Exeter Pop Warner seniors win first championship

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Exeter Pop Warner cap  off 10-1 season by claiming the trophy at the D-II championship

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

EXETER – Steve Lentz understands the old adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try again. As head coach of Exeter’s Junior team, he led them to back-to-back championship appearances. He made the move to become the head coach of the senior team, and once again found themselves competing for a championship. This time the script was rewritten as the Monarchs won the Division II Pop Warner title 23-22 over the Farmersville Aztecs.

“It is a relief,” Lentz said. “This is the third time we’ve been in this situation as a staff, and team. I’m almost speechless.”
It was the second time the Monarchs had faced the Aztecs this season. The Monarchs handed the Aztecs their only second loss of the season 30-25 in week eight.

In the first half the game more resembled a couple prized boxers punching and counter-punching each other. The Monarchs struck first when Adian Robinson snagged a jump ball for a 40-yard touchdown. After the Aztecs found the end zone on their second drive Matthew Howell gave the lead back to Exeter on a 30-yard touchdown run.

“It was one of the toughest games we’ve played all season,” Lentz said.

The end the first half held one of the rarest scoring occurrences with back-to-back kickoff returns. Farmersville took the ensuing return 80 yards to tie up the score at 16-16. Exeter’s Jayce Evans took the following return 60 yards as time ran out and made the score 23-16.

Contrary to the five scores in the first half, the second saw only one. It was by Farmersville when their quarterback darted 40 yards for the touchdown. Exeter’s win came down to a missed extra point.

“Sometimes there is some luck in success,” Lentz said.

Exeter’s playoff run to the title began with an opening round bye as they earned the top seed and a 50-20 win over Hanford Grey. That was after they averaged 31 points in eight games this regular season.

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