Reid’s Raiders are champs

The Durty Reid’s Raiders are the Cayman Islands Flag Football (CIFFA) league and Playoff champions of 2004.

After cruising through the CFL League regular season with a record of 10-2, the ‘Durty Durty’ were crowned League Champions for 2004 and earned the number 1 seed in the playoffs where they were matched against the KPMG X-Patriots (# 4 seed) in the semi-finals. The Radiers won, 20-0.

The other half of the playoff draw pitted the (# 2) TRIBE vs. (# 3) Café Del Sol West Bay Hell Cats. The Tribe won by the same score, 20-0.

The final between the Raiders and the Tribe was the game the league wanted and needed the most. A large crowd was on hand to witness the top two teams in the final game of the season; it was one last showdown for bragging rights and the chance to call themselves CIFL Champions 2004. An intense rivalry has developed between these two teams and games are always a hard fought and exciting encounter. Their competitive matches are the ‘show case’ event for the CFL and illustrate the best qualities of what Flag football represents in Cayman.

Going into the final both squads demonstrated how deadly their teams were by shutting out the opposition in the semi-finals. This game matched the two best quarterbacks in the league Co-MVP Carlo Ylagan (TRIBE) and Kevin Solomon (DR Raiders) against punishing defenses who were ranked 1 & 2 in the regular season.

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As the game started DR Raider’s took possession and showed that they were ready and came to play. The Raiders executed a few trick plays that left the Tribe defense reeling. It was clear that DR Raider’s Head Coach Johann Moxam had his team prepared as they drove the ball up the length of the field and finished the drive off with a 15 yard TD pass by Kevin Solomon to CFL Co-MVP WR Leslie Harvey. The Raiders converted the extra point score 7-0. That opening drive seemed to set the tone of the game.

On Tribe’s first possession, QB Carlo Ylagan had a pass tipped by the DR Raider’s Defensive End Edison Jackson which fell into the hands of his grateful teammate DE Edward Howard who proceeded to return the pass 20 yards before he ran out of gas and was tackled by Tribe defenders. That gave ‘Da Durty Durty’ the momentum to take over the game.

Like doctors performing surgery ‘Da Durty Durty’ capitalized on the turnover and continued to dissect the Tribe defense with short and precise passing routes and took advantage of the favorable field possession by scoring on 12 yard fade pass from QB Kevin Solomon to WR Luigi Moxam. DR Raiders failed to covert the extra point score 13 – 0.

Half time came at just the right moment for TRIBE who needed the time to try and figure out a way of stopping the potent DR Raider’s offense.

2nd Half

Tribe started off with possession in the second half and was intent on making a game of it all. Tribe QB Carlo Ylagan led his team down to the DR Raider’s 30 yard line and completed enough passes to move the ball on the Raiders defense. At that stage it was an exciting game that could have gone either way but then the Tribe WR’s seemed to press the ‘self destruct’ button and started dropping passes at key moments. In a game like this Tribe didn’t take advantage of their chances and the swarming defense of the Durty Durty players especially MLB Rhys ‘RCAPONE’ Ebanks contributed greatly to the anxiety felt by the athletic Tribe WR’s. It was a commanding display by the Raiders defense as they hassled and pressured the Tribe offense into numerous mistakes that contributed into their eventual collapse.

To finish off the game and to confirm their overall dominance over Tribe in this game and the rest of the CFL league, Da Durty Durty wrapped up the title with one final score on a 5 yard pass from QB to WR Dwight O’Garro late in the game.

In the end it was a dominant performance by a well organized and gifted group of players that was the difference between winning and losing.

‘We would firstly like to thank our sponsor Durty Reid’s for putting their faith in the team.’ said DR Raider’s Head Coach Johann Moxam. ‘On behalf of the squad I’d personally like to thank the CFL executive Committee (Marcus Cumber, Austin Harris, Teddy Hydes, Brian Esau, and Arthur Screaton) who put together a fun and exciting league year after year and allow us to go out there and put our energies to some good use’.

‘The game was exciting and the guys wanted to prove beyond any doubt that our regular season success was for real,’ Moxam continued. ‘We felt that we had to come out and dominate the opposition in the playoffs and just play our game which consists of doing the little things properly and working hard for each other. Our squad is relatively small (10-12 players) compared to the other teams (18-25 players) but our guys step up every week and deliver in every game. I am so proud of our guys, we had some injuries to key players; we lost our original QB Jim Fraser to a season long injury, lost Badir our MVP from last year and had to reshuffle our pack. Kevin did a great job as QB and has to be considered an MVP candidate. Leslie, Luigi, Nick, Big Andrew, Edward, Edison, George, Mike and RCAPONE made sacrifices each week for the good of the team and showed that preparation, heart and belief in one goal and each other are really all you need to succeed in this game.’

Kevin Solomon QB: ‘The difference between us and the rest of the league is how we prepare and how focused we stay as a unit.

‘We’ve got talented players who work hard for each other and refuse to give up.’

Rhys ‘RCAPONE’ Ebanks WR/LB : ‘We wanted to prove to the league that we are the best team and did so.

‘We shut down the opposition and took the life out of Tribe from the first play. We dominated them on both sides of the ball. I would hate to see what we could accomplish if we had a full roster.

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