Week 10 of the 2013 Digicel Summer League was in full effect last Saturday at Camana Bay.
The competition, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, featured another day of close games, beginning with the Cox Colts battling the Lone Star Mustangs. Kevin Solomon, Cox’s usual QB, shifted into receiver as Brian O’Reilly stepped into the pocket and showed his skill running the ball.
Mustangs, led by veteran QB Jamie Stephen, were determined to defend their number two seed that they just received. The Colts were first to get on the scoreboard as O’Reilly connected with Solomon on a touchdown pass. Lone Star’s defence would sharpen up from there and lead to a 13-6 Mustangs victory.
The game of the day featured two teams fighting for a playoff spot in the KPMG Sharks and Cayman Power Sport and Marine Hurricanes. Sharks QB Ryne Staback ran the ball when needed and the game was tied right into the last minutes of the second half. Overtime loomed but Staback found a receiver open on a go-route for the game-winning TD pass.
For the women, the Camana Bay games were a return to their old home field with teams. The Lady Sharks embraced the venue change by thumping the Maples Thundercats, 21-0.
Team captain Bobeth O’Garro spoke about the Sharks victory.
“Without having our main player, Scimone Campbell, I’m proud of how the girls are playing,” O’Garro said. “We clearly showed that we can come together and play as a team and set out to win. Maples, a fairly young team, did well moving the ball but were unable to score.
“Led by QB Jessica Jackson, the Thundercats did their best to execute plays and move the ball down the field. The Sharks defence seemed to pose too much of a threat for Thundercats to score.”
Meanwhile, Star Athletic Club squeezed out a 2-0 victory over the Lady Saints. The decisive play was a safety as Star Athletic, without playmaker Amanda Nelson, sacked the Lady Saints QB in the end zone.
While the Lady Saints remain winless, head coach Joseph Byrd Jr. said morale is high.
“I’m happy with how my girls are performing in the amount that they’re learning each weekend,” Byrd said. “Each week of practice we try to take what we learned from the Saturday before.”
Lady Saints player Yasmin James retired her coach’s sentiments, handing special praise to her defence.
“This is the first game where a team has not scored a touchdown on us,” James said. “I feel better that our defence is coming together, offence is coming together, we’re learning and this is what the season is about.”
In other action, the Zulu Warriors battled the Lynx, with Warriors QB Dionne Whittaker sidelined due to injury. Jessica Ebanks took up the QB spot to lead the Zulu offence. A defensive struggle throughout, the game’s only score would come late in the second half.
Kimberly Rivers of the Lynx took it upon herself to ensure victory by running in a TD and completing an extra point pass to Christsania Parker. The Lynx would win, 7-0.
CrossFit 7Mile Scorpions challenged the Ultra B’zzz looking for revenge after CrossFit lost their perfect season to Ultra in their last encounter. Cassandra Ebanks served as Scorpions QB position, while the B’zzz relied on Anna Nyaundai. CrossFit were too sharp on offence and rolled to a 32-0 thrashing of Ultra.
B’zzz coach Matt Bone said his team is going to practice hard this week and regroup.
“We want to get into the playoffs this season and that’s exactly what we’re going to practice to do,” Bone said.
Following their suspension, the dms West Bay Hellcats came out and showed they never forgot how to win by dominating the WestStar Saints, 30-0. Veterans Nikolai Hill, Damian Barboram and Al Nixon all played well for the Hellcats. The Saints have shown improvement using young players like Jonathan Whittaker at QB, David Hill at receiver and Michael Gourzong at running back.
Arguably, the most pivotal game to the men’s playoff race featured the Burger King Panthers and Maples Dolphins. The last time these two teams matched up, Burger King needed overtime to win. The Panthers, coming off their suspension, were determined to maintain their top billing behind QB Chris Lucas.
Maples’ defence, led by Will Peguero Jr., covered the field well and with points hard to come by, overtime would ensue. Dolphins receiver Christopher Bennett would catch the winning TD as the Panthers suffered their second straight loss.
The ladies wrapped things up as the Burger King Wolverines battled the Androgroup Killa-Panthers. Wolverines QB Antoinette Lewis never felt pressured as the points racked up. Androgroup’s offence, under QB Lisa Malice, struggled to move the ball and their defence, led by Heather Roffey, looked overworked. Ultimately, Wolverines won 19-0.
Week 11 of the league kicks off this weekend again at Camana Bay. Only six teams from the men’s and women’s groupings will make the playoffs, which start on 30 August.