Courtesy photo by DAN HOEHNE Malik Taylor watches the ball into his hands on the touchdown catch for the Varsity Eagles in their Saturday playoff win.
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published: Friday, November 09, 2012
Eagles sweep round two
Special to the News-Sun
SEBRING - The Highlands Youth Football and Cheer Organization (HYFC) hosted the second round of the Sunshine PAL Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Highlands County Sports Complex.
Four of the Highlands Eagles teams played in the round two of the playoffs all coming out victorious.
Coach Steve Remes' third-seeded Flag team faced the second-seeded Haines City Rattlers in Lake Wales on Saturday.
The offense quickly made its' presence known with a touchdown by Fred Hankerson, but the Rattlers quickly responded with a score of their own.
This game quickly became a defensive battle with another score by Hankerson and the Rattlers responding with another score to answer.
Going into the fourth quarter, the defense stood strong in this dogfight of a game with key defensive plays by Keldrice Legree, Christian Edwards, Darian Peterson and Willie King, and the Eagles came out on top in a close game with the final score 19-18.
Coach Tim Hooks' fourth-seeded Pee Wee squad faced the top-seed Haines City Rattlers in Sebring.
Losing to the Rattlers in the regular season 18-8, they were looking for some redemption.
The Eagles took the field on defense, first lead by Austin Oppold, Christian Ramos and Devin Brubaker to shut down the rattlers offense.
The Eagle offense took over lead by James Pearson, Kasey Hawthorne, Joel Murillo and Treshawn Rowe.
On the second play of the game, with key blocks by Austin Whiddon and O'Brian Yarde, Jr., Kevin Rivera ran a 45-yard touchdown to put the Eagles up 6-0 in the first quarter.
The defense held the Rattlers off in the first quarter with key tackles by Jordan Rose, Jacob Bennet and Giovanni Andino.
Late in the second quarter, Hawthorne earned a touchdown with key blocks by Manny Murillo, Jay Bishop and Sam Aguilar.
The second half produced a defensive battle with the Rattlers scoring late in the third quarter but that would be it for the day as they finished the game and took down the first place team with a final score of 12 - 7.
Coach Cliff Howell's undefeated and first-seeded Junior Varsity team faced the fourth-seeded Dundee Hornets in the next game.
The JV team defeated the Hornets earlier in the regular season 19-6 and looked to continue their winning streak.
The Eagles received the ball and the offense quickly made their presence known with Akem JnPierre and Rafael Smith earning key yards.
They drove down the field to score on a 55-yard run to the end zone for an early lead at 6-0.
The defense quickly went into action as DJ Taylor intercepted the ball to allow the offense to take over.
CJ Harris soon ran in a 10-yard touchdown to make the score 12-0.
The Eagles were on fire with the defense shutting down the Hornets and the offense was pumped up with Smith and Taylor earning two more scores and Anthony Robinson earning the extra points.
The eagles went into halftime with a commanding 26-0 lead.
Taking the field on the defensive side of the ball in the second half, it quickly became a defensive stance with key tackles by Akem JnPierre, Smith, Harris and Kevin Webb.
Webb also had two sacks in the game and Malcolm Jackson picked off an interception.
Jalen Williams later recovered a fumble and returned it for a 40-yard touchdown to push the lead to 32-0.
Late in the third quarter the Hornets were able to capitalize on a couple of missed tackles to get on the board
Late in the fourth quarter the Eagles quarterback Norris "Fish" Taylor handed off to DJ Taylor who rushed for 25 yards to score another touchdown and Smith earned the extra point.
That rounded out the final score to 40-6 and kept the undefeated season intact at 11-0.
Coach John Bishop's undefeated and first-seeded Varsity team then faced the fourth-seeded Auburndale Hounds.
The Varsity team defeated the Hounds earlier in the regular season 26-6 and had high hopes of being successful again during the playoffs.
The Eagles offense saw quarterback Donte Carpenter earn key yardage then complete a pass to Malik Taylor for a touchdown with Tyler Edwards kicking the two-point conversation for an early 8-0 lead.
The Eagles provided a strong defensive game lead by lineman EJ JnPierre, Anthony Healy and Ladarrean Kendrick with key tackles by Anthony Oppold and Allen Williams holding the Hounds off and thwarting their efforts to reach the end zone.
The offense rallied together, driving down the field with two touchdown scores by Tremaine Hawthorne and another pass completion by Carpenter to Sammie Smith for a touchdown.
This offensive outburst gave the Eagles the fourth and final win of the day with a final score of 34-6.
The Eagles had a clean sweep on Saturday and all teams are headed to Haines City High School, 2800 Hornet Dr. in Haines City this weekend to play in the NFC Championship round.
For any teams that are victorious this weekend, the next step will be the Super Bowl hosted by the Eagles here in Highlands County on Saturday, Nov. 17.
This is the first time Highlands County has ever hosted a Super Bowl game and the Eagles are very excited about the opportunity to do this.
Games will begin at 9 a.m.
Admission is $5 for Adults and $4 for Children and $2 for parking.
Come on out to support the Eagles organization and enjoy a day of good competitive youth football games this weekend
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