Cavaliers 75 lb Team Finishes Season with Another Prestigious Championship!
National Gridiron 365
Congratulations to our Cavaliers under Head Coach Marchello Squirewell for winning the inaugural Virginia/Maryland Northern Region Championship on Sunday, Dec 16th at University of Maryland’s Byrd Stadium. For the second week in a row, the Cavaliers ended the season of a previously undefeated team this time playing spoiler to a Germantown Panther team that was 15-0 coming in. Unlike last week, the Cavaliers did it this week in dramatic fashion coming from 12 points behind with six minutes left in the game to register an improbable 30-28 victory capping a post-season run that electrified the CYA community.
The Cavaliers got things rolling on the opening drive of the game scoring on a 50 yard TD run by Dorian Mitchell. Aiden Smith kicked the extra point to make it 8-0. The Panthers answered right way on a four play 60 yard drive but missed the extra point making it 8-6 midway through the opening quarter. After the next Cavalier drive stalled, the Panthers went ahead 14-8 on a TD and extra point to open the second quarter. The next drive saw the Cavaliers, behind their ground game which chewed up big chunks of yardage all year, take a 16-14 lead into halftime on a seven yard power run by Dorian Mitchell and an extra point kick by Aiden Smith.
After receiving the kick-off to start the second half, the Maryland Champs marched 70 yards behind a well-balanced passing and rushing game to take a 22-16 lead after a TD and extra point. The next drive for the Cavaliers stalled at the opposition 30 yard line, falling short on a fourth and nine pass attempt. The Panthers again utilizing a well-balanced attack featuring both pass and run scored what appeared to be ‘the out-of-reach’ score taking a commanding 28-16 lead with just over six minutes remaining in the game. The young men from CYA, heeding the themes of “unity and family” and “perseverance and finish” that head coach Squirewell has been preaching all year were not done. With a partisan crowd chanting “16-0” and “champions”, the Cavaliers promptly scored on their next drive by an electrifying 75 yard TD run from Dorian Mitchell. Taking the hand-off up the middle on a misdirection play, Dorian darted to the outside trying to run away from the dynamic speed of the Panther safety. Appearing to be caught at the 10 yard line, Dorian made a sudden and ankle breaking cut back inside to waltz the final yards into the end zone. Another Aiden Smith extra point, and the gap was now narrowed to 28-24 with just under five minutes left.
Now it was the Cavalier defense’s turn. Under attack all game by a much bigger and faster Panther team, the defense dug in lead by defensive line play from Luke Affuso and Giavonni Jackson along with linebacker play from Trosoados Davenport and Devin Stotser. After one first down by the Panthers, the Cavaliers stopped Germantown’s drive on downs near midfield. Three plays later, Devin Stotser, on another misdirection play took the direct snap up the middle for a 40 yard TD run. Doing what he has done all year, Devin ran for daylight with determination and toughness that has characterized this entire Cavalier team all year long. Coming all the way back from a 12 point deficit, the Cavs took a two point lead but was about to give the ball back to a highly explosive Panther offense with 1:56 left on the clock. The real excitement was about to begin.
After a short return, Georgetown took over at their own 30. With a creative mix of sweeps, reverses, and passes, the Panthers found themselves with first and 10 at the Cavalier thirty five yard line. The Cavalier defense was about to make their most important plays of the year highlighted by a pass defense by Ryan Hoffman on a critical third down play. With a fourth and eleven and only second left, the Panthers tried one last desperation reverse play which was promptly smelled out by the entire Cavalier defensive line resulting in an eight yard tackle for loss. One last snap by the offense and the comeback was complete. Simply put, awesome.
This has been a year of firsts for this Cavalier team. The first VA State Championship and now the first ever Virginia/Maryland Northern Region Championship. The first come-from-behind/five lead change victory in NG-365 MD vs VA bowl series. A true team effort where everyone contributed starting with the offensive line including Paul McClain, David Stucchi-Saldana, Benjamin Antayhua, Dylan Fagan, Austin Schreiner, Jayson Herd and Aiden Smith. The offensive backfield including Devin Stotser, Dorian Mitchell, Trosoados Davenport, and Giavonni Jackson. The defensive line including Giavonni Jackson, Dylan Fagan, Luke Affuso, Christian Ferguson, Aiden Smith and Austin Schreiner. The linebackers Trosoadas Davenport and Devin Stotser and the secondary including Dorian Mitchell, Ryan Hoffman, and Patrick Marlow.
Coach Squirewell had this to say about his team, “This was not only one of the best games I’ve ever coached, but this was one of the best games I’ve ever seen. It was truly a classic. I can’t explain how happy I am for the boys. They don’t look at each other as just teammates, they look at each other as brothers. Even when we were down by two touchdowns, they remained calm and never gave up. That’s what true champions are made of! I’m proud of each and every one of my boys and I’m honored to have represented Virginia and CYA in this tournament.”
Mike Hornzell, the National Gridiron (NG)-365 Director of Football Operations for Virginia had this to say about the game and the CYA Cavaliers, "As of 8 pm Saturday night, I was speaking with Coach Jeff Davey (CYA Football Commissioner), and thanking the Chantilly faithful and their boys for providing the most exciting game of football NG-365’s MD vs VA bowl series would ever likely experience; a 24-20 loss which had seen 4 lead changes. Less than 24 hours later, however, it was another Chantilly team, the 75 Central boys lead by Marchello Squirewell, that quickly reclaimed the most exciting game of the tournament title with their 30-28 come from behind win over the previously undefeated, MD Division 2 State Champion Germantown Panthers. As the NG-365 Director of Football Operations for Virginia, it is my dream to see such an exciting, well coached, contest between the states, and that was a heck of a win for Chantilly.”
About National Gridiron 365: National Gridiron 365 (NG-365), formerly known as Maryland Youth Football, hosts sports programs and events across multiple states 365 days of the year. Our services include: football combines, full contact camps, spring indoor full contact football (one of the largest in the nation), outdoor passing leagues, fall state championships in Maryland and VA/DC, regional championship series, apparel and equipment services, fall state rankings, pre-season tournaments, and Jamborees. As we continue to grow our services and improve our model, we aim to aid in the development of all football players.