NAPLES - Broward County-FL defeated Utah, 35-24 in the 8th Grade Football University National Championship (FBUNC) Game at Naples High School in Naples, Florida. With the win, Broward County-FL earns the title of 2014 8th grade FBU National Champions.
The 8th Grade Football University National Championship game, televised by NBC Sports Network, proved worthy of the national audience. The high-energy event started with a turnover when Utah QB Cooper Legas (Provo, UT) fumbled near his own 40-yard line on the first play from scrimmage, and Broward County took over. The hometown squad immediately moved down the field and QB Nik Scalzo (Parkland, FL) hit WR Christopher Benestad (Coconut Creek, FL) with a 15-yard touchdown pass, putting the team ahead 7-0 after K Billy McConnell’s (Plantation, FL) successful field goal attempt. Utah bounced back quickly with a 47-yard pass, setting up WR Dane Christiansen to snare a 20-yard TD pass from Legas, followed by a two-point conversion run by DB Chuck Alatini (West Valley, UT). Broward responded when RB James Cook (Coconut Creek, FL) sprinted 43 yards off a short pass by Legas, giving the Florida team the lead 15-8 after a two-point conversion. Entering the second quarter, Utah drove to the one-yard line but Broward got the ball back on downs. Utah regained possession, drove back down the field and RB Jacob Shaver (Riverton, UT) bolted up the middle for a ten-yard touchdown, taking the lead 16-15 with a two-point conversion at the half. Broward’s Cook raced 17 yards for a touchdown to start the third quarter, putting them back on top 21-16. A resilient Utah team marched right back down the field to take the lead on a two-yard quarterback plunge by Legas, and after a two-point conversion, Utah led 24-21 at the end of the third quarter. RB Nayquan Wright (Coconut Creek, FL) bolted 74 yards down the right sideline in the fourth quarter and after another successful McConnell kick, Broward was back on top 28-24. Wright sealed the deal with an 11-yard TD run and a 35-24 lead, earning him the Most Valuable Player Award.
AWARDS Naples Marco Island Everglades MVP: Running Back Nayquan Wright (Coconut Creek, FL) *Ran for 94 yards with seven carries and two touchdowns.
The FBU National Championship (FBUNC) weekend kicked off Friday December 19th at Fleischmann Park in Naples, Florida. During the first two weekends of December, 192-region-based teams (64-teams in each age bracket—6th, 7th and 8th grade) each comprised of the top 30 all-star athletes from their area, played in four rounds of intense football games across the nation. Of those 192 teams, the final four teams in each age bracket earned the trip to Naples to compete for the 2014 FBU National Championship. The structure of the Football University (FBU) National Championship is a combination of the Little League World Series and the NCAA March Madness. This year’s tournament marks the fourth year of the biggest youth football event to date, with 192 teams nationwide, including more than 250 games, 6,000 athletes, and 1,200 coaches. The tournament showcased 250 games through a three-week period, resulting in more than 1,000 hours of play.
Official National Brackets, Scores, & In-Studio Video News Updates: Please visit www.fbunc.com for updated tournament brackets and news updates. For game photos and additional tournament updates, also visit https://twitter.com/FBU_NC and https://www.facebook.com/NationalChampionship.
All American Games, LLC: Rockaway, N.J.-based All American Games owns and produces elite youth/prep national sporting events and properties including the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Football University, FBU National Championship, and Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl. National sponsors of the FBU National Championship include, Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention & Visitors Bureau, Paradise Coast Florida, Gatorade, Xenith, NCSA, Battle Sports Science, EvoShield, 23 Blast Movie and Youth Football Coaches Association.