ITALY — The IYAA Bantams (K-2nd) took the field for their second game of the season against the Scurry-Rosser Wildcats and on their first offensive carry of the contest, Jaiden Barr ran 50 plus yards to give Italy an early 6-0 lead.
Scurry-Rosser responded with a long touchdown run of their own. The quarterback keeper matched Barr’s effort and the conversion gave the Wildcats a lead 7-6.
Italy’s Ty Cash followed his blockers into the endzone to score the home team’s second touchdown putting the Gladiators on top 12-7. Scurry-Rosser answered the challenge and scored on a reverse of their own to go ahead 14-12 after the conversion. The Wildcats added one more touchdown before the end of the first half and lead at the break 19-14.
Late in the fourth, with the Wildcats up 25-12, offensive coach Aaron Itson guided Italy’s young squad into the endzone relying on a reverse carry by Bryce DeBorde to get the 6-points. The conversion run by Barr counted and Italy was within reach of earning their first win after an 0-1 start.
After the onside kicked rolled short and with only 3:30 remaining in the game, Scurry-Rosser took over on Italy’s side of the field and scored on yet another reverse to go up 31-19. The conversion dashed any hopes of a Gladiator comeback and Scurry-Rosser handed the IYAA Bantam team their second loss of the season, 32-19.
The Bantam’s offense had six separate players, Cash, Green, DeBorde, Barr, Preston Rasco and Julius Wilson run the ball with three of them scoring a touchdown. Credit the front line blocking of Rasco, Wilson, Rocklin Ginnett, Isaac Gray, Byron Davis, Taylor Sparks, Joe Jackson, Joseph Phillips, Brennon Boyd, Jalyn Wallace and Damorion Sargent for a job well done.
“It was like night to day compared to last week’s loss against Ferris. The kids responded to the challenge during practice this week and it was exciting to see their hard work paying dividends on the field. I appreciate the parents for being so supportive and patient with our team. Our coaches and fans have to turn a blind eye to the scoreboard right now while the little guys just have fun playing a game that I hope they fall in love with.” — Barry Byers, head coach IYAA Bantam team
IYAA Minors (3rd & 4th):
An opening drive bomb pass from Taron Smith to Christian Cole setup a touchdown run by Smith to give Italy a 6-0 lead which they held going into the fourth quarter.
With the Wildcats desperately driving to tie the game, Ricky Pendleton intercepted a sideline pass and returned it to the Scurry-Rosser side of the field. Italy was unable to add to their lead after a fumble inside the 5-yard line gave the Wildcats one last chance.
Scurry-Rosser scurried into Gladiator territory and were within striking distance of Italy’s endzone when suddenly, buckets of rain drops began pouring from the cloud covered sky. The sudden downpour drenched uniforms and sent fans and cheerleaders running for cover.
Everyone scattered except the two teams who were determined to finish the too close to call contest. The Wildcats kept at it but the Gladiator defense wasn’t about to let Scurry-Rosser rain on their parade and took over possession of the ball with 1:24 remaining.
As the rains continued to blanket the field, Italy’s Ryder “Phat” Itson seemed to be running on dry land as back-to-back carries gave Italy a first down at the Wildcat 5-yard line. With just seconds remaining in the ‘Water Bowl,’ the Gladiators ran out the clock to hold on for the 6-0 victory. The win improves the IYAA Minors record to 2-0 as they look determined to repeat as Superbowl Champions under the direction of head coach Gary Wood.
IYAA Majors (5th & 6th):
With the heavy downpour dropping down inches of water, the IYAA Majors, head coached by Ken Norwood, kept their Italy Gladiator flag hoisted high while Aaron Pittmon lead the chants. Unfortunately, the rains remained relentless and the IYAA Majors game against Scurry-Rosser had to be postponed.
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