By Alfonso Rivera Jr.
The Birmingham Patriots are now the three-time defending City Open Division Kings. On Saturday evening November 26th at LA Valley College, they showed why.
They were seeded 7th in the playoff bracket. The way they performed in the post season, one must feel that they felt disrespected and turned the slight into motivation. In the quarterfinals they eliminated the #2 seed Venice Gondoliers in an epic battle that went into double overtime, 28-27. They then proceeded to demolish the third seeded Banning Pilots, 42-7.
The culmination of their season was a convincing domination of the four seed Garfield Bulldogs in the championship contest. The Patriots were crowned for the third straight year after handling the Bulldogs, 49-13.
Birmingham came out like a cannon and scored on their first five possessions and went into the half up 35-0 in a near flawless display of football. Senior Running Back Naiim Morgan led the stampede with 16 carries and 292 yards on the ground along with 4 touchdowns. Freshman RB Ronnell Hewitt and Senior WR Ace Acosta also ran in a score to aid in the contributions. The other visit to the end zone came
compliments of sophomore QB Kingston Tisdell who hit junior all-purpose standout Peyton Waters on a quick slant. Waters then exploded for a 70-yard touchdown exhibit of speed and “YAC”, yards after the catch. Junior Kicker Jacy Oliva was a perfect 7 for 7 on his PAT attempts.
Junior RB Damian Cornejo accounted for both Bulldog scores on two touchdown runs of 1 and 16 yards.
With the victory the Patriots have now won 27 games in a row versus city opponents. They have not encountered defeat since a 2018 loss to the Gauchos of Narbonne from Harbor City.
The team hailing from East Los Angeles will return its core of starters and look to bounce back and redeem themselves next season to put an end to the Birmingham reign.
The Patriots end the regular season with a record of 9-4 and have qualified for next week’s CIF Bowl Championships. The Bulldogs finished 10-3.
East Side Media