Two other teams, the junior novice and varsity Junior Bulldogs, finished as runners-up after close games Saturday.
Junior varsity: Tracy Cougars 26, Northwest Stockton Trojans 13
Vladik Sutherland scored all four Cougar touchdowns as his team held the lead over the Northwest Stockton Trojans for the entire game.
Sutherland said the win concluded a memorable year, during which the Cougars (12-1) lost their opening game to the Trojans (11-1) and came back to win every game after that.
“We really came through this year,” Sutherland said. “We had really good discipline, really good coaches, and just gave it all we’ve got to get to the Super Bowl.”
Coach John Harvey said that the team bounced back from a rough year in 2012, when the JV team went 2-8. This year’s team included players who moved up from last year’s novice squad, which won its 2012 DYFL title.
Harvey said the returning players stepped up for a winning season after their discouraging 14-0 loss to the Trojans on Aug. 31.
“It was about teaching them how to win and teaching them that they could be champions,” Harvey said. “I taught them over the year that teams do score, but it doesn’t mean you’re going to lose. You’ve got to get in there and fight.”
Sutherland ran in a touchdown in the first quarter and scored in the second after Marcellus Rice made a 45-yard run to set up his 6-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Kainoa Ballungay completed a pass to Sutherland for a 41-yard touchdown in the second, and Sutherland ran in another touchdown at the end of the third quarter. Devon Roberts also scored on a 2-point kick.
Novice: Tracy Junior Bulldogs 26, North Stockton Bengals 6
The Junior Bulldogs novice team finished a 13-0 season, including seven shutouts, with a victory over the North Stockton Bengals (11-1) in Saturday’s Super Bowl.
“We won by the power of 28,” coach James Revino said, noting that even with a small roster and boys playing both sides of the ball, the team dominated all of its games.
Eddie Hurtado ran in two of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns. Riley Revino and Jordan Matson also ran in touchdowns.
Varsity: Northwest Stockton Trojans 28, Tracy Junior Bulldogs 24
The Bulldogs (11-2) got on the scoreboard first with a touchdown run by Kristien Reyes and a conversion kick by Jaylan Smith, but the Trojans (11-1) had speed and a couple of interceptions to establish a 22-8 lead in the second quarter.
Tracy had another chance to score when quarterback Rory Hanson passed to Hayden Patzer in the end zone, but the pass fell incomplete when Patzer took a helmet-to-helmet hit. He was out for the rest of the game. Bulldog coaches protested that the Trojans made an illegal hit, but referees did not call a penalty on the play.
The Trojans took possession after that, and the Bulldog players immediately came back to score on a safety. Amritpal Singh and Manuel Troche made the sack in the end zone. Reyes returned the following kickoff 65 yards for a touchdown and ran in another from 30 yards out, putting the Bulldogs up 24-22 at the start of the fourth.
The Trojans ran in the go-ahead touchdown with 2:42 left and ended the Bulldogs’ final drive short of the end zone.
Bulldogs coach Gabe McCarty said it was a respectable finish for a Tracy team that included a core group of players who won three straight DYFL titles as junior varsity and novice players.
He added that the Tracy team of seventh- and eighth-graders held up well against a Stockton team that included high school freshmen.
“Even though that was the case, we’ve been playing freshman teams all year long and beating them, so I feel like these guys played a heck of a game,” McCarty said of his team.
Junior novice: North Stockton Bengals 24, Tracy Junior Bulldogs 18
An 18-18 tie went into overtime, and the North Stockton Bengals (11-1) scored a touchdown on their last play of the overtime period for the victory over the Bulldogs (11-2).
Further details were not available.
• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or email@example.com.