It may be a new season but the dms West Bay Hellcats continue to dominate with the pigskin.
The Hellcats now sit 8-1 with a commanding two-game lead atop the Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. West Bay notched their fifth straight victory via a 7-0 win over the 5-3 Maples Packers last Saturday.
Hellcats star Perry Levy had the lone touchdown at the Ed Bush field in West Bay and said it was a statement game.
“You never say never and it was important to reconfirm our position as the best in flag football in Cayman,” Levy said. “Some people felt Maples had a chance to win. We felt we were the better team and had to prove that, regardless of the outcome.
“It was their first big game as a franchise. It was the first time, in my mind, that they went into a game with people expecting them to win. With us we’re used to big game situations.”
Maples went into the contest as the hottest side in the sport, rattling off five straight victories to rank second in the standings. Now they sit third after their offensive attack, led by rookie of the year favourite Barrett Edri, fizzled.
The Packers have now lost to West Bay twice this year, dropping a 13-6 contest at the end of June. Their only other loss was a 19-14 defeat to the Cox Colts in the season opener. Maples would avenge that showing with a 20-6 thrashing this month.
Levy states the difference between the Packers and the Hellcats rests on defence.
“The defence stepped up. The offence had been good, scoring a lot of touchdowns. But I felt the defence took a step up, which it needed to do. I wanted a shutout and an old-school Hellcats win. It felt good and I’m very happy with a 7-0 win.
“Our focus now is to take care of business. It’s a week by week league for us. We might have been relaxed if we were not playing the Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes this Saturday, 25 August. They beat us 13-12 in July and some people felt we lost the game. The truth is Glenn Duran Jr did a good job controlling the time of possession and they won the game. Our main focus is making sure that’s not happening again.
“After that we have the Burger King Panthers, a team trying to get into the playoffs and the Club House Bulldogs, who are always looking to make a statement. Like I said, we take it a week at a time.”
West Bay battle the 3-5 Hurricanes, who are ranked sixth in the league, this Saturday at 1.30pm at Ed Bush. Saturday’s other contests pit the 4-5 Colts against the 6-3 Bulldogs at 2.45pm and the Packers facing the 4-4 Panthers at 4pm.
Cayman Power Sports and Marine are coming off a 19-6 loss to the Bulldogs last Saturday. Cox got an ego boost by beating the 0-9 PWC Renegades 27-6 while the Panthers had a bye week.
It should be noted that there are four more weeks left in the regular season. The playoffs are expected to start on 22 September featuring the top four squads in the league. The final is slated for 29 September.
For some Hellcat members, like Adrean ‘Big Sexy’ Russell, the Maples contest was overrated.
“It was just another Saturday at the field, just another day at work,” Russell said. “Nothing matters until the playoffs. It’s still a long season with at least four games left.
“Unfortunately, our running back Oliver ‘Lipton’ Parker will be out three to four weeks. He had a left knee injury at the end of the game against Maples. It’s a deep bruise with swelling but he’s expected to be back before the playoffs. I’m confident the other guys on the team, like Rashaun ‘Young Buck’ Rivers, can step up for us.”