On Sunday, the field built for the super fast and freakishly strong was the sight for something different as the little giants took the field in the 32nd Annual Cleveland Park Commission East-West All-Star Tackle Football Classic.
This contest culminates the park commission's football season each year and highlights the best 10-12-year old talent from each side of the city.
This year, the trophy was won by the Eastside team who beat the Westside squad 14-0 in a game that was a defensive struggle.
The Eastside Most Valuable Player was Desmon Williams and the Westside Most Valuable Player was Javarione Kelly.
The Eastside offense wasted no time getting on the board as Fred Watson, Jr. completed a 50-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel Russell with 7:03 remaining in the first quarter. The kick after attempt failed, but the Eastside All-Stars led the contest 6-0.
After the initial score, the game turned into a defensive battle with both teams coming up with big stops.
The Westside and Eastside defenses did a great job controlling the line of scrimmage and keeping the game tight as the game went to halftime locked at 6-0.
In the fourth quarter, a series of great defensive stands by the Westside was on display. The Westside held serve on fourth-and-goal from the nine-yard line to get the ball back from the Eastside.
The Westside offense could not get anything going and punted the ball back to the Eastside.
The Eastside put together a couple of good plays, but on a run play, Kelly came up with a strip fumble to give the ball back to the Westside.
Unfortunately for the Westside, the offense just couldn't muster anything and turned the ball over on downs.
This time the Eastside offense took advantage and on fourth down, Watson, Jr. found Russell again for a 21-yard touchdown pass with 3:39 left in the game. Jamari Griffin added the two-point kick for a 14-0 lead, which would be the final score as the Westside was unable to mount a comeback.
The Eastside coaching staff included: Head Coach Brandon Tucker and assistants: Steve Haywood, James Standifer and Robert Byrd and Kelvin Williams, Sr.
The Westside coaching staff included: Head Coach Reginald Peterson and assistants: Semaj Williams, Chris Hall, Patrick Weeks and Trillium Coleman, Sr.
Eastside now leads the all-time series 25-7.