Giants complete undefeated run in Little Brothers

Photo by Barry Taglieber The Giants' Ryan Shepard (21) gains good yardage during "Super Sunday" Little Brothers football championship game while the Packers' Desmond Johnson (21) and Jeremiah Baker (19) close in for tackle.

CHARLESTOWN - The Giants completed a perfect season of football with a 26-7 victory over the Packers in the “Super Sunday” championship game at Charlestown Park on Veterans Day Nov. 11.

Ryan Shepard scored three touchdowns on runs of eight, nine and seven yards to pace the Giants (11-0), who held a 19-7 halftime lead. The Packers (8-4) were ahead 7-6 late in the first period, but the Giants shut them out the remainder of the contest while adding three more touchdowns themselves.

Shepard rushed for 73 yards on 12 carries while Tim Youndt topped the Giants with 105 yards on 10 attempts. Nate Smith ran twice for 11 yards with 9-year-old Dylan Pannella directing the offense at the quarterback position. The Giants totaled 189 yards rushing on 25 carries.

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Pannella also threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Youndt. Pannella was 2-for-4 in passing for 68 yards with Youndt making both receptions. Shepard also attempted one pass.

Head coach Rick Gyuris Jr. guided the Giants with help from assistant coaches Ron Van Horn, Dave Mitchell and Ken Rayser.

“In the backfield, we had the three-headed monster,” said Gyuris. “This team is so special. The older boys brought the younger boys along. We had no superstars, just a good team.”

The Packers also showed great strides this year under head coach Rob Ferko, Jr.,, a second-year coach.

“They (Packers) came a long way,” said Ferko. “We finished last last year and won one game and made it to the championship game the next year.”

The Giants’ experience paid dividends throughout the season as the veteran running backs followed the blocking of the linemen up front.

“We had three 11-year-olds who have been with us for four years,” said Gyuris. “You have that and they grow together like that. And we had a good young quarterback in Pannella. We had a good line and a good defense.”

Solid inside linebacker play by 10-year-olds Jack Pizor and Anthony Stevenson helped spark the defense. Stevenson made five tackles, including one for loss. Pizor made three tackles.

Alex Haefner made six tackles with three for losses. Shepard had four tackles with one for loss and Ben Gyuris, Rick Jr.’s son, had four hits. Youndt, Pannella, Smith and Robbie Edney each had two tackles. Mitchell Evasew received prasie for crossblocks in the line. The Giants also got contributions from 7-year-old Dylan Hampton.

The Packers’ Jeremiah Baker tallied on a 57-yard jaunt and Mason Brill ran for the point after.Shepard scored on a run around the left side on the final play of the first quarter for a 12-7 lead.

Shepard hit the left side again with 1:08 left in the second quarter, and Youndt ran for the conversion and a 19-7 pad at halftime.

The Giants scored on their first series of the third quarter as Pannella hit Youndt down the right side for the score. Smith ran for the point after and a 26-7 lead.

Baker finished with 49 yards rushing on two tries while Trey DAvis ran 12 times for 17 yards. Brill ran once for five yards and the Giants’ defense kept Josh Vinson and Desmond Johnson in check. The Giants attempted 28 rushes and netted 56 yards.

Brill was 1-for-2 in passing for 12 yards to Baker.

Johnson led the defense with seven tackles while Davis and Vinson each made five and Brill had four. Baker had three hits, Zahaire Savage two, Tristan Johnson two and Sean Aiman, Emmett Aiman and Preston Brindle one each.

Steve Pannella of the Norristown Chapter of Officials presented the inaugural Little Brothers Sportsmanship Awards to Owen Westerfer of the Packers and Alex Haefner of the Giants.