BLOOMFIELD, NJ — The Bloomfield Jr. Bengals B football squad (seventh-grade team) won the New Jersey Suburban Youth Football League (NJSYFL) National Division championship on Saturday, Nov. 16, at Foley Field.
After losing in week 4 to Chatham, 20-8, and losing the final regular-season game to Perth Amboy, 13-0, they faced Perth Amboy in the playoffs, winning, 8-0, and getting revenge against Chatham, 28-21, in the Super Bowl championship game.
Chatham came into the championship game at 9-0. But the Bengals made some adjustments to the week 4 match-up, leading 16-14 at the half.
The Jr. Bengals’ speed was too much for Chatham. Jayden Clydesdale had three touchdown runs of 65, 70 and 80 yards, while James Fields added a 70-yard TD in between. The big difference was the point-after kicking of Ryan Broderick. In youth football, to encourage teaching of kicking, the extra point is worth two points. Ryan went 2-for-4 and had been consistently making the PAT all season.
The offensive and defensive lines had a big impact all day, led by Malichi Goodwin, Shane Fernandez, Aidan Rivas, Anthony Pope and Alejandro Valencia, while linebacker Marlon Brown Valencia made several tackles-for-loss plays in big spots.
Late in the game, when the Bengals were ahead, 28-19, Chatham got a safety and received the ball to start a potential game-tying drive on the 50-yard line with 1:49 seconds left. But on third down-and-long, Bengals safety Drew Kaminski intercepted the Chatham pass with 30 seconds left to seal the championship for Bloomfield.
Last year, this group of kids went 0-8, only scoring 14 points all year. It was an amazing turnaround and they worked hard with dedication to finish this year 7-2-1 to become Super Bowl champions!