Panthers maul Colts, stay unbeaten

Week five of the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association Digicel 2013 Summer League saw exciting match-ups last Saturday at the Ed Bush Sports Centre in West Bay. 

The first game of the day featured the Lady Sharks against the Ultra B’zzz. These two teams fought it out to the wire with the Sharks eking out the 14-0 victory. Led by veteran player Scimone Campbell’s 13 completions in her new quarterback role this season, the Sharks managed to get on the board during the first half.  

The Ultra B’zzz defence did their best to respond with a sack from Nikki Ebanks and an interception from Kathy Miller. However, the B’zzz offence struggled to move the ball.  

Defensively for the Sharks, Krystle Barrett played hard-core football, blasting past blockers to record two sacks, one of which was a safety. Trina Gordon and Krishan Welcome each added one interception to the Sharks defence. The win for the Sharks and loss for the B’zzz now has them both at 2-3.  

For the men, Burger King Panthers continued their winning streak after trampling the short listed Cox Colts 33-0. For Burger King, QB Chris Lucas completed seven of 11 passes with two touchdowns, a rushing TD and no turnovers. Running back Ryan Smith displayed his regular quick movements that left defenders missing flags as he recorded a rushing TD.  

Cox, who were short of players due to travel plans, fought hard. QB Brian O’Reilly had eight completions, but was plagued by three picks. The Colts expect to bounce back with their normal roster back this weekend.  

The Lone Star Mustangs had another commendable performance with a 26-0 win over the WestStar Saints, who have been struggling to get going under head coach Joseph Byrd Jr. Despite being 0-5, the Saints are ready for this weekend.  

“We’re going to get a W one day and when we do, I know it’s going to boost the team,” Byrd Jr. said. “We’re new, we have some guys that have not played the sport before and others that have.  

“We are constantly working on getting the chemistry within the team and executing our plays.” 

Saints QB Rolfo Whittaker struggled to make completions while Mustangs QB Jamie Stephen seemed to take every advantage, finding the gaps and moving the ball well. In addition to a rushing TD, Stephen threw two TD passes to Jon Pump and Todd Hazlewood. Pump also showed off his kicking ability as he went 4-for-4 in extra-point kicks.  

On the ladies side, the AndroGroup Killa-Panthers beat the Lady Saints, 40-0. Although off to a rough start, the Lady Saints are improving week by week with public perception having changed since the league began as the rookie club is now seen as a team that can compete with any squad. Lady Saints QB Tamika Byrd had a rough day throwing four picks. On defence, Yasmin James recorded a pick. 

Androgroup got off to a quick start as Shamar Ennis posted three TDs with Alicia Dixon, Glenita Logan and Lisa Malice each posting one of their own. Malice, a veteran QB, went 7-for-10 on pass attempts. On defence, Becky Coe registered two picks. 

From there, the Lynx clenched their second win in a row against Star Athletic Club, 26-0. Despite throwing two INTs, Lynx QB Kim Rivers showed her skill and found open players. Jennifer Cotarelo led the defence with 2 INTs. As a result, the Lynx are 3-2.  

Star Athletic QB Kelly Pope went 8-for-16 but was denied any scoring possibilities by the Lynx’s flag pulling ability. On defence, Star Athletic featured tacklers Brittany Ebanks and Amanda Nelson. Coach Nelson found his squad’s performance encouraging. 

“We’re got a young group of girls that are coming out and playing their heart out each day,” Nelson said. “We’re getting better and we’re growing as a team.” 

Last year’s champions and runners-up battled it out as the Zulu Warriors faced the Burger King Wolverines, with both having a 2-2 record. Antoinette Lewis, who has sat out this season thus far due to an ankle injury, suited up for this game. Zulu, meanwhile, were missing key player Eleanor Berry due to injury. 

Despite Carrie Barnett being the hot route for the Wolverines, it was Jahzenia Thomas that connected with Benecia Thompson for their only score of the day. Going 15-of-24 completions with no picks was not too shabby for Lewis’ first day back on the job. Defensively, the Wolverines held Zulu veteran QB Dionne Whittaker to nine completions and four INTs. Bianca Johnson of the Warriors led her team with six receptions.  

