In the teen 14- to 17-year old league, many of the boys who have played flag football on the Island since preschool return each season just to have fun with friends. Although each team has an adult coach on the sidelines, most teams and players go out onto the field without set plays and no longer look to their coach for guidance.
Weather delays and forfeits finally brought the top seed and undefeated Team ACE Hardware to the championship game against Team Blue Lagoon last Thursday night at the Center.
Playing with confidence and Offensive MVP Chris Snyder as the quarterback, Blue Lagoon quickly took the lead in the game with a 51-yard pass to Rutger Langley for the touchdown. The unsuccessful point after try left the score 6-0.
Blue Lagoon’s defense stopped the run of ACE Hardware’s Morgan Horesh and caused the incomplete pass of Tyler Brewer to Tuna McCracken, league Defensive MVP. On the third snap of the possession, Roman Langley sacked Brewer, voted the league’s most improved player, giving his team the football.
ACE Hardware returned the defensive favor with a three and out attempt by Blue Lagoon with speed and a flag pull by Connor Ludwig.
After seven minutes of play, the short yardage by David Daigle and first down by McCracken was not enough. Flag pulls by Jenard Dunbar and Roman Langley once again prevented the ACE Hardware score.
Each team had another possession with no luck before the spectacular flag pulls by Daigle and McCracken gave ACE Hardware two points on the stop in the Blue Lagoon end zone resulting in a safety.
With the score at 6-2, Team Ace Hardware went on offense and in five plays found the end zone to go ahead with a score of 6-8. McCracken connected with Ludwig on a bomb with three defenders, putting the football on the Blue Lagoon seven-yard line.
Lining up tight on the line of scrimmage, Horesh snuck out of the crowd to nab the touchdown pass.
The second half of the championship game started with Team ACE Hardware with the football, but Team Blue Lagoon quickly took it back with an interception by Dunbar off of the Brewer pass.
Rutger Langley was Snyder’s target on the first pass of the series. Daigle quickly got the flag pull. The next pass by Snyder bounced off the hands of Rutger Langley taking the game to third down.
Trying to take the football past the midfield line, Snyder was called for pushing against McCracken, turning the ball over on downs.
Brewer’s cousin Travis Bates made the next catch but the team could not make the first down happen, letting Team Blue Lagoon have another crack at the end zone.
A high snap to Dunbar got the pass off, but after being tipped by his receiver ACE Hardware’s Ludwig found the football in his hands and crossed the line for the pick six. The extra point attempt was no good, leaving the score at 6-14.
Blue Lagoon returned the favor with a touchdown interception by Aaryn Scalone. Going for two points, McCracken intercepted the ball in the end zone, preventing the tie.
On their next possession, an incomplete pass led to a bad snap by Roman Langley forcing a third-down play by Blue Lagoon. Bates applied the rushing pressure on the quarterback leading to another interception and touchdown by Team ACE Hardware. Brewer’s runback put the score to 12-20.
The point after the catch in the end zone by Daigle with 54 seconds left in the game solidified the win for his team, ending the season with Team ACE Hardware solidly on top of the league standings with the championship.