CLCF faced off against North End on Sunday in the semifinals of 11-12 year-old JV football. CLCF avenged their loss to North End earlier in the season by defeating the 49ers to advance to the Superbowl.
The CLCF Chiefs scored first at the end of the first quarter with Sean Devlin finishing off a long drive for the Chiefs with a 3-yard touchdown carry. CLCF missed on the two-point conversion and led 6-0.
North End got their ground game going on the next possession. Franklin Mercado took the bulk of the carries and the 49ers advanced to the Chiefs 11 yard-line. But their drive stalled as CLCF clogged up the runnings lanes. After four consecutive running plays the North End turned it over on downs after a 6-yard loss, on their 17-yard line.
The Chiefs drove the length of the field on the ensuing possession, covering 83-yards in 8 plays, all of which were runs. CLCF split the carries between three backs. Sean Devlin and Jake Derderian combined for 28 yards on the drive, but Dmitri Lonardo had the big play on the drive with a 45-yard carry to the 49ers 22-yard line. Lonardo would later cap off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown rush giving the Chiefs a 12-0 advantage. And after the failed two-point attempt the 12-0 lead would last until halftime, despite a North End drive that reached the CLCF 12-yard line.
"We started off slow, but in the second half we turned it up," 49ers Coach Darren Robinson said.
North End came out strong in the second half, leaning on their potent rushing attack on their opening drive. Franklin Mercado and Jaylen DaCruz were the primary ball carriers, but Jeremiah Gonzalez finished off the fifty-yard drive with a 7-yard run for a touchdown. Pajebo Myers kept the snap on the two-point conversion and scampered in on the QB Rollout, as the 49ers drew their deficit to four at 12-8.
The Chiefs stalled at midfield on their next drive, giving North End the ball with a chance to take their first lead of the contest. And the 49ers took advantage, leaning on their big back, Jeremiah Gonzalez, who netted 51-yards in two plays to give North End a 14-12 lead. Franklin Mercado tacked on the two points with his carry and North end lead 16-12.
But the Chiefs were unfazed after surrendering the lead, as Sean Devlin found a seam on the return, bringing it to the 49ers 32-yard line. Devlin split carries Jake Derderian on the drive and the duo propelled the Chiefs to a go-ahead touchdown. Derderian finished the drive off with less than five minutes remaining, giving the Chiefs an 18-16 lead.
North End had another possession but the Chief defense held strong at midfield and the 49ers turned it over on downs. The Chiefs ran the clock down after gaining possession and took the 18-16 victory over the undefeated North End 49ers.
"They are phenomenal and they've got a lot of big kids over there, but we did well. We lost to them the first time but this time we did a better job of gang tackling and we ran the ball well. And we did it. We are in the Superbowl," CLCF Coach Glen Lonardo said.
The CLCF defense made two crucial stops in the game, one at the end of the half, and the other on the final 49er possession. These stops along with tough running from their three backs, were keys to their victory.
CLCF will face off against Woonsocket for the Superbowl on Sunday at 1:30 at Cranston Stadium.