Blackhawks defeat New York Predators 34-31 – Win Minor League Football AAA National Championship

timthumb.php_-300x137With temperatures reaching the mid 30′s and 3,000 miles away from home in sunny Southern California, the Inglewood Blackhawks, who were down 11 points with eight minutes remaining in the game, came back and defeated the New York Predators 34-31 in the 2011 USFA and Minor League Football National Championship (MLFCS).
The Blackhawks started off in their usual fashion as they marched down the field in just a minute and 34 seconds to take a 7-0 lead on a Reggie Haynes to Jeramie Ruell 40 yard touchdown. New York got the ball but was quickly on the end of another Blackhawk score as (DE) Brandon Souder stripped the Predator quarterback of the ball and raced 30 yards for a touchdown giving Inglewood a 14-0 lead. From there the Blackhawks made some costly mistakes with fumbles, interceptions, and bad tackling which allowed New York to climb back in the game and after being down 14 quickly, to go into the half only down by a score of 17-14.
The second half saw New York take advantage of more Blackhawk mistakes as they scored on a pick six when (QB) Johnny Jackson’s pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown putting New York up 21-17. The Blackhawks came back and drove down only to come away with a 35 yard field goal by Mark Drake which closed the margin to 21-20. New York took over and put together a nice drive of their own in which they too were haulted from reaching the end zone but came away with a field goal of there own to push the score to 24-20. On the next Blackhawk drive, Haynes pass was intercepted and returned for a 55 yard touchdown putting New York up 31-20 with the fourth quarter starting.
The Blackhawks took the ball and drove down behind the strong running from (RB) Brian Flowers and timely receptions by (WR) Solomon Jones. On a crucial fourth and five, Haynes found Jones for a first down at the Predator 10 yard line only to be stripped of the ball and fumble giving New York hopes of closing out the game. But the Blackhawk defense behind the games defensive MVP, Roy Otis (12 tackles) leadership, buckled down and got the Blackhawks the ball back with 8 minutes left in the game. The Blackhawks drove into Predator territory and on 3rd and long, Haynes found Ruell in the end zone for a 37 yard touchdown bringing the score to 31-27. With New York trying to use the clock to preserve a win, the Blackhawk defense came up big again with sacks from (DE) Kori Dickerson and (DE) Brandon Souder which made them punt the ball away. (DB) Eddie Hunter made a nice return to give the Blackhawks good field position.
The Blackhawks got the ball and moved it down the field only to be hit with three consecutive penalties to put them in what seemed to be unmanageable scoring position. Haynes drove the team down by throwing completions to Rockey Tribble, Daunte Turner, Daimino Stewart, and Jeramie Ruell to bring them to a 3rd and 9 from the Predator 34 yard line. On the next play, Haynes dropped back and found (WR) Nate Harrison in the back of the end zone for a touchdown giving the Blackhawks a 34-31 lead with a little bit over two minutes left in the game. New York got the ball and tried to drive down, but the Blackhawk pressure was too much which resulted in an interception by the Blackhawks Michael Gilliam. The Blackhawks took over and kneeled themselves to victory.

The Blackhawks are the 2011 USFA Minor League Football National Champions (MLFCS and USFA). Quarterback Reggie Haynes was chose as the Game MVP while Wide Receiver Solomon Jones was chosen as the Offensive MVP. Roy Otis was selected as the games Defensive MVP. The Blackhawks (13-0) are the first team from the West Coast to win an undisputed National Championship since the Fresno Bandits in 1994. “We just finished off the trifecta” stated Blackhawk head coach Tony Reid. First we went undefeated, then we accomplished going back to back, now we finish it off with a national championship.

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