During the 26 years of the Pulaski County Youth Football League, their season-ending grand finale Super Bowls have grown to epic proportions. And this year didn't disappoint, as the parades were bigger, the fireworks were louder, and the action was as fierce as ever.
An hour before each game started, a parade of fire trucks, police cruisers, limousines and parade-style floats would usher in the next Super Bowl teams in a grand fashion. The team's parades were so loud and so 'over the top' that the game going on at the time almost came to a halt for everyone to completely enjoy the festivities.
Moments before the start of each Super Bowl game, each team was announced and ran onto the Southern Middle School football gridiron in a cloud of team-colored smoke and fireworks blasting up in the background against the autumn sky. As the Super Bowl players ran onto the field, they carried American Flags, school flags, or even posters of their teammates who didn't get to play due to COVID-related quarantines. Throughout the season-finale contests, each team was well represented by their school and community.
Prior to the start of the Senior League PCYFL Super Bowl, a helicopter (PHI 7 of Monticello) landed at midfield to deliver the game ball.
Once the footballs were kicked off for each of the three respective Super Bowl games (Pee Wee, Juniors and Seniors) things got even more exciting with powerful hard-hitting action among the smaller local football standout players.
Burnside downed Pine Knot 20-0 in the Pee Wee Super Bowl, Whitley City downed Shopville 20-7 in the Junior Super Bowl and Oak Hill downed Southern 38-6 in the Senior Super Bowl. And while a slew of players stood out in all three of the Super Bowl games, there were a few players that stood out above the rest.
For the Pee Wee Burnside squad, Conner Shepherd and Eli Shepherd led the offensive attack. Eli rushed for 88 yards and scored an extra point, while Conner rushed for 51 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.
In the Junior Super Bowl, Whitley City quarterback Kallen Morgan completed 5-of-7 passes for 138 yards. Morgan threw two touchdown passes, and made a defensive strip and ran it back for 57 yards.
In the Senior Super Bowl, Oak Hill running back Koleson Eichmann carried the ball five times for 196 yard and scored four touchdowns on the ground and one touchdown through the air.
Even the sideline cheerleading was spectacular with the winners of each division awarded during the halftimes of their respective divisions. In the Pee Wee Division, Oak Hill won first place while Eubank was runner up. In the Junior Division, Oak Hill won first place and Pine Knot was runner up. In the Senior Division, Oak Hill won first place while Southern was runner-up.
PEE WEE SUPER BOWL
In the opening quarter of the Pee Wee Super Bowl, both Burnside and Pine Knot waged a defensive war not allowing either team to cross the goal line. However, a fumble recovery by Burnside's Chase Hart in the closing seconds of the first quarter, set the Generals up for their first score of the game when Connor Shepherd punched it in from seven yards out. After an Eli Shepherd PAT run, the Generals led 7-0.
The Generals' defense wouldn't allow the Pine Knot Dragons any significant movement over the next two quarters. In the fourth quarter, Burnside scored two unanswered touchdowns to put the game away. Burnside opened the fourth period off with Connor Shepherd scoring his second TD on a four-yard run, and Jase Hart added the PAT run. With 2:45 left in the game, Jase Hart scored on a 16-yard run to put the final score at 20-0.
For Burnside, Jase Hart rushed six times for 33 yards, Conner Shepherd carried the ball eight times for 51 yards, and Eli Shepherd rushed four times for 88 yards. For Pine Knot, Brady Sexton had 11 rushes for 45 yards, and Mason Stephens had five carries for 36 yards.
JUNIOR SUPER BOWL
Whitley City quarterback Kallen Morgan put his amazing passing skills on display on his very first series after he hit receiver Knox Wilson for a 53-yard TD pass play, and Morgan tacked on a PAT pass play to Tatum Watson for a 7-0 lead with less than a minute off the clock.
Midway through the second quarter, Morgan and Wilson teamed up again for another scoring pass play. This time the Whitley City quarterback-receiver duo scored on a 79-yard TD strike, and Morgan again hit Watson for the PAT pass play to put the Indians up 14-0.
Then on defense, Morgan stripped the ball from a Shopville offensive ball carrier and ran it back 57 yards to put the Indians up 20-0.
Despite the Super Bowl loss, the Shopville Tigers finished up an amazing season with only 13 players on their roster. All season long, the Tigers had to battle teams with almost twice as many players on the opposing sidelines.
For Whitley City, Kalen Morgan rushed seven times for 22 yards and had 138 yards in passing. Knox Wilson caught all five passes for 138 yards.
For Shopvile, Boone Baker carried the ball 24 times for 82 yards, Andrew Ritchie carried the ball eight times fro 30 yards, and Camden Fitzgerald had a pair of rushes for 11 yards.
SENIOR SUPER BOWL
The Senior PCYFL Super Bowl could as easily be referred to as the Quarantine Bowl, as key players from both the Oak Hill and Southern teams were not on the field for the finale due to COVID-related quarantines. The quarantined players were still celebrated by their teammates with their pictured posters and jerseys carried onto the field.
From the opening kickoff, this game started off with excitement when Southern recovered the ball on a surprise onside kick. The Braves burned the entire time off the clock in the opening quarter with a 50-yard scoring drive that ended on a Zach Benedict 10-yard touchdown run.
But once Oak Hill got their hands on the ball, they never let it go as they scored on all six of their offensive drives. In most part, the Wolverines' offense revolved around the swift feet of Koleson Eichmann, who broke away for four TD runs and passed for another one. In the first half, Eichmann had TD rush of 51 yards, 5 yards and 81 yards. In the second half, Eichmann had a 18-yard TD pass play to receiver Parker Burton. Eichmann scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the night on a 35-yard run.
Oak Hill's Broderick Brittle got into the scoring action in the third quarter on a 29-yard TD run. Brittle and Jett Boyd each had a PAT run.
For Oak Hill, Koleson Eichman carried the ball five times, scoring on four of those touches, for 196 yards. Parker Burton had five rushes for 39 yards and one TD catch for 18 yards. Broderick Brittle had one touchdown rush for 29 yards.
For Southern, Zach Benedict carried the ball 24 times for 94 yards, and Aiden Edwards had one carry for 5 yards. Conner Lewis had three catches for 21 yards..
STEVE CORNELIUS is the CJ Sports Editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @CJSportseditor.