The Plant City Dolphins’ fourth consecutive league title win was another one to be proud of.
There were plenty of great efforts on TCYFCC Superbowl Saturday, but one in particular stuck out to me: the Plant City Dolphins’ four-peat in the Midgets championship game.
I haven’t seen the Dolphins’ corner of the Otis M. Andrews Sports Complex as full as it was that day, and I’ve been covering games there for six years. The atmosphere was especially amped up for that game: fans of both teams knew the stakes and took them as seriously as if it were their favorite NFL teams playing in the real Super Bowl. You could have cut the tension in the air with a knife, though it thankfully didn’t get to a point where folks started fighting (which I saw at the 2014 Superbowl when the Brandon Lions hosted). Robert Jordan called that game from the press box in the style of vintage Gus Johnson and added to the gravity of the moment.
If I had to guess, I’d say exactly nobody expected the 0-0 tie at halftime. Both teams were on fire heading into the Superbowl: Plant City and Lakeland averaged 38.4 and 32.8 points per game, respectively, in their previous five games. The defenses bent but never broke.
We may not have seen a second-half shootout, but the Dolphins did plenty to separate themselves and keep the scoreboard advantage from the moment the Eagles’ offense took the first snap of the half. Plant City recorded three tackles for loss in three plays, led by Rodney Coleman’s two sacks. Reagan Korlacki and Kameron Battle got in rhythm and contributed a touchdown in each remaining quarter to give their team the breathing room it needed. Jarvis Sherman killed Lakeland’s fourth-quarter momentum by picking off what would have been an 18-yard pass into the end zone. Da’zariyan Jenkins stepped up when his number was called with a series of big runs that may not have produced any more points, but did eat up the clock to give the Dolphins a boost in time of possession.
The PCD Midgets have now won 42 consecutive games in league play en route to their four consecutive titles. First-year head coach Robbie Jordan did an impressive job keeping up the momentum started by coaches like John Broome and Marcus Springfield.
Gloomy weather aside, it was a pretty good Superbowl Saturday. King Howard and the Mighty Mites put on a show offensively. The Pee Wee championship game was a real nail-biter and Kanyne Howard’s last-second tackle to prevent a Southwest touchdown was my favorite moment of the day. Things didn’t go so well for the Junior Varsity team, but those boys can still be proud of the fact that they made it this far.