Warriors Pee Wee team falls short in football showcase

New Egypt’s Pee Wee football team staged a determined comeback before falling short to the Valerico Rams of South Florida, 28-24, in a Dec. 8 Pop Warner Division II showcase at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney Resort near Orlando, Florida.

Marcus Hicks scored his third touchdown of the game on a 25-yard run and Jack Kudrick kicked the two-point conversion for a 24-21 New Egypt lead with 5:30 left. The Valerico Rams vaulted back into the lead, 28-24, with 1:30 left when their receiver wrestled the ball away from a New Egypt defender in the end zone to complete a 30-yard pass play, and the Rams then ran in the one-point conversion.

“We were there all day on their pass plays. We played a great football game against the No. 2 football team in Florida,” coach Larry Peslak said. “The competition was unbelievable — much better than last year when this group played in Florida as Junior Pee Wees. I’m happy with their performance. It was one of the greatest Pop Warner games I’ve witnessed.”

In the opener of its two-game showcase Dec. 5, New Egypt lost, 35-14, to the Chesterton Trojans.

Valerico struck first for a 7-0 lead before New Egypt vaulted ahead, 8-7, when Hicks ran 8 yards for a touchdown and Kudrick kicked the conversion for an 8-7 lead. Adam Harris and Kudrick had key rushing yardage in the six-play, 60-yard drive. Valerico scored twice on short yardage runs in the second quarter for a 21-8 lead.

Luke Peslak stripped the ball from a Valerico ball-carrier and fell on the fumble, and Hicks scored moments later on a sweep to the right. Kudrick kicked the conversion to pull the Warriors to 21-16 at halftime.

Joe Laezza had a 30-yard touchdown run for the Warriors in the third quarter called back by a holding penalty before Hicks later pulled New Egypt into its short-lived lead in the fourth quarter.

Linebackers Jake McGhee and Laezza led New Egypt’s defense.