Local Pop Warner team wins in Florida

By Paul Danzer, Columbian community sports reporter

Published:

 

Joseph Siofele scored three touchdowns Tuesday as the Evergreen Bulldogs capped their 2012 Pop Warner football season with a 29-25 win over the Southlake Red Devils of Indiana in a consolation game at the Pop Warner Super Bowl tournament.

The win earned the team from east Vancouver a fifth-place finish in the second division of Pee Wee football for ages 9-12. The Bulldogs are the first team from the state of Washington to qualify for the Pop Warner Super Bowl tournament, which is held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex near Orlando, Fla.

A kickoff return for a touchdown with about 5:30 left in the game put the Bulldogs ahead to stay. According to Bulldogs assistant coach Cameron Cook, Siofele took a handoff from Lincoln Victor on a reversed and dashed about 75 yards down the sideline for the touchdown that put Evergreen ahead 22-19.

The kickoff return came after a touchdown that gave the Indiana team a 19-16 lead late the game.

The Bulldogs defensive line stuffed a Southlake ball carrier for a one-yard loss on a fourth-and-1 play, then Siofele sealed the win with his second touchdown run of more than 50 yards to make the score 29-19 inside the final minute.

The Red Devils returned the next kickoff for a touchdown, but their attempt at an onside kickoff went out of bounds.

Siofele scored Evergreen's first touchdown on a 60-yard run. Matt Gama put the Bulldogs ahead 16-6 by taking a 10-yard pass from Victor 50 yards for Evergreen's second TD. Gama also kicked two extra points, each worth two points in Pop Warner.

Evergreen finished the season 12-1. The Bulldogs lost their quarterfinal game on Saturday to the Loveland (Colo.) Titans, 35-20.

In Tuesday's championship semifinal games, Gilbert/Chandler (Ariz.) beat Loveland 27-6 and will play the Palmetto Bay (Fla.) Broncos in Friday's national championship game.