Kevin Neang caught a 64 yard touchdown pass up the left side of the field to win the MLK Jr Holiday Tournament, and seal himself as the back-to-back Most Valuable Player.
“Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t just fighting for the rights of Black people; he was fighting for the rights of all people,” Neang said as all the players and game officials enjoyed sodas and snacks at the conclusion of the game.
This was Neang’s second win and his second MVP award as well.
Four teams consisting of five players each played in the Fast Track Passing League, Double Elimination tournament.
After the recent rains in California, the sun was out and the weather perfect, however, the field was a muddy mess.
Even with the terrible footing, there was some big plays on the day that were worthy of the spirit behind the tournament.
Players representing several Asian countries and South Pacific Islands took part in the tournament in honor of their heritages as well as to pay homage to the struggles of equality for all people in America and around the globe.
“This was a game, but much bigger than just a game,” said one player during the game. “This was about giving people a chance who don’t normally play football. It was about unity and recognizing a great man. It was about recognizing the greatness within ourselves as well.”
The All-Madden flag foot- ball 2018 season kick off with a scheduling conflict. When the outside team didn’t come in, the game turned into an All-Madden offense verses defense scrimmage. The offense scored six touchdowns — the defense had two interceptions and three sacks.
Once the many geese that claim San Quentin’s field were temporarily evicted and their droppings swept up, the ailing field was ready for testing. In anticipation, a wide variety of San Quentin residents, both young and old, crowed the sidelines.
Head referee James Ben- son was assisted by Aaron “Showtime” Taylor, T. Slaughter, and Wayne Mobley. The event involved the offensive testing its play- book against defensive alignments. The only way the defense could score would be to run back an interception.
Head Coach Royce Rose controlled the defense while Assistant Head Coach Dwight Kennedy directed the offense. Assistant Coach Ray Walker aided both coaches.
Multi-sports athlete Bran- don Riddle-Terrell manned the quarterback position. On the sixth play, he turned what appeared to be a busted play into a 37-yard touchdown run.
All-Madden’s defense stepped up five plays later when free safety Johnny Lee intercepted a Riddle-Terrell pass, returning it 18 yards.
With the offensive line of Jack Benford, Gary McDonald and Timothy Parker providing adequate protection, Riddle-Terrell went nuts, taking the offense on four consecutive scoring drives:
39 yard pass to D. Nickolson — touchdown
23 yard pass to Dontay Turner — touchdown
9 yard pass to D. Nickolson — touchdown
31 yard pass to Joseph Banuelso — touchdown
Either the defense was tired of getting scored on or perhaps the QB’s arm was sore. Shortly after the scoring barrage, linebacker Jaime Luis intercepted a Riddle-Terrell pass in the end zone.
The defense also consisted of Tyrrell. Price Sr., Hassan Halfin, Johnny Lee, Tadashi Sayers, Victor Veliz, Maurice Shillings, and Vincent Wilson.
Riddle-Terrell redeemed himself with a final touchdown pass for 11 yards that connected with Demetric Taylor in the back of the end zone.
The All-Madden running attack had limited success. Tailback Walter Cook had two nice runs, but all scores came via the pass except the one Riddle-Terrell took to the house. The last play of the scrimmage came when free-safety Johnny Lee, broke-up a likely touchdown pass in the end zone.
The scrimmage ended with smiles and high fives as both offense and defense felt ready for the upcoming competition.