Lynx, Panthers win flag football championship

Greenhouse Lynx overcame HSM Vipers in a tight battle to take the championship.

The 2019 Cayman Islands Flag Football Association wrapped up the season on Saturday when the top four teams battled each other.

The first game of the day was a defensive battle between HSM Vipers and Greenhouse Lynx. With the Vipers seeking to continue their title streak, Lynx came in determined to not let that happen.

Both teams prevented the other from scoring for the majority of the game. Vipers attempted to move the ball downfield by implementing creative run plays by Alicia Evans and Jennifer Choice. However the Lynx defence locked each attempt down with key tackles by the D-line of Brittany Borden, Denicia Cranston and Latoya Cover.

Lynx coach Oliver Parker commended his defence, “After three consecutive years of disappointment in the finals, the ladies put in a tremendous effort to win the championship this year. Defence absolutely dominated. Holding the defending champions to zero TDs in four games is quite a statement. I am very proud of what the ladies achieved as a team.”

On offence, Lynx QB Erica Bosch consistently led her team throughout the season and came into the finals composed and unwavering. By successfully reading the defence, Bosch looked to Shenel Gall and Marleena Smith to run the ball downfield.

Smith had a close attempt to possibly give her team the first touchdown of the game with a trick play where she blasted down the sideline, bypassing all of Vipers defence, but was unfortunately called back by a penalty.

Lynx have become known for their clever run plays, which proved to be successful in the end when running back Kayla Robinson (finals MVP) shot her way into the endzone to score the winning touchdown of the game. Notably, Lynx’s O-Line was a key factor in the teams running plays this season, landing several blocks against defensive teams.

In Vipers’ final attempt to put a score on the board, Vania Cornwall made the game-changing interception to put Lynx back on offensive, as Bosch silently kneeled to the final whistle as her team took the championship title.

“It took us a minute to find our groove at the beginning of the season on offence, but once we settled in, we did what needed to be done and put points on the board. We executed, scored, and beat the other teams when it counted,” said Bosch.

Coach Parker added, “I would also like to give a big thank you to our sponsor Greenhouse. Chef Jen has supported us so much. To the Lynx ladies, enjoy your championship. No one can take it away from you. Not even a protest.”

Last game of the Championship Saturday, the men’s 2018 contenders Burger King Panthers and Uncle Clem’s Wolves came back to go head to head for a rematch. In the regular season, Panthers went up against the Wolves three times, only being able to pull off one win in the first game of the season, beating Wolves 24‑21.

Wolves came into the championship hungry to take the title. However, Panthers had a point to prove and managed to walk away with their third consecutive championship title, continuing to be the team to beat, with a score of 10‑6.

Panthers captain Brendon Malice stated, “This season was a testament to our team’s versatility, with over 11 players from last year’s team being injured and unable to play.”

Both teams fought to get their offensive machinery in gear. Catches by Alex Pascal and David Taylor helped moved the Wolves down the field but struggled to find that scoring pass. Panthers looked to Jon Pump and Kwei General (finals MVP) to push the team to the redzone.

Panthers took the lead when Richard Campbell scored a field goal.

Shortly after that, QB Glenn Duran connected with Chris Bennett for a touchdown to extend the Panthers lead to 10 points. Wolves fought back late in the game when QB Jordan Stubblefield rushed in for their sole touchdown of the game.

“Overall, we are proud of our accomplishments. Our team played hard and team members stepped up at critical times during games and in spots that they don’t normally play. We would like to thank all the other teams for giving us a great season and hope to see you all again,” said Jermaine Sharpe of the Panthers.