It took all season for the Yosemite Youth Football Pee Wee team to get its first victory -- but it was worth the wait as the team defeated The Sierra Warrior's Pee Wee team 12-6 on Oct. 20, to bring home the Mountain Bowl trophy.
It was a peaceful day last Saturday in Prather. But that changed as the kick-off brought a noisy, all-game clashing between the two rival teams.
Yosemite's first drive stalled at the 45 where Sierra took over on downs.
The Badgers got the ball back on Sierra's first play as Drake Airy stole the ball right out of the hands of the Sierra running back.
Yosemite then started a long drive that took the rest of the first quarter and part of the second quarter. The long drive was led by running backs Nick Harper,
Drake Airey, Kyler Schaeffer and Rylan Matyshock behind the blocking of Josh Diehl, Justin Micallef, Cole Pizel, Jackson Thearle, Lee Lawler and Sean Miller. Downfield blocking was provided by receivers Joshua Weber, Seth Holmes and Ethan Coffman.
The long drive was capped off with a TD run by Matyshock. After a missed PAT, the Badgers were leading 6-0.
After the kick-off, Sierra's second drive was kept alive due to a Badger penalty. A few players later, Sierra scored on a quarterback sneak up the middle. The score was tied 6-6 after the missed PAT.
The Badgers had good field position after recovering an onside kickoff by Sierra.
Yosemite continued to grind out yards on the ground and it was Matyshock scoring for the second time on the day to give the Badgers a 12-6 halftime lead.
After the second half kick-off the Badgers held Sierra but turned the ball back to them on a fumble. On their first play after recovering the fumble at mid-field, Sierra's quarterback was intercepted by Airey to end the third quarter.
With additional turnovers by both teams, both teams were scoreless in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors made several offensive attempts to score in the fourth quarter but the Badgers defense stopped them when needed to save the win and bring home the Mountain Bowl trophy.
"This was a tough game but we put four quarters of gutsy football together for the win," said head coach Aaron Pelz. "Our defense stopped them a couple times in the fourth quarter when they were moving the ball to give us the win. It was a long season, but it felt great to be able to keep the Pee Wee Mountain Bowl trophy on this side of the mountain this year."
On the season, scoring TDs for the Pee Wees were Nick Harper (4), Ryan Matyshock (2) and one each by Schaeffer and Airey.
Pelz said throughout the season his team would get an early lead, but due to the small number of players, it was hard to finish games.
Pelz thanked his players and parents for the 14-week commitment they made to the team this season.
"I'm happy, especially for the players, that the season ended on a high note," Pelz said.
In other games against Sierra, the Senior team was defeated 42-8 and the Junior team lost 20-14.
Pelz was assisted this year by assistant coaches Billy Schaeffer, Randy Matyshock, Pete Mascola and Mason Gaynor.
After the four youth teams (Seniors, Juniors, Pee Wees and Mighty Mights) combined for a 31-4 regular season record last year, the Pee Wee team was the only Yosemite Youth Football team to manage a win this season.