Fireplugs, wee wees and pee wees throw down in the CCYFA semifinals

Noah Galilee

WEST POINT – The Cullman County Youth Football Association (CCYFA) semifinals took place on Saturday at West Point Stadium. The fireplug, wee wee and pee wee teams came out to play, working within the new playoff format laid out by the CCYFA, in which the regular season division champions face the runners-up in the east and west divisions.

The players seemed to be alright with the change and presented some very entertaining football throughout the day in the semis.


Fireplug semifinal no. 1 – Good Hope Outlaws 22, Cullman Cyclones 6:

Cullman led 6-0 on a Weston Keel 35-yard run with 3:18 to go in the first quarter. Ethan Day answered for the Outlaws by getting loose for a 64-yard run as he broke several tackles down the right sidelines.

That tied the score after the first period.

What turned the game to the Outlaws' favor was when the Cyclones went for it on fourth down inside their 35 late in the half and turned the ball over when a runner slipped.

Carson Hollis ran 24 yards to the end zone on the final play of the half and Day tacked on the conversion to make it 14-6 Good Hope.

The Outlaws sealed up their first berth to the championship game on an 85-yard run by quarterback Parker Johnson with 2:37 to play in the contest.

Good Hope's defense forced the Cyclones to lose the ball twice on fumbles in the second half, a key to the Outlaws getting the triumph and heading to the championship with seven victories in nine games.


Fireplug semifinal no. 2 – Cullman Bearcats 22, Good Hope Raiders 20:

A stout play by the Bearcat defense prevented the Raiders from tying the contest with 2:27 to go in the fourth on a 2-point conversion after Zac Arnold scored for Good Hope for the second time, this one on a 7-yard run.

Cash Thomas stood out for the Bearcats by scoring three touchdowns. He had a 7-yard run and a 33-yard jaunt in the second quarter. The 33-yard play was on the final snap of the half and sent the Bearcats to the break leading 16-8.

Thomas got loose for 65 yards on the first play of the third quarter and the Bearcats were ahead 22-8.

But the Raiders never stopped playing. Michael Lee's 3-yard run with 2:07 to go in the third closed the deficit to 22-14.

The Bearcats suffered three fumbles with two leading to Good Hope taking it to the end zone. Arnold's second score had the Raiders down 22-20 before they were unable to add the conversion and possibly force overtime.

Thomas and the Bearcat offense were able to get a couple of first downs and eliminate the remaining time to take a 9-0 record to next week's championship battle.


Wee wee semifinal no. 1 – Vinemont 16, West Point 14:

Kayden Henderson gave Vinemont an 8-0 advantage on a 6-yard run with 30 seconds to play in the first and scored the conversion.

West Point's Jaxon Shelton broke free for 72 yards in the third quarter and Josh Shannon's conversion had the game tied at 8-8 with a quarter left to play.

The Eagles went back on top when Christian Hart swept around right end for 21 yards and the score, and the conversion was scored by Henderson with 6:54 left in the fourth.

West Point had its second TD on a 47-yard run by Shelton, but the Warriors were denied the conversion points.

On fourth-and-inches at the Vinemont 49, the Eagles, late in the game, went for it and got it on a 15-yard gain by Henderson to the West Point 36 then ran out the clock.

Vinemont is 7-2 following the hard fought semifinal victory.


Wee wee semifinal no. 2 – Good Hope Raiders 10, Cullman Bearcats 8:

An upset was the setting for this one with the undefeated Bearcats falling to an opportunistic Raider defense and a ball control offense.

Good Hope had the football for over 13 minutes in the first half, but could not put points on the scoreboard. The Raiders turned it over with a fumble at the Bearcats' 4 late in the half.

Cullman was not successful getting the ball out of the danger zone. The Bearcats gave up a safety on the final play of the half when Tyler Beatty tackled the Cullman runner in the end zone for a 2-0 Good Hope lead at the break.

A ball control drive by the Bearcats at the start of the third gave them the lead on a Cooper Lofton 1-yard run to end a 65-yard series and a 2-point conversion by Jaden Earnest.

In the fourth quarter, the Bearcats fumbled the football inside their 5-yard line and the Raiders took it into the end zone on an Ayden Black 3-yard run. Black scoring on a conversion by going up the middle sent the Raiders back in front at 10-8 with 2:24 remaining.

The Bearcats' final series ended on downs at the Cullman 47 with the Raiders running out the clock and moving to 8-1 on the season.


Pee wee semifinal no. 1 – Cullman Cyclones 30, Hanceville 6:

Isaac Drake was the standout performer for the Cyclones, scoring four touchdowns. With 0:09 left in the first period, he broke a scoreless game by racing 75 yards to the end zone, with Kaden Burgess scoring the conversion.

On the first play of the second half, Drake raced 65 yards to the end zone and Burgess ran in the conversion to make it 16-0.

Drake scored on a 48-yard run with 3:22 left in the third and Ryan Skinner tallied the conversion to put the Cyclones in command at 24-0.

However, Hanceville rallied when Evan Dye was loose on a 54-yard run and the Bulldogs trailed 24-6 going to the fourth.

The best individual performance all day went to Drake when, with 1:40 to go in the game, he ran around right end for 92 yards and the Cyclones inched closer to the county pee wee title with a 9-0 record.


Pee wee semifinal no. 2 – Cullman Bearcats 22, Fairview 6:

With 45 seconds showing on the first-quarter clock, the Bearcats faced a second-and-10 from their 10-yard line. Cullman executed a pass play with Garrett Hall hitting Nathan Zills downfield, who turned it into a 90-yard score and the Bearcats led 8-0 on Hall's conversion pass following the TD.

The one-score advantage stayed for the Bearcats until the start of the fourth quarter as they extended the lead to 16-0 on a Brandon Blackwood 2-yard run and another 2-point pass by Hall.

Fairview was determined to avoid a shutout. The Aggies managed a 7-yard run by Dillon Foster and trailed 16-6 with 2:50 remaining.

The next series for the Bearcats needed only took two plays for an insurance score with Hall running around right end 65 yards for the TD. The Cullman defense stopped the Aggies on their final drive at the Bearcat 7, then needed one snap to run out the clock.

The Bearcats take a 5-4 record into the championship match with their city rival.


Next week's schedule (Saturday) @ West Point Stadium:


9 a.m. – Cullman Cyclones vs. Good Hope Raiders (3rd place)

10:30 a.m. – Good Hope Outlaws vs. Cullman Bearcats (Championship)

Wee wees:

12 p.m. – West Point vs. Cullman Bearcats (3rd place)

1:30 p.m.   – Vinemont vs. Good Hope Raiders (Championship)

Pee wees:

3 p.m.   – Hanceville vs. Fairview (3rd place)

4:30 p.m.   – Cullman Cyclones vs. Cullman Bearcats (Championship)


We are working on a full photo gallery for each game. Stay tuned!

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