Three local teams to play for division crownsLake Junaluska to play for WNC Youth Football League termite title, Bethel seeks mite and midget championships
The Lake Junaluska termite and the Bethel mite as well as the Bethel midget youth football teams will get a shot at their respective WNC Youth Football League West Division crown after each team won their second round game this past Saturday, Oct. 26.
The WNCYFL West Division championships will be held Saturday, Nov. 2, as the LJ Warriors play the Asheville Cougars for the termite championship with a 10 a.m. kickoff at the Bethel Middle School football stadium.
Immediately following the conclusion of the termite contest, Bethel plays Asheville in the mite championship (approximately at noon) and in the midget championship (approx. at 2 p.m.) at Bethel Middle.
Each division champions will advance into their respective WNC Youth Football League Super Bowl.
In Saturday’s West Division semifinals at Weatherby Stadium in Waynesville, the Lake Junaluska edged Bethel, 8-6, in the termite game, while the Blue Demons flipped the script in the mite semi, beating the Warriors, 20-14.
In the midget semifinal, Bethel defeated Erwin, 20-14.
West Division Termite Semifinal
Lake Junaluska 8, Bethel 6
Bethel held a 6-0 lead late in the fourth quarter until Lake Junaluska’s defense got a “pick six” and a two-point conversion to take an 8-6 lead.
On the game’s final play, Bethel’s Slade Burnette took a double reverse 69 yards only to be tackled by Lake Junaluska Caden Robinson just inches from the goal line.
West Division Mite Semifinal
Bethel 20, Lake Junaluska 14 (2 OT)
Lake Junaluska took an 8-0 lead in the first quarter when linebacker DeShawn Cullins stripped the ball from a Bethel running back and returned it for a touchdown.
But Bethel immediately answered with a touchdown and conversion to tie the game at eight, which stayed that way through regulation.
In the top of the first overtime period, Cullins scored on a run but the conversion failed to give LJ a 14-8 lead.
In the bottom of the first OT, Bethel’s Cain Early caught a pass for a touchdown from quarterback Jesson Jones. But the Blue Demons failed on the conversion to force a second extra period.
Bethel’s defense stopped LJ on downs just shy of the end zone and Jones gave the Blue Demons the win when he scored on a six-yard quarterback keeper.
West Division Midget Semifinal
Bethel 20, Erwin 14
Bethel led Erwin at the half, 14-8, and stretched its lead to 20-8 late in the third quarter before running out the clock after giving up a late touchdown.