Calvert Survives Early Deficit To Claim Championship

With the ball cocked behind his head, Calvert House Darius Johnson attempts a pass in the 5th-6th grade Flag Football Championship at The Avalon School on December 6, 2012, in Gaithersburg, Md.

With the ball cocked behind his head, Calvert House quarterback Darius Johnson attempts a pass in the 5th-6th grade Flag Football Championship at The Avalon School on December 6, 2012, in Gaithersburg, Md.

Calvert House quarterback Darius Johnson intercepted a pass and threw the game winning touchdown in overtime for a 42-35 victory over Carroll House in the 5th/6th grade Flag Football Championship game.

“Carroll played a better game but Calvert had [Johnson],” said Carroll fifth grader Liam Tobin.

Johnson proved decisive as a Quarterback as well as a safety while he pushed Calvert to victory, despite an early Carroll lead.

On the first play in overtime, Johnson intercepted Carroll quarterback Josh Cotting in the end zone.  Cotting’s pass was intended for sixth grader Paolo Stohlman.

On the very next play, Johnson threw a half field bomb into the end zone to receiver Michael Egan for the game winning touchdown.  Egan managed to catch the ball despite double coverage by the Carroll defense.

“[Stohlman] was looking away, [Egan] had two people guarding him but turned around at the right time,” said Johnson.

Johnson’s heroics weren’t limited to overtime and earlier in the game he tied the score at the end of regulation by running two-thirds of the field for a touchdown.

Carroll House fifth grader Riley Smith extends his left leg to stabilize himself after a jump as he completes an  intercepted pass during the Flag Football Championship game on December 6, 2012, at The Avalon School in Gaithersburg, Md.

Carroll House fifth grader Riley Smith extends his left leg to stabilize himself after a jump as he completes an intercepted pass during the Flag Football Championship game on December 6, 2012, at The Avalon School in Gaithersburg, Md.

“[Johnson] did really well,” said Calvert wide receiver John Collins.  “But Riley Smith was a good match for him.”

Smith, a Carroll fifth grader, managed  three interceptions in the game’s opening possessions.  Two of his picks were run back for touchdowns as Carroll jumped out to a 21-0 lead.

Offensively, Carroll seemed unstoppable in the first half as they marched down the field with short 5-10 yard passes followed by short runs.   The strategy kept Calvert’s defense off balance.

However, Calvert’s defense began to clamp down when Carroll changed their game plan from short passes to bombs on every play.

Then, Egan ran a punt back to slice the lead to 28-21 and Calvert knew they had a chance to win.

After Carroll failed to run out the clock, Calvert managed to tie the game at 35 when Johnson ran back a punt at the end of regulation.

“I have to give credit to Calvert,” said Duffy. “Their persistence paid off.  It was hard fought and nobody gave up.”

Check out pictures from last week’s 5th/6th grade Flag Football Championship game!

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