The Science Hill junior scored 24 unanswered points and defeated Volunteer’s Riley Littleton 24-16 in the championship of the Northeast Tennessee Madden 20 high school football tournament Tuesday.
For winning the tournament, Gerarde got to pick a charity for donations. He chose Tri-City Local Firefighters Association. Anyone wishing to make a donation on Gerarde’s behalf can send it to: Tri-City Local Firefighters Association, 405 E. Market St., Suite 2, Johnson City, TN 37601.
Gerarde, who used the Seattle Seahawks in the final, didn’t panic when facing a 16-0 deficit late in the second quarter. He stayed patient and scored with just four seconds left before halftime on pass from Russell Wilson to David Moore.
“I knew if I got frustrated and just started throwing up balls I would have lost,” he said.
Littleton struck first with a pair of first-quarter touchdowns and added a field goal late in the second quarter. He said he thought he had a chance to run away with it.
“I had just been running what I normally do on offense and defense, and then he was able to shut it down,” said Littleton, who defeated Daniel Boone’s Ashton Church and Dobyns-Bennett’s Phillip Armitage to reach the title game.
Gerarde, who defeated Sullivan South’s Tryzden Cook and David Crockett’s Prince Kollie to reach the final, came up with a stop. He then put another score on the board to make it 16-14.
Early in the fourth quarter, a short field goal gave Gerarde a 17-16 advantage.
Following an interception, he tacked on another score and sealed the win with another defensive stop.
“At the start I wanted to be aggressive and blitz, but once I stopped the coverage got better,” Gerarde said.
Gerarde said he enjoyed playing.
“The tournament was very fun,” he said. “I like how I got to play people from other schools.”
Littleton said he feels like he played well in the tournament.
“The championship game wasn’t too good, but every other game I felt like I did good,” he said.