In typical NYO fashion, the 5th grade championship game did not disappoint. The Irish had only allowed 20 total points scored against them in the first 10 games of the season and had recorded 2 shutouts in their first 2 playoff games. The Pitt Panthers, (let by Kevin Crow, their head coach, who took over and did an amazing job after the tragic passing of the Pitt Head coach, Eric Holtzworth), had rolled through their last few regular season games and had not been challenged in their 1st 2 playoff games. Pitt opened the game with a long sustained drive eating up the entire 1stquarter clock and 2 minutes of the 2nd quarter. The Irish finally stopped them and on the Irish’s 2nd play from scrimmage their QB, Ian Reynolds, broke a 70 plus yard run down the sidelines and was hit on the Pitt 2 yard line fumbling through the end zone for a touchback. That run flipped the field for the Irish and essentially won the game. Pitt got the ball back on their 20 yard line due to the touchback. The Irish stopped Pitt, gained field position and scored but missed the extra point. In the 2nd half Pitt stopped the Irish and had a long punt return setting up a drive to the Irish 10 yd line where they fumbled. The Irish then drove from their 10 yd line to about the Pitt 30 where the Irish fumbled; but that drive burned up a lot of 3rd and 4th quarter clock and Pitt simply ran out of time as they were unable to mount a serious threat back into Irish territory.
The game was a tremendously hard hitting game with many great defensive plays by both teams and clearly both teams played at a high Championship level; hats off to both the Irish and to the Pitt Panthers for a great championship game.