The Crossfit 7Mile Scorpions took the field on Saturday with one goal: defend their undefeated streak. Coming into this game against the Maples Thundercats, the Scorpions were 4-0. CrossFit would keep that momentum going with a 13-0 victory.  

Maples struggled to move the ball and Lilia Conolly led her team with four receptions. Defensively, they managed to hold the Scorpions to one TD in the first half. While the Scorpions struggled to hit the deep ball, Monique ‘Momo’ Roberts breezed past defenders for a rushing TD. Erin Marshall followed in her footsteps and posted another score for the Scorpions. 

Defensively, the Scorpions tamed the Thundercats with Keisha Solomon and Diandria Ebanks collecting two INTs apiece. Tracey Seymour was the Thundercats’ worst enemy as she managed to get around blockers and produce four sacks. 

Maples coach Shawn Pitterson is confident in his team and said there are a number of new players that have joined the squad. “Each week we get better and do a bit more. We are definitely going for a win this weekend,” he said. 

On the men’s side, the Maples Dolphins beat the KPMG Sharks, 21-12. KPMG QB Ryne Staback went 9-for-14 but his three INTs gave the Dolphins good field position at key times. Maples QB Leslie Harvey went 6-for-9 with a rushing TD. Scores from Brad Conolly and Andrew Edward, weren’t enough for KPMG to come out with the win,  

KPMG consists of a group of players that set out to leave their mark this season. After acquiring some players from other teams, like running back Conolly, the side’s strength has significantly improved from last year.  

“We’re getting there, we know it,” Conolly said. “We’re not where we expected to be, but we’re not disappointed and we feel that we have done well against the tough schedule so far. There are a lot of good teams in the league and we look forward to finishing off the season strong.”  

The last game of the day was a show-off between the dms West Bay Hellcats and the Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes. Both teams went back and forth on the field and the contest ended 7-0 in favour of the Hellcats. Hellcats QB Jacob “Frecko” Ebanks led the charge, going 12-for-19 with no interceptions. Perry ‘BoyWonder’ Levy led the offence with four receptions.  

The Hellcat defence left their mark with two picks. Despite Hurricanes QB Glenn Duran Jr.’s ability to hit his tight ends down the seam and outrun his defenders, the Hurricanes were unable to get points on the board.  

Going forward, Digicel will be introducing a player of the week voting system via social media, where fans can vote for their favourite male and female players who outshined the competition each week. 

Digicel is proud to once again sponsor the league and even more excited to include the Women’s Premier League this year. Their sponsorship brings together talented athletes as well as dedicated fans and spectators for community-friendly matches.  

“Sports play a major role in the Cayman Islands community and, as such, Digicel are happy to support such initiatives,” says Digicel Cayman Marketing Manager Crystal Gomez. “We are proud to sponsor the league and see it grow in popularity over the years to reach new heights.”  

Congratulations to the Players of the Week for week five, who are Saneata Smith of Lynx (Women, Offence), Treveen Stewart of Wolverines (Women, Defence), David Taylor of Burge
r King (Men, Offence) and Gregory Miller of Lone Star (Men, Defence).  

Week six of the Digicel Summer League takes place this Saturday, 6 July, at 10am at Ed Bush.  

cassandra-bodden-5july2013

Cassandra Bodden has the Scorpions undefeated.

rolfo-whittaker-5july2013

Rolfo Whittaker serves as Saints quarterback.

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Chris Lucas consistently makes big plays. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES

scimone-campbell-5july2013

Scimone Campbell threw Lady Sharks to victory.

tamika-byrd-5july2013

Tamika Byrd is under immense pressure to excel.

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Jennifer Cotarelo boosts the Lynx attack.

ryne-staback-5july2013

Ryne Staback is part of a new-look KPMG team.

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Joseph Byrd Jr. believes victory will come soon.
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