only were they able to compete at a high level of football throughout the week, they were able to complete all the assigned schoolwork they were given. The team has exceeded our highest expectations and proved that they can play with anyone in the country," he said.
The team returns home Saturday, with their magical season finally over.