The 2013 Digicel Summer League, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, is now eight weeks into the season.
With playoff seeding a focal point at this stage, teams are keen to play their best football at the Ed Bush Sports Centre in West Bay. This was apparent in the feature match-up of the week between reigning champions dms West Bay Hellcats and the undefeated Burger King Panthers, the league’s only unbeaten team.
Early on, Burger King proved they came to play and stay flawless atop the Men’s Premier League. Panthers quarterback Chris Lucas completed 10 of 14 passes, finding receiver Taj Haye in the end zone early in the first half to get the Panthers on the board. Hellcats, led by QB Jacob ‘Frecko’ Ebanks, seemed unable to answer back.
While the Panthers excelled offensively, it was their defence that looked the sharpest. Andrew Frederick led the way with two interceptions. The Hellcat defence, led by Craig Frederick’s two sacks and three tackles, could not stop the Panthers and Burger King rolled to a 23-0 victory.
In the early game, the Maples Dolphins took on the KPMG Sharks. Barrett Edri, who is now back on Island, stepped back into the saddle at QB and didn’t miss a beat, going 12-for-16. Leslie Harvey led the squad with six receptions and two TDs.
KPMG QB Ryne Staback would struggle while the Sharks defence proved unable to stop Dolphin threats like Christopher Bennett as Maples won, 20-6.
In other action, the Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes faced a Cox Colts still gelling using new recruits. Donnie House took over the Hurricanes QB spot, allowing Glenn Duran Jr. to use his speed as a receiver. House threw no picks and three TDs, with two of them going to Selkirk Watler and the other to Junior McField.
Cox’s defence featured Ross Hinds with three tackles. Colts QB Kevin Solomon kept the score close with TD passes to Jonathon Ebanks and Jonny McLaughlin. Ultimately, the Hurricanes won, 19-12.
The Lone Star Mustangs defeated the WestStar Saints, 27-0. The QB position for WestStar was shared between incumbent hurler Rolfo Whitaker and team captain Theon McCoy. Both men struggled against a Mustangs defence led by Todd Hazlewood’s four tackles. Will Koutney, Neil Carle and Josh Parsons each had picks to shut down the Saints offence.
Theo Edman led the Saints defence with three tackles with other notable defenders being Avery Ebanks and Damion Rose.
In the Women’s Premier League, the AndroGroup Killa-Panthers were coming off a two-game losing streak when they faced the Ultra B’zzz. Androgroup came out determined as QB Lisa Malice threw three passing TDs. The Killa-Panthers would find the end zone three times to win, 20-0.
For the B’zzz, QB Anna Nyaundi went 18-for-28 and Marleena Smith proved to be the hot route with a team-high seven receptions. Sasha Tatum led the defence with one pick and seven tackles.
The Wolverines kept their winning streak alive this week, beating Star Athletic Club, 34-6. Last week’s star player, QB Antoinette Lewis, led the Wolverines with three passing TDs caught by Benecia Thompson and Sophia Foster. Star Athletic QB Kelly Pope had a hard time as Wolverines defender Shinette Rhoden posted four tackles.
Star Athletic did have bright spots as Amanda Nelson posted seven tackles and a pick that she ran back for a TD. Leyla Jackson also recorded five tackles for her team and the result is a positive vibe for coach Lawrence Nelson.
“We’re young and we’re growing”, Nelson said.
The Wolverines are now one of three teams with a 6-2 record. Given the determining factor is points deferential, the Wolverines are now the top seed for the ladies.
The other two 6-2 sides, the CrossFit 7Mile Scorpions and the Lynx, faced off last Saturday. Lynx QB Kim Rivers went 13-for-20 with one passing and one rushing TD. Alex Terry led the offence with four receptions. Scorpions QB Jessica Pawlik threw two TDs while Monique Roberts and Cassandra Bodden led the offence with five receptions and a TD each.
Ed Bush field saw the contest go into overtime with the Lynx prevailing, 13-12, to grab second place and push CrossFit into third.
Zulu Warriors shut out the Maples Thundercats, 26-0. Led by QBs Dionne Whittaker and Jessica Ebanks, the Warriors moved the ball well. Whittaker and Ebanks each posted passing TDs. Bianca Johnson and Shenel Gal each caught TDs.
Maples QB Vanessa Noble threw two picks while Laura McLaughlin and Martina Bodden led the Maples defence with five tackles apiece and Tiffany Ebanks recorded a sack. In spite of those efforts, Maples head coach Shawn Pitterson states improvement is paramount.
“We know what we have to work on and we are going to do just that,” Pitterson said.
The last game of the day saw the Lady Sharks face the Lady Saints. Scimone Campbell got the Lady Sharks on the board with a rushing TD and Serena Yates did the same with a pick she ran back for a TD.
The Lady Saints would shine on defence as Amaris Smith notched four tackles and a sack. As a result, the Sharks barely won, 13-0, in the Lady Saints’ closest game of the season. The play of newcomers like Monique Connolly is most pleasing to team captain Tamika Byrd.
“I can see the growth we are making and I’m extremely proud of my teammates,” Byrd said.
Congratulations are in order for the players of the week: Lisa Malice (Women’s Offence), Amanda Nelson (Women’s Defence), Donnie House (Men’s Offence) and Will Peguero Jr. (Men’s Defence).
This week, the entire league has a bye week. Most of the players volunteered at the Miami Dolphins camp this week, that was put on by the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism at the T.E. McField Sports Centre (commonly called the Annex). League games will resume next Saturday, 3 August, at Ed Bush from 10am.