Three months of adult co-ed flag football came to a close with the top two regular-season finishers meeting once again on The Center main field. What was anticipated by many to be a blowout ended up being an action-filled battle of speed and agility.
In the first play of the game, Progressive Cabinetry brought out the big gun of quarterback Don Purvis. Purvis hit Connor Haughey wide open in the middle of the field who sped down the field for the first touchdown in the game.
Purvis called on the steady hands of team captain Ray Gardner for the point after taking the score to 7-0 in the first minute of the game.
Lancaster Design team captain Tim Shaughnessy, Purvis’ football protégé in high school, was not to be outdone. Shaughnessy took his first snap of the game in much the same way, finding Lane Burnett. Burnett turned on the burners and entered the end zone untouched.
Caleb Roberts, the brother-in-law of Shaughnessy, got the call for the extra point reception to tie the game 7-7.
The Purvis-Gardner combination was once again successful on the field with a quick pitch to Gardner and stop by Lancaster Design’s Karri Stephens on the Progressive Cabinetry’s second game snap.
On second down, Gardner took the football all the way down the field, giving his team a six-point lead after the missed point after attempt.
Six minutes into the game Roberts gained four yards before Progressive Cabinetry’s stop with a Ben Sato flag pull. The Lancaster Design first down came courtesy of Roberts’ catch only to be stopped by Haughey.
Tasting the touchdown, Shaughnessy tried to get the football to his deep receiver, but the throw was short and landed right in the hands of Haughey for the Progressive Cabinetry interception.
The Progressive Cabinetry diverse roster flourished last Thursday night. Sato was Purvis’ next target with a nice catch and stop by Roberts. Gardner secured the first down after a quick pitch.
In the end zone on second down, Progressive Cabinetry’s Jake Parsons and Haughey collided with a thud that could be heard on the other end of the field ending the team’s offensive possession.
Shaughnessy took advantage of an unsuccessful march down the field by Gardner’s team by connecting with Burnett on the first two plays taking the football past midfield for the first down. Progressive Cabinetry’s Lexi Sato, Ben Sato’s sister-in-law, stopped the TD with the flag pull.
Sato’s stop only temporarily prevented the score. Stephens made a beautiful catch in the Progressive Cabinetry end zone, with the extra point by Burnett in the back left corner of the field to give Lancaster Design their first lead of the game 13-14.
With veteran leadership, Purvis steadily moved his team into scoring position nearing half time. Gardner, who has played QB in previous seasons, gave Purvis options offensively.
Gardner took the football from Purvis behind the line of scrimmage only to throw it back to Purvis who stepped out of bounds after the catch seven yards short of the first down. L. Sato quickly gained the first, with Parsons credited with the stop.
Two incomplete passes by Progressive took the game clock down to one minute left in the half and a third and goal situation. With Brianna Roberts covering L. Sato, Gardner trusted the capable hands, arguably the best female player in the league.
After L. Sato’s touchdown catch, Zachary Holder scored the extra point, advancing the score to 20-14.
The six-point deficit ignited the Lancaster Design team, bringing Mike Shaughnessy, father of Tim Shaughnessy and Brianna Roberts, to briefly take over as the quarterback. The former Kent State QB threw the football to his son just short of the first down.
Sato made the critical flag pull after Lancaster Design past midfield. T. Shaughnessy went under center and hit Burnett putting the ball on the Progressive Cabinetry 10-yard line.
On third down and in scoring position, Purvis rushed T. Shaughnessy and got the sack to stop Lancaster from scoring.
In the final play of the half, Gardner took the football more than halfway down the field, weaving in and out of traffic, evading defenders to the cheers of the spectators finally to be stopped by Stephens.
Taking advantage of half time to regroup his team and give words of praise and encouragement, T. Shaughnessy and Lancaster Design came out fighting, scoring a touchdown in three plays, including a 10-yard gain by Parsons and the scoring reception by Burnett. Failing to convert, Progressive got the ball back with the score tied at 20 all.
First play of the half for Progressive Cabinetry was to B. Sato who ran the football down the full length of the field after a short catch. Gardner’s pass to L. Sato was too tall going off her fingers, leaving the score at 26-20.
Keeping the game close catches by Stephens and B. Roberts, including a first down reception Stephens, and a run by Burnett put Lancaster Design in scoring position.
Roberts pulled the football in for a touchdown and followed up with the extra point nab giving his team the lead once again by one point.
With 12 minutes left on the game clock, Purvis found B. Sato for what looked to be a repeat of his early score. Parsons made the stop at the one-yard line.
Sato sealed the deal with a solid TD catch. Going for two points, Purvis took the snap and hit Haughey pushing the score to 34-27.
Lancaster Design could not make anything happen on their next possession, only to give Progressive Cabinetry another chance to score.
In six solid plays, Purvis and Gardner marched the team down the field chipping away at the yardage. Defensively, Chris Culhane put the pressure on Gardner, sacking him in the Progressive backfield.
A 10-yard gain by L. Sato, a first down catch by Haughey, and a long run by Gardner got Progressive to the Lancaster Design six-yard line. Gardner threw to L. Sato at the one-yard line.
On third down, Haughey scored the TD and followed up with the point after to give his team a 14-point lead.
The Progressive Cabinetry offense ate away at the clock leaving only one minute for Lancaster Design to score and hope to get the ball back before time ran out.
Unable to make anything happen on offense, Lancaster Design lost the championship game to Progressive Cabinetry who called the game with 44.9 seconds left on the scoreboard, successfully ending another adult flag football season on the island, with the final score of 41-27.