Sebring Pee Wee Landen Campbell is brought down by Avon Park's Hector Garza during Saturday's youth football game at Memorial Field. JIM TAYLOR
BY JIM TAYLOR Special to Highlands Today
Published: August 28, 2013
AVON PARK - In an early season showdown, the Avon Park Red Devils and Sebring Blue Streaks faced off at Memorial Field in Avon Park on Saturday. The week two confrontation between two youth football powerhouses concluded with Avon Park winning three of four head-to-head games. Sebring would only win one game on the day as the Okeechobee Brahman seniors came to Avon Park and beat the Blue Streak senior team 34-0. The Avon Park Flag team started the day on a positive note with a 26-6 win over Sebring.
The Mitey Mite Sebring team evened the day up behind the running of Gregory Smith III. Smith had three touchdown runs of over 50 yards as the Blue Streaks defeated the three-time Super Bowl champions by a score of 21-0. With many players from last year's Flag Super Bowl championship now playing for the Mitey Mites, this win propels the Sebring Mitey Mites as one of the top teams in the state and capable of ending the Avon Park Mitey Mite's three year championship run. For the Senior game, Sebring faced the Okeechobee Brahmans since Avon Park is not sporting a seniors team this year. Avon Park is working with the middle and high schools and are making their older players compete for the middle school or junior varsity teams in high school. The Blue Streaks returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, that was brought back due to a penalty. It went all downhill for Sebring after that point. Okeechobee took a first quarter lead on a 55-yard run by Ja Jaun Cherry to take an 8-0 lead. Sebring's defense tightened up, but the offense could not move the ball consistently as the game remained 8-0 at the half. Okeechobee scored early in to start the second half on Cherry's second touchdown of the game, a 60-yard scamper to give the Brahmans a 16-0 lead. The Okeechobee offense continued to wear the Blue Streak defense down as they went up 24-0 on a 60-yard touchdown run by LaQuavious Williams. Okeechobee added 10 more points in the final quarter, first when Sebring attempted to punt the ball out of their own end zone, but the snap went over the punter's head and out of the end zone which resulted in a safety for Okeechobee to make the score 26-0. Kysell Richardson capped off the scoring for Okeechobee with a 15-yard touchdown run to make the final score 34-0. The fourth game of the day pitted the Avon Park and Sebring Pee Wee teams against each other. Both teams have aspirations of a championship and for the first two and half quarters, neither offense was effective against dominant defenses as the game remained scoreless. The Red Devils drew first blood with four minutes left in the third quarter when Malcolm Dewberry scored on an 18-yard run. The Red Devils led 7-0 after converting the extra point. Avon Park threatened to score again with less than six minutes left in the game. Sebring held tough, forcing a fourth-and-goal at the 10-yard line. Though they kept Avon Park speedster Jabari Knighten in check most of the game, he was able to reach the end zone for a 14-0 lead. Knighten scored again with less than a minute left in the game as he broke loose on a 38-yard sweep to the right side as the Avon Park Pee Wee team prevailed over the Blue Streaks with a 21-0 final score. The final game featured the Avon Park and Sebring junior teams. Though both offenses were able to move the ball, they stalled as they got closer to the goal line. The only score came in the second quarter when Avon Park's David Martin cracked through the middle of Sebring's defense for a 2-yard touchdown run. The extra point conversion failed as Avon Park led 6-0. Sebring had several scoring opportunities in the second half, but were held scoreless by the Avon Park defense as the Red Devils held on to win 6-0. In Lake Placid, the Green Dragons played the Frostproof Bulldogs. They lost to Frostproof in the Flag game 31-26, won the Mitey Mite game 2-0 and won the junior game 48-6. There was no Pee Wee and Senior game as Frostproof did not have a Pee Wee team and Lake Placid does not have a senior team. Avon Park travels on Saturday to Frostproof while Sebring hosts the DeSoto Bulldogs. Lake Placid travels to Wauchula to play the Heartland Hurricanes on Saturday.