Over 1000 players, with families and coaches invaded the Bull's campus for day two of the USF Sling & Shoot and Big Man challenge. Once again they played through the heat and rain while participating in what is becoming one of the largest camps in Florida.
The day started early for the 41 teams that came from all over the state to compete in the 7-on-7 passing tournament. The field was thick with talent from teams like Tampa-Plant, Jefferson, Sebring, Countryside, Venice, Kathleen, North Marion, Land O Lakes, Hallandale, Ft. Meade, and many, many others.
The teams were broken into two groups with twelve teams playing in the small school bracket. All teams played the cross pool seeding on Saturday and Sunday morning with Plant, Jefferson, Countryside, and Ft. Meade drawling the top seeds and began the single elimination tournament at 1:00 pm Sunday afternoon. While hundreds of other kids participated in the big man challenge on both days.
The basic rules were as follows:
- The tourney is played on a field of fifty yards with a legal size end-zone.
- Playing field consist of three first down zones, 0f 20, 20 & 10 yards
- Each game is 24 minutes in length with a running clock
- All applicable rules from the National Federation rule book apply
- The QB has 4 seconds from the snap to release the ball, or is sacked.
- There are no running plays.
- No throw backs to QB's are allowed
- 6 points for a TD, 1 pt conversion from the 5, or 2 pts from the 10
- An interception is a dead ball with 3-points awarded to the defense.
The teams began the single elimination tournament Sunday afternoon with Plant, Jefferson, Countryside, and Ft. Meade drawling the top seeds and the competition was fierce as the field reduced with every round of play. There were great games that drew large crowds and several upsets as the teams played through the rain and whittled down to the final four that consisted of Plant vs. Jefferson, and Land O Lakes vs. Ft Meade.
To get to the semi finals Plant led by back-up QB Nick Sanders beat a solid Sebring team that was led by QB Matt Grub and with WR Devin Clarke out, USF Commit Zack Bulloch filled in nicely at the TE/Slot position.
Jefferson beat a Vanguard team that had defensive back and FSU commit P.J. Williams and Chamberlin to reach the semis.
Ft. Mead had to get through a Kathleen team with star LB Gionni Paul and Wharton to earn their spot in the semis.
Land O lakes who was without USF commit QB Stevie Weatherford (hand), had the longest road to get to the semis, having to get through Western, Hallandale, and a Naples team that handily beat a very solid Countryside team that had CB Alex Dixon and QB J.D. Crow.
This set up the final four of Land O' Lakes vs. Ft. Meade, and Plant vs. Jefferson.
In a heated rivalry game Jefferson faced off against Plant in the semis, and it's obvious these two teams don't have a whole lot of love for each other. Plant was without QB Phillip Ely and James Wilder while Jefferson was without WR Chris Moore and LB/TE Ramik Wilson. Plant's Nick Sanders threw an early Int for a 0-3 score. Quentin Williams hit Andre Davis who made one of his patented TD catches, and also caught the extra point for a 10-0 lead. Plant answered with TD and conversion for a 7-10 score. The two teams then exchanged TDs with Plant missing the extra point for 17-13 score. Jefferson got the ball back and was able to run out the clock for the win.
In the other semifinal match-up Land O' Lakes backup QB who has only been with the school for a few weeks but did well all week-end threw an interception on the first play on what looked like a broken play. Ft. Mead used Brandon Fulse to stretch the field and open up the lanes for other receivers for two quick scores and a15-0 lead. Land O Lakes responded back with 2 scores to make it 12-15, then Ft Mead Scored on a bomb and a final of 21-12 to set up the championship game.
Finally after two long days of football under the hot sun and rain, the championship game was played shortly around 5 pm Sunday, and out of the 30 teams it was down Jefferson and Ft. Mead
In the championship game Ft. Mead got the ball first but turned the ball over on downs. Jefferson got the ball, but Williams threw an interception for a 0-3 score. Ft. Mead then scored, but missed the extra point for a 9-0 lead. On the next possession Jefferson threw another pick to go down 0-12. Ft. Mead then went deep, but Jefferson picked off the pass in the end zone for a 3-12 score. On the following possession Williams hit Andre Davis for a long TD, and cut the lead to 10-12. Ft. Mead responded with a score, but Fulse's extra point was waived off for a penalty to make it 10-18. Jefferson then hit a long pass and converted to tie the game at 18-18.
On the next possession Jefferson picked off the pass to take their first lead 21-18. Then on the ensuing possession Jefferson slowed things down then hit Andre Davis for his second TD of the game and converted to pad their lead to 28-18. Ft Mead ran out of time and Jefferson took home the coveted 2010 Sling and shot crown.
During the trophy presentation, USF Head Coach Skip Holtz thanked everyone for participating, and congratulated Jefferson for winning the premier passing camp in the state of Florida, and keeping the trophy in Tampa.
The small school division had teams such as North Marion who had juniors WR/S Latroy Pittman and TE Sean Price, Jesuit with LB Anthony Harrell, Plant City with junior QB Bennie Coney, Spoto, and Blake winning the title.
Overall the two day camp was a huge success, with plenty of talent, competition, and loads of fun for everyone involved.
Stay tuned for loads of observations, player evaluations, photos and video from the weekend.