This first USF Sling & Shoot 7-on-7 tournament of the summer came to a close when Winter Park defended its their Sling and Shoot title with a 23-12 victory against Plant in the championship game Sunday to take home their second straight title.
The field consisted of 18 teams that came from all over the state to compete in the two day long 7-on-7 passing tournament. All teams played the cross pool seeding on Saturday and Sunday morning and began the single elimination tournament shortly after 12 noon. The competition was tight from the onset as the field reduced with every round of play as the teams played through the heat as they whittled down to the final eight of Armwood, Charlotte, Jesuit, Plant, Leesburg, Spoto, Wharton, and Winter Park.
Jesuit was led by strong by strong performances by QB Tommy Eveld and 2013 receiver Travis Johnson and had a great showing all weekend before bowing out to Charlotte in the quarter finals. Wharton who went 6-0 on Saturday with big games from CB/WR Vernon Hargreaves III and rising sophomore Chase Litton beat Leesburg to reach the semis. The defending champion Winter Park stayed unbeaten with a win over Spoto to make the final four.
The game of the day had to be the quarter final match-up between Plant and a loaded Armwood team, as everybody gathered to watch the battle between the two Tampa powerhouses. The scoring began with Plant safety Drew Madhu picking off rising sophomore Darryl Richardson for a 3-0 lead, then made it 9-0 after a touchdown pass. Richardson atoned for it with toss and a fantastic catch by Jovonte Sneed and dump off to running back Greg Newton to put Armwood up 12-9. On the ensuing drive the Hawks seemed to hold Plant but were called for a pass interference with the panthers converting the short TD for a 16-12 lead. On Armwood's very next play Richardson went deep, but Madhu made an incredible leaping one handed interception to seal the game for Plant.
The final four consisted of match-ups between Wharton vs. Plant and Winter Park vs. Charlotte. To get to the championship game Winter Park continued their downfield air assault to beat Charlotte and Wharton finally ran out of steam against a confident plant team.
After a long day of football under the hot sun the Panthers faced off against the 2010 champs to battle it out for the crown.
The scoring began when transfer quarterback Asiantii Woulard hitXavier Amerson for a score on the first drive and a 6-0 lead. Plant responded with a Wes Bullock TD to even it up 6-6 on their first drive. Sophomore WR Gabe McClary caught a long pass to make it 13-6. Plant scored but missed on the extra point for a 13-12 score. Woulard then hit Dvario Montgomery who was virtually unstoppable all weekend for a deep score and the extra point for a 21-12 lead. Plant's playoof run finally ran out of gas against when safety Xavier Kelly picked off a Banks pass to give the Wildcats a 23-12 lead and victory. Winter Park went 12-0 for the weekend and took home the Sling and Shoot tournament crown for the second straight year.
During the trophy presentation, USF Coach Skip Holtz thanked all for participating and gave some encouraging words to all the athletes. The winners also got pizza for all the players and coaches before making the drive back with trophy in hand.