WEST POINT - An intense rivalry had an intense ending Saturday evening to conclude the Cullman County Youth Football Association championships at West Point Stadium.
Pee wee championship: Cullman Cyclones 16, Cullman Bearcats 8
In the pee wee title match, the Cullman Cyclones led the Cullman Bearcats 16-6 in the fourth quarter when the Bearcats stopped the Cyclones on downs at their 25-yard line.
A 71-yard blast up the middle got the ball to the Cyclones' 4, but the Bearcats had trouble getting it into the end zone. It came down to fourth-and-goal from the 1, with Bearcat quarterback Garrett Hall trying to take it over from right guard.
The line judge signaled touchdown, making it 16-12, pending the conversion.
But the officials got together and reversed the call, claiming Hall never broke the plain of the end zone.
From a sideline perspective, Hall's body was never in the end zone and it seemed that the ball never crossed the plane.
The Bearcats took out their frustration on the next play by tackling a Cyclone runner in the end zone for a safety. But on their final possession, the Bearcats could not get the ball deep into Cyclone territory and fell by the final of 16-8.
The Cyclones finished the season undefeated in 10 games with Caden Burgess getting them the lead on a 7-yard run and a Tyler Owens conversion with 0:56 to play in the first quarter.
Back came the Bearcats on a very good drive. The had a running play that was fumbled with an alert Riley Buchanan falling on the ball in the end zone for the score. The conversion failed and the Bearcats trailed 8-6 with 2:56 left in the half.
An additional score by the Cyclones came courtesy of a 15-yard run from Isaac Drake and a 2-point pass by Ryan Skinner to Drake had the Cyclones ahead 16-6 when the game reached halftime.
The Cyclones had a long drive into the fourth period with an opportunity to extend the lead, but lost possession due to a bad snap and a 10-yard holding penalty that backed them from the Bearcats' 7, all the way to the 25.
A defensive stop by the Cyclones gave them the ball near the Bearcat 40, running out the final seconds to end a game that was intense from start to finish.
Wee wee championship: Good Hope Raiders 14, Vinemont 12 (OT)
Vinemont snapped a scoreless tie in the second quarter on a 40-yard interception return by Aden Cone after Good Hope attempted a halfback option pass. He fled down the left sidelines and the Eagles led 6-0.
On the next series for the Raiders, quarterback Ayden Black scored from the 2, but the conversion failed and the game was even at halftime at 6-6.
It went that way through the rest of regulation.
Kayden Henderson sent Vinemont back into the lead when he took it in from the 7 the first time the Eagles had the ball in overtime.
But the Raiders answered on a 6-yard run from Landon Bagwell and the game-winning conversion by Black to send them into celebration with a 14-12 victory.
This was the second time the Raiders and Eagles battled each other into OT.
Fireplugs championship: Cullman Bearcats 14, Good Hope Outlaws 6
Cullman was behind early in the game, then able to rally to defeat the Outlaws and complete a 10-0 season.
It was the first appearance for the Outlaws in the championships and their first season in the association. The Bearcats escaped the other Good Hope team last week, knocking off the Raiders 22-20 to win the playoff and set up Saturday’s championship struggle.
Prior to the championship games, the semifinal losers met to compete for third place in their respective divisions.
The Cullman Cyclones claimed No. 3 in the fireplug division against the Good Hope Raiders, the Cullman Bearcats took the wee wee third-place trophy home over the West Point Warriors and the Fairview Aggies pulled away with a late touchdown to top the Hanceville Bulldogs in the pee wee third-place contest.
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