Tyler Ferguson was one of the top quarterbacks at the Passing Down NorCal Regional in San Ramon in February. But finishing in second place in San Ramon wasn’t good enough for him and Team Bakersfield Burr.
The Burr went 2-1 in pool play on Saturday losing by one, 17-16, to Big Picture Athletics that finished atop the playoff bracket with a 3-0 record in pool play. The two teams met up again in the semifinals with the Burr winning by one.
In the title game, it was classic duel between the top two performing quarterbacks at the event. They met in the first game of pool play, which the Burr won 16-8, but Myles Carr was just warming up. His SVG All-Star team was put together just days before the tournament and played for the first time on Saturday. For the next four games, all wins, Carr was fluid, consistently hitting his receivers.
Travis Talianko was his top receiver, while B.J. Nard was Ferguson’s top target. But defense, in the end, was the difference as both teams scored within the first seven minutes of the contest. Ferguson led the Burr down the field on its first drive for a touchdown and subsequent two-point conversion. After Carr’s touchdown pass made it 8-6, the Burr’s defense denied the tying two-point try and held the rest of the game. Defensive backs Shannon Edwards and Chris Hannible were stalwarts for the Burr.
“I couldn’t have won MVP without my defense,” said Ferguson, who holds an offer from San Jose State.
Ferguson is flying under the radar after playing his first varsity season last year for Bakersfield (Calif.) Ridgeview. He held his own earlier this month at the L.A. Nike Football Training Camp at USC. He will have another opportunity to impress next month at the Elite 11 Regional Camp in Berkeley.
The SGV All-Stars beat unbeaten 4th Quarter All-Stars in the semifinals in a matchup of familiar players. Carr and many of his SGV teammates are part of the 4th Quarter All-Stars team, however, Carr received a separate invitation to the Passing Down event prior to 4th Quarter’s invitation. The teams jarred back and forth throughout their game, but SGV prevailed by two touchdowns.
All four semifinalists received automatic invites to the Passing Down Best in the West Tournament on July 8 and 9 in Fresno. The Burr, however, earned an auto bid in San Ramon. Therefore, Passing Down awarded Pride N Skills, the quarterfinalist with the most points in quarterfinal round, an auto bid as well.
Despite starting 0-3, Pride N Skills came alive in the playoffs blowing by the Football Factory Group en route to a thrilling matchup with Big Picture Athletics. A quarterback change was the key for Pride N Skills, switching to freshman Louise Soto, who led them to a 19-19 tie in regulation against BPA.
In overtime, Soto hit USC commit Darreus Rogers for a substantial gain. Pride N Skills appeared to have pulled the upset as the rules in the extra period award a point to the team with longest pass completion. But BPA quarterback Paul Avila answered, hitting wide receiver Elias Stokes, who made a ridiculous catch in traffic holding onto the ball while being draped by three defenders. The pass-catch broke the hearts of Pride N Skills outgaining them by just a couple yards.
Big Man Challenge
It was no contest on Saturday as Team Kornfed dominated the competition. Led by 6-foot-8 Ramona (Calif.) offensive tackle Kwayde Miller, they were men among boys. Center Eric Box and tackle Preston Johnson were equally as impressive as Miller was in the bench press, tire flip, and relay portion. But Miller set himself apart in 1-on-1s. He has incredible feet for a lineman his size, and when he lined up at d-end, he showed his quickness.
Miller holds offers from San Diego State and Wisconsin.
The Kornfed boys set the bar as they qualified for the Passing Down Elite Linemen Challenge finals in Fresno also on July 8 and 9. Team Palmdale with Eric Rodriguez, William Navvaro, and Tomasi Laulile and Team Big Picture Athletics with Randy Ford, Andrew Chen, Cody Hunstead also qualified.
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