WALLA WALLA - The Napa Auto Parts Cougars capped an undefeated season with a come-from-behind 31-19 victory over the Integrity Design Chiefs here Saturday night at Martin Field in the 2010 Walla Walla Youth Varsity Super Bowl.
"When you see how these kids grow from where we were at in the beginning, it's a great feeling," Cougars' coach Allyn Griffin said. "I've never been a part of a team that came together like we did. It was a complete 100 percent team effort."
The Chiefs opened in upset mode behind the running of Travis Wilbur. Wilbur carried four times for 41 yards, including the last five to pay dirt as the Chiefs drove for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game and a 6-0 lead with 6:26 left in the first.
The Cougars coughed up the football on their opening drive and Taylor Price fell on the lose ball as the Chiefs went back to work from their own 36.
The Cougars held, but the Chiefs took a 6-0 lead after one.
Price fell on another Cougar fumble to open the second period. After Brennan Barberich dropped Wilbur for a 10-yard loss, the Chiefs put together a 68-yard march with Wilbur taking it the last five. Wilbur ran in the conversion and the Chiefs led 13-0 with 3:28 left in the half.
"I ran him (Wilbur) a lot," Chiefs coach Mark Moore said. "It was working."
The Cougars went to a tight backfield and a wedge blocking scheme to get untracked.
The Cougars followed the line blocking up the middle on a 42-yard drive late in the second period. Kaeden Knight followed the wedge to convert a fourth-and-four at the Chief 32 and three plays later Barberich went in from the 11 and the Cougars went to intermission down 13-6.
"We weren't as big and physical as we would've liked to have been to bust a wedge," Moore said. "So it (the wedge) worked against us."
The second half opened with Barberich racing 59 yards with the second-half kickoff to draw the Cougars even at 13-13.
The Chiefs answered as Grayson Gillin took the ensuing kick off 41 yards and Wilbur finished it with a 10-yard TD run for a 19-13 Chiefs lead with 8:00 left in the third quarter.
Austin Olson ran a reverse for four yards and a Cougar first down at the Chief 12 on the last drive of the third. Barberich capped the drive with an 11-yard burst following the wedge up the middle and the game went to the last nine minutes tied at 19-19.
Wilbur was hurt and left the game with five minutes left in the third and did not return until the closing minutes.
"It's a four-quarter game," Moore said of the early lead and the Wilbur injury. "He (Wilbur) got hurt and it took a lot away from us."
Barberich scored on a 25-yard run and iced it with a 41-yard TD run with 4:30 left for an insurmountable 31-19 Cougar lead.
"We made some adjustments at half time and our guys just played their hearts out," Griffin said. "We've run that wedge all year and the kids do a great job. Brennan (Barberich) has done a great job for three years. He plays with his whole heart."
The Chiefs made one last attempt. Gillin passed to Thad Grimm for 27 yards, and Wilbur hit Tyler Sams for 14 as the Chiefs marched to the Cougar seven.
Devante Johnson fell on a Chief fumble at his own three to end the last Chief threat.
The Chiefs finish with just two loses.
"No one expected us to be here," Moore said of his Chiefs. "They expected us to finish sixth or seventh, and here we are. We got winded and they (Cougars) just physically beat us."
The Cougars run the table in winning their second consecutive Super Bowl.
"We wore them (the Chiefs) down," Griffin said. "We hit from the first whistle to the last, and so did they. We can't take anything away from them. Our guys just wanted to win this."
In Saturday morning JV Championship action, the Just Roses Razorbacks defeated the Ninth Street Auto Chiefs 26-19.
The Chiefs' Jayson McKinney ran back the opening kick off 65 yards for an early Chiefs' lead. The Razorbacks answered behind a 50-yard TD run from Javon Handcox.
McKinney scored twice in the second period and Jackson Shumate scored for the Razorbacks to send the Chiefs to intermission up 19-12.
Touchdowns by Handcox and Reagan Bond propelled the Razorbacks to a 26-19 lead after three.
The Razorbacks and Chiefs played to a scoreless stand off in the fourth.
The Razorbacks took the JV Championship with the 26-19 win.
NAPA AUTO PARTS COUGARS 31, INTEGRITY DESIGN CHIEFS 19
Chiefs 6 7 6 0 - 19
Cougars 0 6 13 12 - 31
Chiefs - Wilbur 5 run (Pass failed).
Chiefs - Wilbur 5 run (Wilbur run).
Cougars - Barberich 11 run (Run failed).
Cougars - Barberich 59 kick off return (Barberich run).
Chiefs - Wilbur 10 run (Run failed).
Cougars - Barberich 6 run (Run failed).
Cougars - Barberich 25 run (Run failed).
Cougars - Barberich 41 run (Run failed).