Darnell Jenkins last stepped on an NFL field nearly a decade ago, but football remains a part of his life. During the American Flag Football League quarterfinals, the one-time Houston Texans wide receiver helped spark a 27-8 rout that put his team one step closer the Ultimate Final in Houston later this month.
On Sunday, Jenkins led team Code Red in receiving, hauling in four balls for 89 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback, Mike DeMarteleire, also delivered a standout performance, completed 19 of his 25 passes for 266 yards and three scores. That offensive production dwarfed that of team Mean Machine, which reached the end zone only once, Christopher Hughes' 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown. The victory allows Jenkins and his teammates to advance on to the next round and remain around the game of football.
Jenkins' life in football dates back to the early 2000s when he played offense and defense for Miami Central High School. Like many of the best players in Miami-Dade County, he stayed home for college, attending the University of Miami. There, he became a fixture on offense and special teams while sharing the field with future NFL stars Greg Olsen, Devin Hester and Frank Gore. Jenkins later played parts of two seasons with the Texans and also spent time on the practice squads of the Cleveland Browns, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and New England Patriots.
In Sunday's other quarterfinal matchup, the Money Team delivered a 20-6 victory over Chuck's Money, advancing to the semifinal round next weekend. Each team in the tournament has the chance to play a squad of former pros in Houston on July 19. That pro team will emerge from a tournament that kicks off in a week. The winner of the pro vs. amateur contest will receive $1 million.