Plant City 14 — Venice 12
The Venice Bulls Mighty Mites played the Plant City Dolphins for the Western Conference Championship this past Saturday.
The Bulls came out on fire on offense and defense to start out the game. They received the ball first, and on the second play of the game Bryce Bigelow ran up the middle for 60 yards to put the Bulls on the 2-yard-line. Kasen Williams ran it in for a touchdown on the very next play, which gave the Bulls an early 6-0 lead.
On defense, Tristan Neeley had a fumble recovery that led to another Williams short yardage run into the end zone.
Blocking was the key on offense against the Dolphins’ athletic linebackers. Dan Crane, Anthony Beckom, Troy Morgan and Neeley created wide-open lanes for the running backs in the first half.
Plant City scored on a long run on the first play of the second half, and the two-point conversion made the score 12-8 in favor of Venice.
However, the Bulls offense could never get any momentum back in the second half and the Dolphins scored late on a big run to pull away for a two-point win.
Defensively, Robert Corrigan, Auden Guerra, Christian Medina and Neeley all had several tackles for the Bulls. Bigelow also had a interception at the end of the first half.
Venice 13 — Pasco 8
With the conference championship on the line, the Venice Bulls took the field once again against the Pasco Lions on Saturday, having already beaten them in a previous meeting early this year.
The Bulls won the coin toss, deferred and the defense took the field. Defensive lineman and MVP of the game, Darius Cook, with Adam “Pop” and Caden Reynolds set the tone by forcing an immediate Lions 3-and-out.
Venice’s offense went to work on the ground with running backs Chad Flemming and Eli Seed racking up yards, allowing Eli Manley to sneak in the first score and also convert the two-point conversion to go up 7-0 early.
Once again, strong defense by Bulls linebacker Jordon Joseph and cornerbacks Felix Koerner and Byrcen Fraiser shut down Pasco — forcing another early punt. Bulls offensive lineman Collin Carter, Matthew Locicero and James Teuscher blocked hard for Seed as he broke free for another Venice score to give the Bulls a 13-0 advantage at halftime.
Following halftime the Bulls sputtered, making errors and penalties that allowed the Lions offense to jump back into the game when they scored and converted the two point conversion. Deep into the fourth quarter with the Bulls leading, 13-8, they drove the ball up the field and drained the clock down to under a minute remaining.
But a sudden Bulls turnover gave the Pasco Lions just enough time to throw a couple of deep Hail Mary passes, getting the ball down to the Bulls’ 10-yard-line.
The Bulls defense made a goal line stand, and time ran out on Pasco. Venice will now head to Daytona to play in the State Championship. The Bulls will be working hard over the next two weeks in practice, and will take on the Boca Braves for what should be an epic 8-on-8 Florida Youth Spring Football League championship game.