The All Saints Vikings, going for their third straight title, faced off against St. Croix's best, John H. Woodson Junior High, in a junior varsity flag football battle that would go down to the wire Wednesday night on St. Thomas.
The Vikings took a 14-6 lead into the half and got the ball first to begin the third quarter. Jelani Smalls was looking to tack onto the Vikings' lead and was trying to hit the running back on a flare pass but instead found the waiting arms of Woodson's Jose Cirilo, who picked it off and took it the rest of the way for the score.
The two-point conversion was no good, leaving Woodson trailing by two, 14-12.
A few plays later, Smalls redeemed himself, hooking up with teammate Kyu Matthews on a fade route, an Matthews took it all the way to the end zone. The two point conversion was no good, and All Saints now had a 20-12 lead.
But Woodson responded in the next possession as a quarterback keeper by Ronan Sylvester went about 40 yards for the score. But the conversion again came up short, so Woodson trailed again by two, 20-18.
Both teams would trade possessions until later in the fourth, when the Vikings had the ball deep in Woodson's territory and Smalls was back in the shotgun with Matthews standing right next to him. Smalls ran over to wide receiver and acted like he was giving him instructions. All of a sudden, the ball was hiked to Matthews, who found a wide open Smalls in the end zone. The crowd erupted after the trick play, while the players on the All Saints sideline were chest bumping one another, with assistant coach Hugo Hodge Jr. right in the middle of the action.
The two point conversion was no good, and the Vikings now had a 26-18 lead. The Vikings went on to the 32-24 win over Woodson for the territorial championship title, and remained undefeated on the season.
Matthews scored two touchdowns during the game, while Woodson's Cirilo finished with three.
Speaking after the game, Hodge said his team fought "hard all the way" this season.
"No one man is perfect, but together, this team was perfect this season," he said. "They fought all day, they fought all night, and they came up victorious."
Asked about the new trick play, Hodge said it was drawn up the day before in practice. "We ran it once or twice and then did it today, and it worked," he said.
The annual Innovative Turkey Bowl also took place Wednesday, splitting up the St. Thomas-St. John flag football teams into two sides. On the winning team this year were all stars from All Saints, Addelita Cancryn Junior High School and Gifft Hill, who defeated players from Julius Sprauve, Antilles School, Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School and Charlotte Amalie High School 14-8.