Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

Grandpark City Champs: Wins OT Thriller Over Sweetwater!

Normandy – The Greater Jacksonville Pop Warner City Championships concluded this weekend crowning several teams as champions of our area. Teams competed in a seven week regular season and one round of the playoffs. The second and final round would culminate at the Normandy Athletic Association on Saturday Afternoon.

Game 2

Pop Warner Unlimited Division

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Grand Park vs. Sweet Water

The game of the day featured the Unlimited division’s Grandpark Panthers versus the Sweetwater Eagles. The two teams were the best in the division all year. Grandpark finishing 6-1 and Sweetwater finishing 7-0. These two teams faced off in the regular season with Sweetwater winning a very close one 19-14. The playoff game seemed like it would end in the same manner. It started as a stale mate with both teams playing stingy defense and finding it hard to move the ball on offense. The first quarter ended at 0-0.


The second quarter however, was dominated by the Eagles. Sweetwater coaches began to give Grandpark a dose of #4 Runningback Raymond Hill. Hill began to run the ball like a man possessed, breaking several tackles on each run. An 8 play drive that featured a variety of running plays allowed Hill to deliver the boom as a runner. He refused to go down many times driving to the one yardline. Grandpark Defense stiffened up in the redzone, but not surprisingly Hill got the ball from the one yard line on 4th down to bust it in the endzone. Sweetwater led 6-0.

In the second half Grandpark was coached by their staff and remained confident. Players were overheard saying to each other ” The first half is behind us” and ” We can’t do anything about that now, its gone” and ” Let’s get ready to play another half right now”. Those words by the players enthused themselves with confidence going into the second half. And the team responded. IMG_3810 (800x533) #2 Trayvon Hayward made an incredible catch down the right sideline over the Sweetwater defender to tie the ball game at six with the TD. It was a great call by the coaches who called a halfback pass to take advantage of the aggressive Sweetwater defense. The pass was just as great from the running back who ran to the right, stopped and curled a pass of his finger tips to the wide receiver. Grandpark’s spark seemed to be what ignited the action in the game.

Sweetwater would respond with a drive on their own by running the ball. But this time the strong running by Hall was complimented by the elusive running by AP #3 who took the run around the left side to the pylon and flipped into the end-zone for the score. Sweetwater would go back ahead 12-6. On the next series Grandpark suffered a terrible blow.IMG_3774 (800x533) #3 Mari suffered a devastating injury after taking the off tackle play to the right. He would writhe in pain for several minutes before the paramedics came to assist. The injury was thought to have sunk the hopes of GP after losing their most talented runner. But they would rally around each other and Coach Coy Bing would rally the entire team and started going to the air. Grandpark scored to tie the game and force overtime. In overtime Grandpark caught another pass and then punched it into the endzone to win the game. The win stunned many in attendance as Sweetwater looked like the more physical and talented team. But Grandpark played with heart and determination after their leader went down. They played with the will of champion, and thus became champions!

Congratulations to Grandpark (Home of the Champions) Unlimited Division City Champs!

Good Luck in the Regional Playoffs !


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