The 2018 Burger King Co-ed League closed off its season Friday, May 18, with the eight remaining teams battling for a chance to win the trophies.
First up, Bogle Insurance faced powerhouse team Tribe Tattoo. Tribe got behind their veteran players, such as Scimone Campbell and Nigel Solomon, who would both convert on scoring plays during the game.
“We were just out there to have fun, but we knew we deserved to be in the finals,” said Campbell.
Led by Captain Rupert Whittaker, Bogle struggled with applying pressure on defense at times, which Tribe effectively capitalized on, and the ended in a 26-6 victory in favor of Tribe, securing them a date with Maples in the Silver Cup finals, who advanced thanks to a 7-0 victory over Dart.
In the second game slot of the night, undefeated Greenhouse battled Deloitte, while Burger Shack took on Popeyes. The winners of both games would go on to play in the Gold Cup finals, and as the trophies sat on the side-line, the teams had all the motivation they needed to win.
Greenhouse, stacked with what seemed to be their best turnout of the season, struggled against the momentum of Deloitte. Led by quarterback David Taylor, Greenhouse were not able to move the ball as well as they expected. Kaleb Ebanks stepped up for Greenhouse and caught a touchdown for his team, but Deloitte, whose focus during the last few games has been defense, continued with their game plan.
On the other side of the ball, Jon Pump, Jamie Stephens and Maralynn Mulvihill would each secure a touchdown, giving a score after regulation time of 26-14 in favor of Deloitte, which resulted in the end of the undefeated run for Greenhouse and secured Deloitte a spot in the Gold Cup finals.
On the opposite field, Popeyes faced reigning champions Burger Shack. Popeyes, who struggled to fill their roster, knew they would have a mountain to climb. Led by quarterback Lisa Malice, the team fought a good fight against their talented foes. Malice connected with Taj Haye for a touchdown catch, with Alicia Dixon and Andrew Frederick successfully converting extra points.
On the opposite side of the ball, Burger Shack, led by quarterback William Peguero, had every intention of doing whatever it would take to find themselves back in the finals. It was Perry Levy, arguably the team’s primary receiver, that would secure all three touchdowns for his team.
Popeyes put up a gritty fight on defense, with rookie player Ericia Burke being a standout force for her team.
Burke, a current member of the youth league, is playing in her first co-ed season. “It’s been great watching her fit in and excelling on our team. She played on our women’s team last season and made the national team her first year. Although young, she’s already making a name for herself,” says teammate Dixon.
The game ended with a 19-14 victory for Burger Shack, allowing them to defend their title and make a run for their eighth straight championship in the league.
In the Silver Championship, Tribe Tattoo and Maples went head to head. Once the whistle blew, Tribe showed very quickly it was their game to win. With a dominating performance on defense, Maples struggled to move the ball and score to keep their team in the game.
Offensively, Tribe seemed comfortable and unphased by Maples, as Nigel Solomon, Selkirk Watler and Scimone Campbell all scored for their team. Fabio Gall of Maples, known for his speed and elusive moves, did his part to fight to keep his team in the game, scoring a touchdown that would be his team’s only points. The final score would be a lopsided 33-6 in favor of Tribe Tattoo.
Team Captain and finals MVP Andrew Wisdom credits his team for the entire season. “We have a good group together that at the start of the season decided they were going to not only play for themselves, but for the next person. We’ve had some weeks where people were missing and we were short, but it didn’t stop us from fighting and winning. Most of all, we focused on having fun, and we did that. Winning on top of it is just added bonus.”
In the Gold Championship final, Deloitte and Burger Shack both knew what the other team could bring to the table.
Playing with nothing to lose, Deloitte knew that Burger Shack had experience on its side. Deloitte, already having the bragging rights of snapping Burger Shack’s winning streak, had proven their right to be in the finals and sought to impose their style of football for the next 40 minutes.
Burger Shack, equally determined, went into the game following the same game plan they have had for years, and relied on their talent-filled roster.
“I just think we have a great group, our philosophy, our approach and everything has always been successful in this league. We have been running the same scheme for nine years. We have a lot of talent, and everyone understands the scheme,” said Perry Levy.
Burger Shack wasted no time in getting points on the board, as Levy caught a 40-yard bomb for a touchdown from quarterback William Peguero very early in the game. As the game progressed, Levy used his athletic ability to be a dominant force of defense as he intercepted a pass from Jamie Stephen that he ran straight into the end zone. Forcing Deloitte to play on their heels, Burger Shack seemed to be back with a vengeance.
In the second half, Deloitte found a bit of their fire, as Jon Pump scored after two Burger Shack defenders missed attempted tackles. Despite the pressure, Peguero also found Terry Ballard late in the game, securing another touchdown.
As the game progressed, Deloitte discovered they were not strong enough this time, and the game ended in a 28-12 victory to Burger Shack. Despite having their winning streak broken and being denied another perfect season, Burger Shack proudly hoisted the trophy as the champions of the Gold Cup division.
Perry Levy won MVP, as his experience and presence were felt on both ends of the ball.
With the 2018 Burger King Flag Football Co-ed season coming to a close, all eyes are on the Men’s and Women’s Premier Leagues that are set to start this summer.