WARREN, NJ - On a cold Sunday morning, the Watchung Hills Wolverines Pee Wee football team triumphed in a hard fought battle against the Rochester Rams in the Eastern Region semi-final. Against a sizable, tough, disciplined opponent, the Wolverines came together with a true team effort to earn a 20-12 win.
On the first drive of the game, the Wolverines got themselves on the scoreboard by marching down the field 65 yards. Hard running from Kyle Checchio and Brock Dandridge, and a combination of offensive schemes, culminated in a nice 15-yard pass from QB Jadon Prinzivalli to Caleb Robinson-Newsome for the Wolverines first score.
The Rams tightened up defensively and after a series of back and forth turnovers on downs, tied the contest at 6-6 in the second quarter. Each team suffered a turnover in the second quarter and despite the Wolverines’ continued offensive pressure in the closing minutes, the game went into halftime all tied up.
With the Wolverines on defense to start the 3rd quarter, they were caught off guard by a 65-yard run on the first play. With the PAT being no good, the Wolverines found themselves down 6-12…the first time all-season the squad from Watchung Hills was losing in game. However, to their credit, the Wolverines bounced right back. Prinzivalli completed a 30 yard toss to Dandridge which put the ball on the 1-yard line and Dandrige punched it in on the next play behind some excellent up front blocking from Mason Kelly, Brayden Kelly and Nick Valenti. Kicker Byron McCann drilled a critical 2-point conversion kick putting the Wolverines up 14-12.
From there, the Wolverines held tough on defense. Several players made important stops including a big one from Jake Arakelian on a key 4th down play. Matiss Kalnins, Lucas Garcia and Brayden Kelly also delivered some critical tackles. A second TD by Dandridge on a great 40-yard run put the score at 20-12, and after a final defensive stop, the Wolverines were able to close out on offense with a tough ground game and solid clock management.
The Pee Wee squad competes for the Eastern Region Championship next weekend with the winner of the contest earning a trip to the Pop Warner Super Bowl in Disney.