Coed flag football is up and running again in Grand Cayman.
The annual Spring Coed Flag Football League, sponsored by Burger King, returned to action last Friday at Ed Bush Stadium in West Bay. Perennial powerhouses such as Maples, Queensgate, and Cayman Auto Diagnostics were on site with a few upstart teams such as Kirk Freeport and KPMG aiming to make their mark.
Burger King launched the league, organised by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, with a competitive victory over KPMG. They surprisingly got off to a fast start under the quarterbacking reins of Josh Merren. A rising offensive lineman in the premier league, Merren flexed his versatility, turning a few heads with his stellar play. He had an impressive three touchdown passes, connecting with Dillon Claassens, Tony Coe and Tricia Bell, respectively.
Sean Moyle and Betsy Smith rounded out the scoring for Burger King with three combined extra points. For KPMG, QB Jay Robinson showed flashes of brilliance on a number of scoring possessions. He hooked up with Michael Sumares, Andrew Edwards and Steve Taylor for TDs placing their team in striking distance. Unfortunately for KPMG, Burger King was able to make just enough plays on defence to hold on for the win, 21-18.
On the opposite field, the reigning B Division champion Cobras found themselves in a surprising battle with newbies Kirk Freeport. Veteran stalwarts Phil Brown, Adrean “Big Sexy” Russell, Alexandria Saintvil and Antoinette Lewis bolstered the Cobras roster, whose experience proved to be the difference down the stretch. Adrean had two passing TDs, one to association president Jermaine Sharpe and the other to speedster Jason Wong.
The game-breaking play, however, featured a “flea flicker” connection between Antoinette and the ageless Rob Duty, which ultimately sealed the game. For Kirk Freeport, it was an impressive performance by a team filtered with first timers. Daniel Kirkconnell made an impression on bystanders with his dual capabilities in the passing and running games.
Kirkconnell connected with Chris Palmer and Jerry Beck on a number of occasions, sustaining quality drives. Most of his damage, however, came when he took matters into his own hands and ran for big chunks of yardage. He finished with one TD in the air and one TD on the ground. The Cobras won 20-13.
In A Division action, team Go Flag Yourself beat Duke’s, 15-6, thanks to their effort on defence. Playmaker Glenn Duran was under centre for Go Flag Yourself and didn’t disappoint. He threw for two TDs, one to Paul McField and the other to Scimone Campbell. Defensively, Duran chipped in with a sack and an interception, and McField rounded out the stats with two INTs.
For Duke’s, premier league Most Valuable Player Dave “Spanish” Velez and his crew didn’t display the same kind of magic they showed last spring. Joanne Remillard was the lone bright spot scoring their only TD. With seasoned players such as Matt Bone, Keswick Wright and Lilia Conolly on their roster, many expect them to be in the playoff discussion.
In other action, powerhouse Child Please! picked up where they left off last year with a convincing victory over Grape Tree Café, 28-12. Kevin Solomon led the charge, making a number of great throws with four resulting in TDs.
Two were to Perry “Boy Wonder” Levy and the others were to Will Peguero Jr. and Barrett Edri. Cassandra Bodden also had a great game for Child Please!, as she broke the game open with a 40-yard gain.
For Grape Tree Café, Peter Whittaker handled the QB duties and had an inconsistent night. He connected with Andrew Frederick in the first half on a beautiful 60-yard TD and later for a short TD in the waning moments of the game. Baron and Camille Solomon had good outings between the numbers, but ultimately their offence lacked continuity that resulted in too many stalled drives.
In other action, an explosive Maples team throbbed Queensgate, 26-6. Most of the attention was placed on Maples’ huge roster assembled by head coach Shawn Pitterson. Familiar faces David Taylor, Benecia Thompson and Somali Hall bolstered the lineup.
Multi-sport star Richard Campbell led the Maples charge, highlighting his impressive arm strength with repeated throws of 50 yards or more. Chris Bennett, Rupert Whittaker, Jahmai Dunbar and soccer star Theron Wood were the recipients of Campbell’s vertical TD passes. Bennett and Whittaker also chipped in with an INT apiece on defence.
For Queensgate, Taj Haye was predominately under centre and had a rough debut. With the exception of one scoring drive in the late stages of the game, Haye appeared to struggle mostly with timing and accuracy, missing a number of open receivers. Local entertainers Nate Narcisse, Bryce Webb and Collin “DJ Royal” Bodden, together with veterans Chester Hurlston, Gillian Roffey and Heather Roffey, rounded out the Queensgate roster.
In the final and most exciting game of the night, the Bulldogs stunned Cayman Auto Diagnostics, 27-25, in dramatic fashion. With mere seconds remaining, Jamie Stephen connected with Jon Pump, who when pursued by potential tackles threw a lateral pass to his opportunistic teammate Roger Freeman, who ran in for the game-winning score.
Stephen was superb all game, spreading the ball around to his receivers. He finished up with four TDs: two to Pump, one to Todd Hazlewood and the other to Freeman.
For Cayman Auto Diagnostics, Jessica Pawlik had a stellar game. She coordinated a number of great drives, four of them resulting in TDs. Her favourite targets on the night were Simon Rivers and her savvy father Robbie Cribb. With the offence playing great, it’s fair to assume that they will spend the week focusing on improving their defence.
Congratulations to Josh Merren of Burger King and Scimone Campbell of Go Flag Yourself who were the Men’s and Women’s players of the week. Matches continue this Friday, 1 March, at the Ed Bush field from 6.30pm.