With a 20-12 win over the Rosman Tigers in mid-August, the Warhorse Youth Football midget team began a pursuit of perfection . On Nov. 6, at Asheville High School, the Warhorses reached their goal with a 34-32 victory over the Enka Jets in the WNC Youth Football and Cheer midget division Super Bowl.
Delivering the Swannanoa Valley a championship with an 11-0 season, the Warhorses had a complete turnaround from a one-win season in 2015.
Quarterback Jack Jones was the Most Valuable Player against Enka, which also entered the game without a loss. Warhorse head coach Matt Cook said Jones's ability to read the field was one reason he had a stellar game.
"He's also a super athlete," Cook said. "He did a great job running the ball and completing some passes. He had a couple of long touchdown runs as well."
Cook said the Super Bowl was the toughest challenge his team faced this season.
"It was a very intense game," he said. "We were down most of the game and had to come from behind to win. At one point we were down two touchdowns. But our defense came up with a couple of key stops that put us in position to score that last touchdown."
The team of 12- and 13-year-old players put in an "indescribable amount of work" to improve after a tough 2015 season, according to Cook.
"The kids learned how to play physical football last year," he said. "They came back and bought into the system with a sense of what they needed to do to win ball games, and they stuck with it through this season."
The Warhorses averaged 39 points per game through the season while allowing an average of under 14 per contest.
They finished the regular season with best record in the East Division (8-0), earning an opening round home game against Brevard, which the Warhorses won 32-22. The Warhorses traveled to West Henderson to take on Rosman in the second round of the playoffs, qualifying for the Super Bowl with a 40-22 win over the Tigers.