Courtesy photo Avon Park's Garrick Rowe scored on a 75-yard run and assisted on a game-saving tackle to earn MVP honors in the Mite Mite Devils third-straight Super Bowl win.
published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Mitey Mite Devils prove mighty indeed
By DAN HOEHNE
Throughout the history of football, there have been dynasties.
From the likes of Alabama and the New England Patriots in recent years, back to the 49ers of the 80's, Steelers of the 70's and Packers of the 60's, each has won multiple titles during its' decade.
And yet none of them achieved what the Avon Park Mitey Mite Red Devils accomplished this past Saturday, when they won their third consecutive Mid Florida Football Youth Super Bowl title with a 7-0 victory over the Fair Oaks Rattlers.
"I think this is the best one,' said Avon Park head coach Reggie Knighten. "First of all, thank God, he got us through this season, it's unbelievable."
This year's matchup was a repeat of last year's MFFCC Super Bowl game in which the li'l Red Devils won easily.
This year the win would not come quite so readily as each team imposed their defensive wills on the other's offense.
The first quarter set the tone as both teams were repeatedly forced to punt the ball and neither team threatened to score.
This continued until late in the second quarter when Avon Park had the ball on their own 25-yard line.
With about two minutes left in before intermission, Devil quarterback Garrick Rowe rolled slightly to his right.
The offensive line created a large gap that allowed Rowe to burst through and get past the secondary.
Angling toward the sideline with Rattler defenders trailing, though never quite catching up, Rowe continued for 75 yards and the touchdown.
The Red Devils converted the extra point and went into the half leading 7-0.
The second half resumed and the defensive battle between the two teams continued.
This time, though, it was the Rattlers that threatened late in the fourth when they broke a long run from deep in their own territory.
This time, however, the Red Devil defense recovered in time to make a game-saving tackle at the 25 yard line.
From there, the Avon Park defense reverted back to form and stalled the Rattlers drive to preserve the 7-0 win.
"We always preach running the football and defense," said Knighten. "We called ourselves the University of Alabama this year, run the ball up the middle and play good defense and that is how we won today."
Avon Park's Garrick Rowe, who scored the touchdown and was one of the two Avon Park defender's that made the game saving tackle, was named the games Most Valuable Player.
Knighten stated that the first loss of the season was the catalyst for this year.
After being undefeated the previous two years, they were stunned on a last-play loss to the Okeechobee Bulls earlier in the season.
Whether the dynasty can continue is anyone's guess, but don't bet against it.
And yet, no matter what happens in the years to come, the Avon Park Mitey Mite Red Devils have realized a dream that few teams do at any level - a championship threepeat.
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