The North Carroll Titans 13-under football team has completed its third consecutive perfect season in the Carroll County Youth Football and Cheer League. On Nov. 18 at Westminster's Jaycee Park, the Titans closed things out with a bang as they shut out the Winfield Cavaliers 34-0 in the CCYFCL’s 13-under Super Bowl.
The kids finish their youth football careers on a three-year, 32-game winning streak. That includes three consecutive CCYFCL Super Bowl championships. You obviously don't have a record like that without a group of unusually talented players, something coach Roy Collins acknowledges.
“This was a special group of kids,” Collins said. “Their football IQ was high, and they were very coachable kids who learned well. Over six years as a team, they were 51-11.”
He credits a lot of this success to a bevy of assistant coaches who have been with the team the entire time. These include offensive coordinator Bill Sinnott, Tony Vinson, Rob Greer, Jack Carter, and line coach Matt Rollman. Collins was defensive coordinator.
This group coached their team to an 8-0 regular season record and a 10-0 overall mark this year. The Titans' 298 regular season points led the 13-under division, and their 41 points yielded were second lowest.
“Our line play really improved; we had more linemen than last year,” Collins said. “We ran the ball well and had a good ground-and-pound attack. And, the defense was lights out. We totaled 376 points this year and gave up only 47.”
After a 32-7 whipping of Frederick in its season opener, North Carroll handled Winfield 34-14. In Game 3, Olney gave the Titans their roughest game of the entire year before falling 22-20.
But in that game, Olney had the honor of scoring the last point any regular season opponent would get against North Carroll.And perhaps the closeness of that game spurred the Titans players on to better things.
They tomahawked their final five opponents on the schedule by a combined 210-0. Having dominated opponents so completely during the season, their coach probably believed that the most formidable enemy they'd face in the playoffs would be overconfidence.
Drawing a postseason bye, the Titans didn't have to play until the second playoff round on Nov. 11 when they faced Clarksburg. The Howard County-based Coyotes were 4-4 in the regular season and finished fifth in the league.
“We told them you can't be overconfident because anything can happen. I told them to forget that first time when we won 40-0; we had to play them again," Collins had warned.
But happily for him, the game pretty much followed the path of the Titans’ rout of two weeks earlier. They were up 24-0 at halftime and coasted to a 32-7 win.
That brought up the Super Bowl and Winfield. The Cavaliers were third at 6-2 during the regular season. They had played a barn burner of a semifinal playoff game with second place Olney whose only regular season loss had been the close one to North Carroll.
However, the Cavaliers edged Olney 22-20 in their Nov. 11 semifinal clash. Of course Collins’ squad had handled Winfield easily in their earlier match.
But again, he warned his players about the dangers of thinking they had it made before the starting gun. However, he needn't have worried. About the only mistakes the Titans made in the first half were to miss three two-point conversion kicks after their three touchdowns.
A big play occurred just before intermission. Leading only 12-0, North Carroll picked up a fumble and ran it 40 yards for a score, making it 18-0 at halftime. The Titans continued their roll in the second half with two more touchdowns, two conversion kicks and 16 more points.
“We played all over as a team this year,” Collins said. “We had played together so long that even with the additions we made, we continued to play as a team.”
But all of that is now over. The kids have played their last youth football game although many of them will be together again at Manchester Valley High School next fall. A few others move on to private schools.
Collins says he's through with football coaching for now, although he hints that he could come back to it some day. Meanwhile, he has other things on his mind.