The booming Burger King Coed Flag Football League kicked off this past weekend at the Ed Bush Sports Center in West Bay.
The league, put on by the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association, has a remarkable 20 teams registered this year with more than 300 participants. Familiar squads such as the reigning A and B division champions Burger Shack and Wok-N-Roll have returned, in addition to a number of expansion teams such as Walkers, Impressions Beauty Salon and WakeBoard Cayman.
In the opener, Mourant Ozannes made an early statement dominating Burger King with a balanced attack spearheaded by quarterback Brad Conolly. He connected with Celester “7Eleven” Anderson for touchdowns twice and got some help on the ground from RaShawn Wright and Angel Hawkins, who each ran in a TD.
For Burger King, it was a rough outing in every phase of the game – which led to them being blanketed statistically. The absence of Gary Rutty was quite apparent as the team simply didn’t have a pulse. Sean Moyle and Josh Whittaker tried to fill the void in his absence, but their efforts were without avail. The final score was a surprising 26-0.
On the opposite field, Impressions Beauty Salon knocked off the Cronies 18-14 in what many considered the game of the night. Men’s Premier League Most Valuable Player Chris Lucas led the charge for Impressions with two TDs through the air and one on defense off an interception. Paul Chin and Gillian Roffey were the key targets, being the recipients of his TD passes. For the Cronies, it was a promising performance by the Oliver Parker-led crew despite the loss.
Former women’s league MVP Jordana Clarke returned on the scene after a three-year hiatus to bolster their roster. She tossed a TD to Jen Cortarelo but showed signs of rust, turning the ball over twice. Versatile playmaker Cueme Parker broke off a nice TD run to keep things interesting, but the turnovers proved too much for them to overcome.
In the second round of games, Cayman Auto Diagnostic shut out the upstart Ospreys 20-0, and Pizza Hut knocked off CrossFit7Mile 20-12. For Cayman Auto, the youthful Robbie Cribb Sr. and the Rivers brothers – Simon and Joel – were the focal points from start to finish. Cribb threw two TD passes and his son Robbie Cribb Jr. had an INT on defense. Simon and Joel finished up with three TDs combined and Erin Marshall caught a couple extra points to round out their scoring.
For the Ospreys, it was a callous welcome to the league as they were held out of the endzone. With that said, it was a good opportunity for Ernesto Ebanks and company to grasp the nuances of the game which should benefit them in week two.
Meanwhile, across the field, the nimble legs and unorthodox arm of Baron Solomon was on full display for Pizza Hut. He ran in two TDs and threw one to Ryan Ebanks to pull off the win. For CrossFit7Mile, offensive standouts Jamie Stephens and Jon Pump kept the game close, reaching pay dirt twice. Unfortunately, their inability to contain Solomon on defense cost them the game.
In other action, Burger Shack outlasted a determined Go Flag Yourself! team to notch a sloppy win 20-14. QB Kevin Solomon directed Burger Shack’s attack, throwing two TD passes to Perry Levy. Barrett Edri returned an INT for a TD to round out the scoring for Burger Shack.
For Go Flag Yourself!, Mike Carey and Bobeth O’Garro alternated QB duties and both had solid outings. They completed TD passes to Krystle Barrett and Catherine Ebanks, who found the soft spots in Burger Shack’s defense all night. Go Flag Yourself! had a shot at the end, but a key third down conversion by Burger Shack’s Will Peguero Jr. dwindled the game clock, leaving no time for a comeback.
Later on, Maples shellacked Walkers 33-0, while Kirk Freeport stunned KPMG 6-0. For Maples, the lethal combination of Fabio Gall and Rupert Whittaker was the difference throughout. They connected for multiple TDs and XTRA points and were simply too much for Walkers to handle. Defensively, Sonny Powell and Kareem James played the passing lanes well, snatching multiple INTs and returning one for a TD. For the inexperienced Walkers, QB Jermaine Ebanks and his receivers were unable to get on the same page all night.
Their lone bright spot was Ellen Downey, who caught a number of contested passes. Overall, they showed great speed and athleticism but need to hone their skills and create an identity on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, Kirk Freeport squeezed out a narrow win against the perceived preseason B division favorites, KPMG.
In what were gawky performances by both teams, it was obvious from the outset that the game would come down to one play. That key play was made by Kirk Freeport, courtesy of David Makin’s TD connection with Paul Reichard, with seconds remaining on the clock.
KPMG appeared to be missing some key personnel at crucial positions, which contributed to their struggles offensively. Unfortunately, they’ll have little time to harp on their failure as they face Mourant Ozannes next.
In the night capper, Andro Elevator welcomed Wok-N-Roll to the A division with a forceful win, 20-6. Brendon and Lisa Malice led the charge for Andro, coordinating three scoring drives and putting on a tackling clinic on defense. The recipients of their TDs were Jamuel Dell, Alicia Dixon and Chris Allen.
For Wok-N-Roll, rust was apparent as offensively they were sluggish and defensively they couldn’t get off the field. Phil Brown and Shinette Rhoden were their only standouts, accounting for a number of receptions and their lone score. It’s fair to assume that Adrean Russell will use their upcoming bye week to make some adjustments and have his squad ready to bounce back against Los Terroristas in week three.
Fabio Gall of Maples and Catherine Ebanks of Go Flag Yourself were the men’s and women’s players of the week.