It was guys’ day out on Saturday, July 8, at Ed Bush field as the women’s league enjoyed a bye. The 2016 champs, Island Heritage Predators, took on Maples in the first game of the day, resulting in a 13–8 victory. The Predators emerged with an early lead thanks to touchdowns by Kaleb Ebanks and Peter Whittaker. Maples’ quarterback David Taylor had some difficulty passing due to strong defensive pressure but was able to find Stephen Mitzel in the last quarter to put his team on the board, a press release states.
The MaplesFS Knights clashed with the Burger King Panthers in the final game of the day. The Panthers team is one of the most established in the league, with players and coaches remaining generally constant year over year, the press release states, with offense led by agile Glenn Duran and defensive strongholds like Andrew Frederick and Brendan Malice. As a result, their win came as no surprise, organizers said, with a final score of 20–7. Quarterback Tyler Harvey scored for the Knights.
The Knights only had Sunday, July 9, to recover before they met their sibling team Maples at the Annex. The Knights maintained their rhythm over the weekend, first with a touchdown by Theo Edman, and holding off the Maples offense until the final minutes of the game. Maples equalized the score with a touchdown by fan favorite Larue Nixon sending the game into overtime. Nixon scored again to put Maples in the lead, and the Knights were not able to tie the game in their favor before the end of overtime. Maples was then able to claim their first victory of the season with a final score of 12–6.
The first offensive possessions in the ladies’ match on Sunday between Maples Jaguars and The Greenhouse Lynx showed that it was going to be a defensive contest as Yasmin James of Lynx came up with an interception of Jaguars quarterback Yolanni Manzanares in the first play of the game. The Jaguars’ defense held strong with a red zone defensive stop by making some key tackles to hold Lynx on a short field and force the turnover on downs. The Maples offense, in turn, had to deal with rusher Bernadette Beckles, who sacked their quarterback multiple times. It remained a defensive game until the final two minutes when Lynx running back Marleena Smith was able to burst past the goal line, resulting in a 6–0 victory.
The league continues on Saturday, July 15, at the Annex with games beginning at noon.