ANNA MARIA – Without both coaches, the 8- to 10-year-olds on the Bins Be Clean and Truly Nolen teams came out ready to play as Will Schenerlein and Frank Agnelli led the players for two halves of flag football.
The game started and ended with bursts of speed from Bins Be Clean’s Guy Daizell down the sidelines in double handoff plays behind the line of scrimmage. Daizell’s first get of the football on the first snap of the game was called back due to a screening penalty by Connor Samblis, but the six points were quickly put on the scoreboard on a repeat of the first play.
Daizell’s speed took him all the way down the field for the first touchdown of the game. Bins Be Clean could not get the point after against a strong Truly Nolen defensive effort in the end zone leaving the score 6-0.
After six snaps and a first down reception by Finnegan Bosner, Truly Nolen gave the ball back to Bins Be Clean without scoring.
A bad snap, a dropped pass and a short run by Bins Be Clean end its scoring chance in the series. Truly Nolen went back on offense hoping to gain momentum. Quinton O’Connor took the handoff and ran for a first down.
Quarterback Mason Agnelli’s next pass was intercepted by TJ Eckert. Eckert ran the ball past midfield after spinning past defenders.
Quarterback Mikey Bowes solidly moved his team down with a pass to Torianne Hurst gaining an additional 10 yards before being stopped with a flag pull. Third and goal pass was smartly batted down by Langdon Bell to prevent the score and give the ball back to Truly Nolen.
Playing with two minutes left on the scoreboard, short passes by Truly Nolen moved the team down the field gaining a first down with a pass by O’Connor and reception by M. Agnelli.
Seconds quickly ticked off the game clock; Truly Nolen felt the pressure to score before halftime. O’Connor’s pass rocketed past traffic in and out of the hands of Bins Be Clean’s Eckert for the near interception.
Less than 20 seconds were left for either team to put points on the board. A high pass and false start for Truly Nolen gave the possession back to Bins Be Clean right before the end of the first half of the game.
After nearly dropping the football, Bins Be Clean made a great recovery getting the football to Daizell, who soared down the field for his second touchdown of the game advancing the score to 12-0.
The next 20 minutes of the game started with Truly Nolen on offense. Three snaps of the ball by both teams lead to Truly Nolen’s next try with the football.
Landon Snyder made a big run only to be stopped by Harrison Schenerlein. O’Connor got the ball to Snyder on the second snap for the first down.
In scoring position, the Bins Be Clean defense stepped it up only giving Agnelli three yards on the next play. O’Connor hit Agnelli through two defenders in the end zone for the team’s first and only touchdown of the game.
Leading by six points, Bins Be Clean returned to the field, quickly moving the football down the gridiron.
On the first snap, Samblis caught the ball for the first down. With nine minutes remaining in the game, Eckert made a fantastic run only to be stopped due to a flag guarding call at the end of the play.
Eckert gained redemption for the penalty with a scoring run taking the score to 18-6.
Despite an interception by Julian Lazzara to prevent the point after, and effective play by Cale Rudacille and Jayden Sparks, Truly Nolen just could not get back into the end zone before the end of 40 minutes of football.
Truly Nolen’s loss leaves only two undefeated teams in the community center league. Three teams continue to seek their first wins. Moving into the back half of the season, the teams gelling on and off the field as the playoffs quickly approach.
Any of the 15 teams can be named champions in February.