Prince Frederick, MD – This past weekend, the Independence Bowl took place. If you are an avid sports fan, you will call my bluff, and say that the college football season just started, how are there bowl games already? However, we never said anything about it being the NCAA Independence Bowl. That’s right; we mean the youth football Independence Bowl. Our local youth football teams played the Perros Negros, from Naucalpan, Mexico.
Perros Negros translates to the Black Dogs. The city in which they were from, Naucalpan, is located just northwest of Mexico City. As a member of the American Youth Football Mexico League, this is the league’s third year in existence. They played in games against some of our local youth teams, including the 10 and under Pax River Raiders in the nightcap.
In the nightcap, the team Mexico fans were as lively as they had been all night cheering for their children. The game started with Mexico kicking off to the Raiders. As to be expected in a youth game, there were many running plays with the occasional pass play. The Raiders ran a sort of pro-style offense with many inside runs and counter plays. The Team Mexico defense ran a 3-5-3 defense, and countered the Pax River offense well. There were a few runs by Pax River when they broke containment by the Perros Negros linebackers. One of those runs resulted in the first score of the game as the tailback took a pitch to the right side of the line, made a little head fake, and used his speed to outrun the rest of the defense. The point after was blocked. At half time the teams were tied 6-6.
The Black Dogs took over and with their option based offense, drove down the field for what looked to be an easy score. However, on their first attempted pass of the game, the quarterback attempted to throw a corner route to his receiver, but under-threw him.
Pax River intercepted the ball as the defender fell out of bounds at their own 10 yard line. Pax River made several first downs, but ended up fumbling the ball away to the team from Mexico. They again drove down the field, and this time, kept it on the ground. This strategy paid off as they scored on an end around to the left side of the field from 7 yards out to even the score at 6. They kicked the ball off to Pax River with 3 minutes left in the game. Pax River made a nice drive and capped it off on a quarterback sneak from a yard out with 1:05 left in the fourth.
Mexico made it interesting as they threw an underneath route, the receiver broke an arm tackle, and ran the ball to the Pax River 9 yard line before getting chased down from behind. They couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone as the Raider defense toughened up. They ended up turning the ball over on downs on the last play of the game.
All in all, the teams from Mexico finished 1-2 on the day. The 14U team played the La Plata Blue Nights and La Plata came away with a victory. The 12U Prince Frederick Eagles team lost 12-0 to Mexico.