THE MIRACLE AT LOCKHART
By Jonah Woullard
(November 22, 2010)-The South Florida Youth Football League Championships would provide all in attendance with one of the most exciting youth football games of all times. The rematch between the undefeated Miami Gardens Vikings 120 LB team would face off with the one loss, Northside Panthers. This game would prove to be the Miracle At Lockhart stadium.
These two teams faced each other earlier in the year in a triple overtime battle which the Miami Gardens Vikings won. Based on how tight the previous game was played between both of these teams, all indications would be that it would be a very close, low scoring game once again. Well, that would be the furthest thing from the truth.
The Miami Gardens Vikings, head coached by Coach Yancy, would start the 2010 SFYFL 120 LB championship game with fireworks by scoring three unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter of this contest. The Vikings offense would score on two running plays and a third by their passing attack. But the Vikings weren’t finished there; the Vikings would continue putting on an offensive clinic, by yet scoring another touchdown bringing the score to 26-0 towards the end of the second quarter.
Right before the half, the Northside Panthers would show some life by having their kick return specialist, Titus Bennett #5, return a kickoff for a 67-yard touchdown, bringing the score to 26-6, Vikings up big at the half.
The Northside coaches then huddled up their players and told them, “We didn’t come all this way to lose; we have the capability of scoring all those points and more in a quarter. Trust the coaches, and trust each other and we’ll be victorious.” Well that speech would sink right into to the Northside players as they came out in the second half on a 10 play, 73 yard drive, and punched it in for the 4 yard, go ahead score by Panthers’ running back, Mark Walton #1. This would now bring the score to 26-12 going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers defensive coordinator, Coach Dwayne Deal realized the Vikings wanted to sweep to the outside or utilize the tight end in quick dump passes. After making the proper halftime adjustments, the Panthers defense lead by Malik Strange #20, Rashod Smith #10, Marcus Burke #11, and Jose McMullen #2, shut the Vikings offense out the entire second half.
At the start of the fourth quarter, the Vikings would go three and out and the Panthers would get another chance to bring the score closer, and the Panthers did just that. With a great play called by Panthers’ head coach Sean Horne, the Panthers would call a 26 lead to Mark Walton #1, for another Panthers’ touchdown, bringing the score to 26-19, Vikings still lead.
After the Panthers scored, they felt the momentum swinging in their favor and felt they had to make a big play at the moment. The Panthers would kick an onside kick and recover the ball with 2:38 left in the game, trailing the Vikings 26-19. The Panthers would go to the air and hit their all purpose player, Mark Walton #1, for a 22-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 26-26.
Now both teams would find themselves in very familiar territory as the Miami Gardens Vikings and Northside Panthers had played in overtime earlier in the year, they were now playing another game in overtime. The Vikings won the toss and deferred. The Panthers’ offense would come out first and would put up the overtime’s first score, scoring a touchdown.
The Vikings would get the opportunity on four downs and came up short by sweeping left at the 5-yard line, as the Viking’s running back was met by a host of Panther defenders on 4th & goal at the line of scrimmage, securing the Northside Panther’s Miracle At Lockhart. Northside Panthers 120 LB squad came back from being down 26-0, and deserve to be crowned 2010 South Florida Youth Leagues 120 LB Champions, completing one of the most amazing come backs in youth sports!