The Amsterdam Little Giants Football League concluded a seasons’ worth of exciting action Sunday afternoon on the city’s biggest stage, Lynch Literacy Academy Field. The headlines for Amsterdam’s version of “Super Bowl Sunday” were The Undefeated Season and The Upset.
The Undefeated Season: Senior Division Super Bowl
Bears quarterback Marcus Jackson ended a fierce defensive struggle scoring on a two yard run late in the fourth quarter as the divisions’ top team completed an unbeaten season with a 7-0 win over the Jets.
“This is pretty much how I thought it would go,” said Bears head coach Bill Pereicich. “Both teams were back and forth, then we did everything we needed to do in the second half.”
The two teams were locked in a scoreless game before Jackson’s run. Both would come with goal line stands on outstanding defensive play. Late in the first half, the Jets had moved the ball all the way to the Bears two yard line led by the strong rushing of running back Greggory Pelosi. The Bears defense led by Jackson, Christian Mickus, Damian Montalvo and Louis DiManno denied the Jets scoring attempt. Early in the third quarter, the Jets had stopped the Bears on fourth and goal from the two led by Zak Fallen and Marcus Trazkos.
“It was a tale of two half’s,” said coach Pereicich. “I told them we took their best shot, and the Jets are a good team. They had the field position in the first half and we had it in the second half.”
The Bears had their best field position late in the fourth quarter after stopping the Jets deep in their own zone and forcing them to punt. Jackson ran the ball twice getting them close before plunging into the end zone, carrying a pair of Jets defenders with him for the score. Jacskon then completed the scoring by running in the extra point.
“That was a wishbone quarterback sneak,” said coach Pereicich on the play that won the game. “Marcus took the hand off for the extra point and it was supposed to be a pass, but he saw the defense and ran in in.”
The victory capped a perfect 8-0 season for the Bears and long tenured head coach Pereicich who reflected on the Bears success.
“I’m proud of these kids,” said Pereicich. “Some of the first kids I started with are already in college.”
The 2014 Little Giants Senior Division Super Bowl Champions are; Giordan Bonnano, Patrick Kelly, Marcus Jackson, Sean Cable, Damian Montalvo, Jacob Gomez, Christian Mickus, Carlos Cruz, Austin Kaple, Elija Pereicich, Nathan DiManno, Blaze Caldwell, Anthony Kelly, Jacob Nasadowski, Christian Robinson, Antonio Thomas, Loius DiManno, and Francisco Carmona. Coaches; Bill Pereicich, Rich Alteri, Calvin Vasquez, and CJ Rivera.
The Upset : Junior Division Super Bowl
The White Warriors came into Sunday’s Junior Division Super Bowl as the runner up in the standings to the Green Gators. The Warriors running game on Super Bowl Sunday was more than up to the challenge scoring early in both the first and second halves for a 20-0 White Warriors win.
Marco Bottisti gave White the lead on the teams first possession of the game rushing the ball 23 yards for a touchdown. It was an old trick play known as a “reverse”.
“That was huge,” said White Warriors head coach Jose Perez. “That really caught them off guard.”
And while White’s running game was just getting going, the Green Gators and talented running back Devon Wilson had trouble moving the ball due to a well prepared White defense.
“Our defense stepped up today and they tackled from the hips down,” said coach Perez, “Just like we practiced.”
White’s defense came up with the play of the game early in the second half on a fumble recovery by Dominic Pagano that led to their second score on a one yard run by quarterback Leo Perez. The Warriors’ Ceasar Thompson kicked the ball for the two point conversion and it was 14-0 after three quarters.
“The fumble was a momentum changer,” said coach Perez. “Turnovers always are big. We didn’t have any turnovers today.”
After Green turned the ball over on downs inside their own 20 yard line, Xavier Acevedo rumbled in from eight yards out for a 20-0 White lead. The team that started the day as the division runner up was Super Bowl champs at the end of the day.
“I’m absolutely proud of this team,” said Coach Perez.
The 2014 Little Giants Junior Division Super Bowl Champions are Kevin Green, Dominic Pagano, Drake Perry, Camryn Frasier, Leo Perez, Xavier Acevedo, Christian VanDeusen, Marco Bottisti, Victor Dueno, Mica Barbaro, Michael Fiumara, Bobby Vitus, Ross Sanders, Jhai Vellon, Vinny Pagano, Ceasar Thompson, Jacob Kietzman, and Devin Burtt.
Cheerleaders: Emily Leonard, Emily Reed, Kessiera Rava, Rebecca Ciccone, Alexis Bernardo, Nevaeh Edwards, and Natalie Edwards. Coaches; Jose Perez, Ross Sanders, and Josh Pagano.
The Little Giants Majorettes also performed at halftime of each game. Members of the 2014 Senior Majorettes are Lillian Orengo (captain), Jasmine Rodriguez (captain), Nyasia Brown, Katlyn Cwiakala, Nicole DeRose, Gabriella Feliciano, Bella Porter, Marina Rivers, Imani Torres, and Haley Salisbury.
Members of the 2014 Junior Majorettes are Maria Hamblin, (co-captain), Marlena Welsher (co-captain), Savanna Fisher, Hailee Hamblin, Hannah Hamblin, Lawryn Donahue, Mianna Jackson, Valencia Vila Nole, Taylor Tchaikow, Alexis Traskos, and Jadyn Wilson. Advisors; Laurie Hamblin, Melisa and Craig Wilson, Courtney Willmott, Angela Donahue and Desirray Sefrin.