Suffolk Steelers fall to N.C.’s Steelers

Published 9:32 pm Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Capital City Steelers scored once in the first period and that turned out to be enough as Capital City (Raleigh, N.C.) and the Suffolk Steelers met in a defensive slugfest in the mud Saturday evening at King’s Fork High School in a Pop Warner midget (ages 11-15) group playoff game.

The showers had completely passed by the time the two Steeler sides met in the first round, regional playoff game, but the field was still a mess thanks to the rain and three games on Saturday on the field prior to the Steeler matchup being the day’s finale.

Suffolk’s Steelers managed only one first down of offense on the day as the combination of Capital City’s physical play and the conditions caused many slips and fumbles.

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Suffolk’s defense did the same for most of the day against Capital City as well, but one Capital City drive turned out to be the difference.

Setting up after the opening kickoff on their own 35, Capital City patiently and physically ran the ball down the field on a 17-play, 65-yard, 9-plus-minute drive. Every play was on the ground, and most of the plays were smashmouth plays between the tackles. Capital City punched it in on a 1-yard sneak and converted a 2-point kick (in Pop Warner football, kicking an extra point is two points and a traditional “two-point conversion” is good for a point).

With a three-and-out, then a lost fumble on the first snap of Suffolk’s second possession of the game, then the half running out after a couple plays on Suffolk’s third possession, Suffolk ran only a handful of plays in the first half.

As would be the case for the rest of the evening, the Suffolk defense played hard and gave its team plenty of chances to get back in the game.

Aaron Green recovered a Capital City fumble in the second period to stop what was turning into another steady Capital City drive.

In the final few minutes of the game, Suffolk had two chances to get a tying score.

Thanks to a 15-yard penalty on Capital City, Suffolk got a first down near midfield. Two plays later DeQuan Fofana threw an interception.

On the first snap of the Capital City possession, Capital City fumbled the snap and Justin Hunter hung on to the ball at the bottom of a big pile, giving Suffolk the ball at the Capital City 29 with 1:45 left.

Suffolk couldn’t take advantage of the big break though and Capital City, as it had done all game long, held Suffolk on downs.

The Suffolk Steelers finish the season 6-1 and with their second straight divisional championship in the Southeastern Virginia Pop Warner Conference.