A golden season for Long Beach football came to an end on Monday as the Patriots 11U team brought home the Snoop Dogg Super Bowl XVI title in a dominant win over Baldwin Hills. The game was played under the bright lights at SoFi Stadium, home to the Rams and Chargers, and the Patriots looked ready for primetime in a 25-6 victory.
“This means a lot for these kids,” said Patriots coach Prentice Jones. “For them to put their trust in us, then we go undefeated and come and win a championship? It means everything to me, because it really is about the kids. Look how happy they are.”
The kids chased Jones down and gave him a Gatorade bath on what was a very chilly night in SoFi Stadium, with the sound of the rain pounding against the roof overhead. Jones said the championship meant even more because it was played in such a big-time venue.
“When we first walked into the stadium, the kids just went crazy,” he said. “That gives them even more motivation and inspiration to come out and execute, being out here on a big stage like this.”
The Patriots were in control from the very start, as their defense held the Bruins to just one first down in the first half. After holding the Bruins to a three-and-out to open the game, they recovered a botched snap on the ensuing punt. That gave the Long Beach team a short porch to work with, and they scored on their first play, a 15-yard pass from QB Theodore Watkins Jr. to Derrick Jackson.
The teams traded punts for a quarter after that, as the Patriots defense continued to stand up against the talented running backs of the Bruins. The defensive front led by Xavier Anderson, Sosene Schuster, and Samuelu Faumuina laid big hits on the ballcarriers and forced five three-and-outs to start the game. Anderson had a pair of sacks, as well.
The Patriots had two long touchdown runs by Jackson called back, but he scored on a fourth and goal reception from Watkins Jr. to make it 13-0 midway through the second quarter. Jackson then posted his third score on a highlight-reel 81-yard touchdown run to make it 19-0 just before halftime.
With the clock running for most of the second half, neither team had much opportunity to do anything, but Watkins Jr. did hit Zion Anderson for a 58-yard touchdown. Watkins Jr. finished 7/10 for 89 yards and three TDs.
The Patriots defense remained in control with an interception by Anderson, as well as strong DB play from Prentice Jones Jr. The Bruins got their only score of the game on the last play, a 26-yard touchdown pass to cap their longest drive of the game, and only the second time reaching Patriots territory.
Jackson was the stat star of the night with six touches for 119 total yards and three touchdowns, plus a pair of long scores called back on holding penalties.
VIDEO: Long Beach Patriots Win Snoop Youth Football Super Bowl