2014 NUC Texas vs. the World
Duncanville, Texas- Over 80 participants from 21 states took part in the inaugural Texas vs. the World Football Classic this past Sunday. The game pitted some of the best youth football stars from the Lone Star State versus all-stars from the rest of the country. When the dust cleared Team Texas was able to walk out with distinction nipping Team World 14-6.
In the first quarter Team World dominated the field position battle but could not score thanks in part to stellar defensive plays by defensive end Desonio Powell .
Team Texas would finally get some serious offensive output from running back Brock Sturges on a 30-yard catch and run to the World 17-yardline. Two plays later Sam Vrana would hit Kit Connelly on a 17-yard strike in the back left corner of the end zone. Vrana would then hook up with Collin Lundgren on the two-point try giving Texas a 8-0 lead with just 30 seconds left in the quarter.
Texas was also aided offensively by several good punt returns by the speedy Damarcus Crockett.
The only thing keeping Team World in the game was defensive standout John Bailey Gullatt; who seemed to be all over the field recording tackles like a machine.
Team Texas would again penetrate deep into Team World territory after a 26-yard completion from Cedarious Barfield to Connelly. A few plays later Barfield would then find Logan Rayburn over the middle for the second score of the game. After a missed two-point conversion Team Texas held a commanding 14-0 lead with 4:17 left in the half.
The World then put their most productive drive of the first half together using the legs of athletic signal caller Isaiah Wilson and two-way star Gullatt. But the drive would stall as Texas linebacker Carter Smith recorded a huge TFL on third and short. On the very next play Smith then picked off a fourth down pass returning it 50-yards deep into Team World's side of the field.
But the opportunity to put the game out of reach ended with 21 seconds left in the half as Evan Rice picked off a Texas desperation pass.
The third quarter ended up being a battle of linebackers as Smith (Texas) and Gullatt (World) traded big plays on defense. Smith would also keep Team World in their end of the field with a 50-yard punt.
Just when the tide looked to be turning Sturges picked up a fumbled punt off the foot of Smith. On the very next defensive possession Sturges would then pick of an errant pass with just 9:22 left in the contest.
With time running out Team world forced a much needed turnover as defensive end AJ Parra recovered a fumble at the World 35-yardline.
Team World would again rely on the legs of signal caller Wilson as he ripped off three runs of over six yards. He then went to the air finding Kordell Simmons on gains of 15 and 12 yards putting Team World on the 4-yard line with 3:28 left in the game. On the very next play Wilson would call his own number giving the World its first score of the game closing the gap to 14-6.
But that would be the last time Team World would touch the ball.
For Team World Gullatt would be named Defensive MVP and Wilson Offensive MVP.
For Team Texas Sturges would earn Overall Game MVP. While teammates Crockett and Smith were named Offensive and Defensive MVP's respectively.
Some Stats and other Standouts
JB Gullatt, LB/FB- 11 tackles, four TFL's and 28 yards rushing
Cameren Lowery, DL- six tackles and two TFL's
AJ Parra, DE- Four tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery
Kordell Simmons, ATH- three catches for 37 yards
Isaiah Wilson, QB- 62 yards rushing and one TD; 27 yards passing
Kit Connelly, WR- two catches for 33 yards and one score
Damarcus Crockett, ATH- three tackles, one PBU, two catches for 16 yards, three carries 12 yards and two punt returns for 45 yards
Desonio Powell, DE- five tackles and 2-1/2 TFL's
Carter Smith, LB- six tackles, one TFL, one INT, three punts for over 150 yards
Brock Sturges, ATH- two tackles, one fumble recovery, one INT, five catches for 48 yards and two carries for 14 yards
Robert Tolbert, IV, LB- six tackles and one TFL