Week five of the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association Digicel Men’s Flag Football League continued at the Ed Bush Field in West Bay. With playoff seeding already a focal point, teams are keen to play their best.
This was apparent in the feature match-up between the Cox Colts and the Cayman Power and Marine Hurricanes. Coming in, the Hurricanes had a record of 1-2 and the Colts were losers of two of their last three games. Both teams needed this win to shrug off their subpar play and prove they belong amongst the elite.
Colts quarterback Kevin Solomon bounced back from a less than stellar performance with a sharp outing. His pocket awareness and ball placement was impressive throughout. He orchestrated a number of scoring drives resulting in touchdowns for Richard Campbell and Chester Hurlston and added a rushing TD of his own. Brad Conolly made some nice gains coming out of the backfield.
For the Hurricanes, QB Glenn Duran had a rough day completing six of nine passes, one TD with one interception. He seemed impatient with his offensive line at times, leaving the pocket prematurely. A pass attempt in tight coverage that resulted in the pick for Colts defensive back Roger McLaughlin summed up a disappointing half for Hurricanes as they trailed 19-6.
With tempers flaring, the second half would be short-lived as an altercation between a Hurricanes defensive lineman and a Colts offensive lineman led to a “clearing of the benches” by both teams. The commotion, which included aggressive altercations, will most likely lead to a number of fines and suspensions for players from both teams. This would lead to the officials stopping play and, after further discussion, calling the game to leave the final score at 19-6 in favour of Cox.
In the first game, the DMS Hellcats outlasted a late surge by the Burger King Panthers for a 19-14 win. Jacob “Frecko” Ebanks led the charge for the Hellcats and for a third straight week composed an opening drive that resulted in a TD. Clay Coleman was the recipient of the TD, getting good position over his defender to make a tough catch.
Running back Oliver Parker and the Hellcats offensive line, which included fill-in Jason “Papi-Rican” Gonzalez, was once again the driving force behind the Hellcats attack. Nikolai Hill chipped in with two receptions, one TD and Renford Barnes returned an INT for a TD to round out the scoring for the Hellcats.
Defensively, Tito Solomon was amped up to play his former team, making a couple tackles for loss by shooting the backside gap on a number of attempted stretch runs by Burger King.
For Burger King, Chris Lucas showed great composure, rallying his team from a 12-0 deficit. He completed seven of 17 passes, two TDs with one costly INT. Taj Haye and Simon Rivers were the recipients of his TD passes. Unfortunately, the hole they dug themselves in proved too much to overcome, forcing their attack to become one-dimensional and thus susceptible to the Hellcat defence.
With less than a minute remaining, Burger King attempted an onside kick for a chance at one more possession but the uncanny smarts of rookie sensation Rashaun Rivers was on full display as he broke their outside contain with a perfectly placed lateral pass to team-mate Renford Barnes, which sealed the game for the Hellcats.
In the final game of the day, the Maples Packers cruised by the PWC Renegades 25-6. Barrett Edri was once again under centre for the roaring Packers team and continued to impress team-mates and players throughout the league. He moved the ball down the field meticulously with a variety of quick passes up the seam and with screen passes out wide to receivers. This led to a throw-back option pass to former Packers QB Tyler Lee, who threw deep and connected with Will Peguero Jr for a TD.
From there, the Packers would go on to score a few more times to break the game wide open. The only thing that did not go in the Packers favour was Terry Ballard’s repeated and failed extra point kick attempts. For PWC, Chris Lebeau led the charge and put together an okay outing. He completed nine of 19 passes, one TD and two INTS.
Week in and week out, the Renegades offence put together one or two scoring drives that show flashes of promise. If they focus on limiting offensive turnovers and defensive lapses, many believe they can pull a few upsets. Justin Miller had a great day with five receptions and one TD. Defensively, Jeff Stower was disruptive with a number of tackles and a sack.