Falcons soar past Saints in Super Bowl
monica simpson | sun
The Slims Place Falcons captured the Super Bowl title after a
tough battle Wednesday night.
18 & UP Adult Co-Ed Flag Football Super Bowl – March 18
#1 Slims Place Falcons 33
#2 Saints 20
The final two games of the Anna Maria Island Community Center adult co-dd flag football season came to an end last week with the battle between both leagues’ top two finishers. The number one and number two seed teams in the 18 and up and 30 and over adult leagues put their game faces on and fought it out on the gridiron for the last time in the winter sports season at the Center.
On Wednesday night in a close match-up, quarterback Jonathan Moss and the Saints squared off against the number one seed Slims Place Falcons. The Saints were not able to gain a first down on their first possession in part due to the pressure placed on Moss by Max Gazzo for the Falcons.
Quarterback Don Purvis found Ray Gardner on two consecutive plays, taking the football one yard short of the first down for the Falcons. Throwing an incomplete pass short to Joey Carder, the Falcons turned the ball over on downs.
Despite the slow start by both teams, the Saints soon shook the nerves and scored the first touchdown of the evening. Combining a free option run by Moss, which took the ball close to midfield, and a complete pass to Dustin Swain, the Saints gained first down yardage. On a short pitch from Moss to Matt Morgan, Morgan was able to find Moss for the touchdown, taking the score to 0-6 for the Saints. Going for one point, Moss was sacked by Gazzo.
After the Saints touchdown, the one-two combination of Purvis and Gardner electrified the field. With the second snap from center, Falcons’ Purvis quickly pitched to the football to Gardner who threw it to Purvis for a first down. On a critical third down play, Gardner with lightning speed hit back of the end zone where Purvis found him for the touchdown, tying the score 6-6. On the point after, Gardner lofted one to Eric Gledhill, advancing the score to 7-6.
The ladies on both of the teams would not be overlooked. Moss threw to Taryn Morgan for long yardage just five yards short of the first down line for the Saints. M. Morgan was the next target who was able to get the first down just before the flag pull of Gledhill. With the option to run or pass, M. Morgan hit wide receiver Dustin Swain in the end zone for the second Saints’ touch down. The Saints’ failed attempt for the extra point to Jesse Skipper, with two minutes left in the first half of play, put the score to 7-12.
Dina Calvary caught the pass from Purvis and continued to gain good yardage before T. Morgan made the stop. After reoccurring injury, Purvis turned to the arm of Gardner, who threw to Gledhill for first down and a 20-yard gain. Gardner pulled the trigger once more, launching the ball to Calvary in end zone with 47.6 seconds left in the first. Going for one point, Purvis threw to Gardner, who was not looking for the ball, to take the score to 13-12.
Saints were not able to score, capping the end of the half with Moss getting sacked by Gardner.
The Falcons took possession of the ball to start the second half with a quick runs by Gardner. After gaining the first down, Calvary caught a pass from Gardner for good yardage close to the end zone. For the fourth touchdown of the night for the Falcons, the Saints left Gledhill alone in the end zone. With Moss on his back, Gardner threw the ball past T. Morgan to Calvary for the point after elevating the score to 19-12. A two-point conversion elevated the score to 21-12.
Seeing victory in their grasp, Moss for the Saints threw an interception to Gardner on the first play of the series. Gardner crashed midfield, giving the Falcons three more attempts for the touch down. Once again, Purvis quickly gave the ball to Gardner behind the line of scrimmage to find his go to receiver Calvary for another Falcons score. Purvis was able to throw the ball over the heads of Saints defenders to the hands of Gledhill for the point after. The Saints had to march back to close the 27-12 point gap.
Out of the huddle, Moss went to T. Morgan while being pressured by Falcons’ rusher Gazzo. Moss relied on the quick legs of Swain, who ran past first down line. M. Morgan caught the pass from Moss, taking the score to 27-20, with the extra point.
After gaining the first down, at the two-minute warning, the Falcons had the ball on third down. Gardner charged the field and was called for diving into the end zone giving the Saints possession of the ball.
Gardner gained redemption on the controversial penalty call by tipping up the pass by Moss near the end zone. Gardner caught the tipped pass and glided into the end zone for six more points for the Falcons. On the extra point effort, after a fake handoff to Gardner, Purvis threw to Jeff Walker in the end zone but he could not quite get to the ball, leaving the score at 33-20.
In an effort to make the most of the time left on the clock, the Saints marched down the field one last time. Smart play by M. Morgan allowed the Saints to gain good yardage and stop the clock. With less than two minutes left in the game, Calvary made a diving stop to pull Swain’s flag after a short reception. M. Morgan, weaving in and out of defenders to get one yard from the touchdown, before Gardner ended the play. In the last play of the game, consistent with the theme of the game, Gardner batted down the ball in the end zone in front of the intended receiver, ending the Saints hopes of a Super Bowl victory.