The Valdosta Daily Times
The Titletown All-Stars, a 10U youth football team comprised of all-stars from the Valdosta Boys and Girls Club, had revenge on their minds entering Saturday’s state championship game in Atlanta.
Facing South Columbus in the National Preparatory Football Association’s Scott Coalition Bowl inside the Georgia Dome, the All-Stars avenged an earlier tournament loss to the Falcons, winning the state championship game, 6-0.
The All-Stars used a game-winning touchdown run from Arendez Fedd with 35 seconds remaining to score the game’s lone touchdown.
“I’m so proud, I’m about to burst,” said Titletown All-Stars head coach JB Brown.
Saturday’s win came less than a month after losing to the Falcons, 7-0. Brown said that loss wasn’t fair because his team had already played earlier that day, while the Falcons were well-rested.
In Saturday’s championship game, Brown knew his team could win as both teams had plenty of rest.
“It is a satisfying feeling of having something taken from you and then being able to beat them and take it back,” Brown said.
Playing inside the large Georgia Dome, which seats over 70,000 people, Brown took the All-Stars inside a meeting room an hour before kickoff to calm down his players and give them a pep talk. One thing he stressed was their earlier loss to the Falcons.
“We had a long talk with them and explained to them that those kids were going to be riding a high because they had beaten us already,” Brown said. “My enthusiasm speech to them was, ‘they (are) fresh, we (are) fresh. Lets see who is the best when we are fresh.”
A defensive battle all game, neither the All-Stars nor the Falcons could get much going offensively. Then, after forcing the Falcons to punt with less than a minute remaining, the All-Stars received the spark they had been waiting on all day long.
Fedd caught the punt and returned it all the way to the Falcons’ 20-yard line, where he actually fumbled the ball. Luckily, another All-Star teammate recovered and Titletown still had possession.
Then, with the time winding down, quarterback Joshua Brown ran a bootleg 16 yards, being tackled at the 4-yard line. The following play, Fedd scored the game’s only touchdown, lifting the All-Stars to the state championship win.
“Our defense, I think, they won the game because we stopped them for loss after loss after loss,” Brown said. “We started to drive them backwards. That is what forced them to punt.”
Defensively, Shawn Martin made several big plays, despite making the switch from linebacker to defensive end for the championship game.
“(Shawn) came up big,” Brown said.
The All-Stars finished the National Preparatory Football Association’s Southern National Championships with a 3-1 record, building on their already impressive record they tallied through three previous tournaments.
Since establishing the team in November, the All-Stars went an impressive 11-1, winning all four tournaments they entered.
Along with the impressive record, the All-Stars are also bringing back a nice trophy, too.
“We got a really nice trophy,” Brown said. “It looks like the Lomardi Trophy, with a football on top of it.”
Brown said one major reason for the team’s success was because of the support the players received from the parents, including during Saturday’s championship game.
“We had great support,” Brown said. “There weren’t a lot of people in the Georgia Dome, but our fans were the loudest. We were on the opposite side of the field from the fans — they had all the fans on one side — and we could hear our fans like they were right behind us. They traveled with us, they spent money and they stayed behind this team. Nobody complained about money, even if it is Christmas time.”