The IYAA Gladiators sweep Scurry and all three Italy teams qualify for playoffs

Image: The IYAA C-Team Gladiators charge onto the Scurry field to take on the Wildcats Saturday.

The IYAA C-Team Gladiators charge onto the Scurry field to take on the Wildcats Saturday. (Barry Byers)

IYAA C-Team (K-2nd grades) vs Scurry:
The IYAA C-Team Gladiators, head coached by Aaron Itson and assisted by Michael Davis, Shedric Walker, Corey Johnson and Barry Byers, defeat the second-ranked Scurry Wildcats 18-0 to move into 3rd place in the division standings. “It’s where we want to be,” commented Coach Itson after the game. “We’ll likely play Blooming Grove in the first round of the playoffs if we can beat Dawson on Saturday.”

Blooming Grove upset the C-Team Gladiators 7-6 in Week 6 of the regular season. Italy had a touchdown and a long run down to the 1-yard line both called back on penalties so it should be an exciting playoff game if the expected rematch should come to pass.

Handling the bulk of the running duties for the C-Team Gladiators was quarterback Laveraues Green. Julius Williams, Rodney Williams and Darrin Jackson executed long runs as will. In fact, it was Jackson who dazzled fans with a pair of ankle breaking jukes as he made his way down the sideline, leaving Wildcats stumbling behind him, while on his way to the play-of-the-game.

The C-Team will be the only team traveling to Dawson on Saturday and will meet at the Upchurch Ballpark and then depart promptly at 7:45 a.m.

IYAA B-Team 3rd & 4th grades) vs Scurry:
Needing a win to secure a playoff spot, the IYAA B-Team Gladiators, head coached by Gary Wood and assisted by Andy Saxon, Roy Stephens and Jasenio Anderson, had their team ready to play on Saturday. The B-Team Gladiators, led by running backs Ricky Pendleton, Bryce DeBorde and Preston Rasco, took it to the hapless Wildcat defense to win 20-6.

The play-of-the-game goes to defensive tackle Cornelius Jones who sprinted 50-yards to catch a Wildcat runner before he could reach the goal line. Scurry eventually scored on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line for their lone touchdown of the game but that failed to lessen the hustle play turned in by Cornelius a few plays earlier. Again, B-Team’s offensive line anchored by center Michael Gonzalez dominated the line of scrimmage for the fourth week and a row. The B-Team will finish the regular season with a 5-3 record after starting out 0-3.

IYAA A-Team Gladiators (5th & 6th grades) vs Scurry:
The IYAA A-Team Gladiators, head coached by Ken Norwood and assisted by Edwin Wallace, J.T. Henderson, Mailen Davis and Jason Escamilla, let starting quarterback Tylan Wallace relax in the first quarter while teammate Clay Riddle handled the quarterbacking duties for the first time this season. The play-of-the-game goes to the entire A-Team Gladiator defense who held Scurry to just 7-points during their 26-7 win over the Wildcats. The A-Team Gladiators have helped their offense outscore its season opponents 153-38 thus far.

The A-Team Gladiators will finish the regular season with a 7-1 record for 2nd place within their division, with Ferris being their likely first round opponent in the playoffs.

The 2011 NESA Playoffs will be hosted by the Italy Youth Athletic Association at Willis Field in Italy on Saturday, November 12.

IYAA Sports, “The winning tradition starts here.”