Paul scores three touchdowns to lead Bama to SCPRD 10U Championship
Published 8:29 pm Saturday, October 23, 2021
AMERICUS – 10U Alabama Crimson Tide running back Malik Paul scored three rushing touchdowns, including the winning score in overtime, to lead the 10U Crimson Tide to a 19-13 overtime victory over the 10U Georgia Bulldogs to capture the Sumter County Parks and Recreation 10U Youth Football Championship on Saturday, October 23, at Alton Shell Stadium.
For Alabama Head Coach Jonathan Gooden, winning the championship was the reward for the hard work that he, his coaching staff and his players have put in over the last couple of months. According to Gooden, that hard work that his players put in to get to where they are has also taught them some valuable lessons that they can carry on for the rest of their lives.
“It means everything. When you can build from Day 1 and show the kids what hard work is about, show them what it means to actually work and get something, that’s the special part about it, not just the winning of the championship, but the day-by day-by-day grind,” Gooden said. “The mess ups, the good times and the bad times: That’s what it’s all about.”
With a little under seven minutes left in the first quarter, Paul scored the first of his three touchdowns when he broke towards the left side of the Bulldogs’ defense and scampered 80 yards for a touchdown. The extra point try was no good (They don’t kick field goals at this level), but Bama had a 6-0 lead.
However, the Bulldogs responded when quarterback Chastain Green ran the ball on a quarterback keeper and was stopped just shy of the goal line by a touchdown-saving tackle by Bama’s Elijah Fuller. Asher Bishop would later score a rushing touchdown to tie the game at 6-6.
Later on in the game, Georgia took the lead when running back Jaylen Dice scored a rushing touchdown from 26 yards out. This time, the extra point was good and the Bulldogs had a 13-6 lead.
However, Bama responded when Paul scored the second of his three rushing touchdowns in the second half. He was also able to score the extra point and tie the game at 13-13 with 2:50 to go in regulation.
Neither team could score the deciding touchdown in regulation and the championship would have to be decided in overtime. However, it would not take long to decide a winner, as Paul would end up giving the Crimson Tide the 10U Championship by scoring his third touchdown of the day from just a few yards out.