Written by: Amanda Szylin
The AAU Football League Based Nationals wrapped up Saturday after four intense days of football! Registration started Tuesday, December 2nd and on Wednesday, pool play kicked off. Forty teams in four different divisions battled it out to try to claim the championship trophy.
In the 8U division, the Pensacola Colts and the Richmond Eagles were the two teams that ultimately made it to the championship game. Both teams were in Pool 8B during pool play, with the Eagles coming in first with a 2-0 record going into bracket play. The Colts entered bracket play with a 1-1 record. Once in bracket play, both teams shut out their opponents in the first round. In the semifinals, they shut out their opponents once again, but the scores were a bit closer. The Colts took down the Raptors 7-0 and the Eagles defeated the Steelers 13-0, advancing them both to the Championship Game. The 8U National Championship kicked off championship day on Saturday. The Eagles’ offense couldn’t get anything going with a tough Colts defense, and fell to the Pensacola Colts 26-6.
In the 10U division, two teams from the same pool made it to the championship again. The Wilmington Titans went 3-0 in pool play, earning the top spot in their pool. The Yoakum Outlawz maintained a 2-1 record in pool play, earning them the 2nd place spot going into bracket play. The Yoakum Outlawz had a tough day of football on Friday, playing two games against some tough competition. They squeaked out two wins, the first against the Southeast Guilford Black, 14-8, and the second, a true nail biter against the Fredericksburg Canes, which the Outlawz won 13-12. The Wilmington Titans had a fairly restful day Friday, only having to play one game in which they defeated the Apopka Raptors 6-0. In the Championship Game on Saturday, both the Yoakum Outlawz and the Wilmington Titans played great defense, keeping it a low scoring game. When the buzzer went off at the end of the game, the Wilmington Titans had the 6-0 lead, earning them the National Championship!
In the largest division, the 12U teams had a lot of competition to beat out in order to grab that top spot at the end of the tournament. The Pensacola Browns and the Apopka Raptors were the two teams that made it all the way to the championship but it wasn’t easy. In pool play, the Pensacola Browns were undefeated but the Apopka Raptors lost both of their games, giving them the disadvantage in bracket play. The Raptors played Thursday night against the High Point Steelers, who they defeated 24-7. On Friday, the Raptors shut out the West Orange Bobcats 13-0, advancing them to the semifinals. In the semifinals, they faced the Fredericksburg Canes. Both teams were equally matched, but the Raptors managed to pull out the victory 20-18 to move on to the championship. The Pensacola Browns, on the other hand, walked all over their opponents in bracket play, taking their first game against the Low Country Warriors, 33-6. In their semifinal game against the Patuxent Rhinos, the Browns shut them out, 20-0. In the championship game on Saturday, the Browns’ dominance continued, with the defense holding the Raptors scoreless in the game. The Pensacola Browns took home the National Championship title after winning the game easily, 38-0.
In the 14U division, the West Volusia Little Hatters and the Apopka Raptors met in the championship game after both teams went undefeated the whole tournament. In bracket play, the Hatters defeated their opponents easily, earning their way into the championship game. The Apopka Raptors’ defense shut down their opponents and didn’t allow any points in all of bracket play. In the championship game, the Raptors’ defense was no match for the Hatters’ offense. The Hatters defeated the Raptors 27-8 and took home the National Championship title.
Thank you to everyone for participating in the AAU Football League Based Nationals! We hope everyone had a great time and we look forward to seeing you again next year!
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