Seniors dominate powder puff football game
By Brandon Park
Several Morgan County High School girls, who generally decorate themselves in nice clothes, makeup and designer shoes, traded that in last Wednesday for sweat pants, eye-black and cleats before hitting Legion Field for the annual Homecoming Powder Puff football game.
Teams were broken up by grades, and for the Senior team, an offensive attack that would have Coach Bill Malone peeking into their playbook propelled them to a 2-0 record, and the overall victory.
The tournament format was single elimination, with the Juniors facing the Sophomores and the Seniors squaring off against the Freshmen in the first round. By winning their round-one match-up, the Seniors battled the Sophomores in the finals, with the Seniors winning going away.
Game one between the Juniors and Sophomores saw a defensive struggle end in a 0-0 tie. Neither team was able to generate any sort of ground attack early, forcing the young quarterbacks into long passing situations.
On the opening possession, the Sophomores drove the entire length of the 50-yard field, only to turn the ball over-on-downs at the one-foot-line after four consecutive goal-line stands by the Juniors' defense.
An interception put a halt to the Juniors' ensuing drive, then two consecutive turnover-on-downs by both teams gave the ball to the Sophomores with time expiring.
A critical interception thrown by the Sophomores ended the game.
But someone had to win. And in order to determine who that would be, one player from each team lined up at the 40-yard line and raced to the goal-line. The younger legs of the Sophomores gave them the 40-yard dash victory and the opportunity to play in the championship game.
Game two pitted the highly favored Seniors against the Freshman. The experience advantage the Seniors possessed over the Freshmen proved to be the difference as rookie mistakes in pass coverage opened the door for two, game changing plays.
The Seniors received the throw-off and during their opening drive, an illegal formation penalty (too many players on the field) by the Freshmen pushed the ball to the 10-yard line. The Freshman's defense held until Senior wide out Sharde Massey found an opening in the back of the end zone and made her first of two touchdown receptions.
The Seniors took an early 1-0 lead, and did not look back.
The Freshmen turned the ball over-on-downs on their first possession. On the next play, Massey again exploited the Freshmen's secondary by turning a short completion into a long touchdown run. The buzzer sounded with the score 2-0.
And thus, the stage was set for an epic battle between the experienced, quick striking offensive attack of the Seniors against the relentless, fast pursuing defensive scheme of the Sophomores. That epic battle quickly turned into a monumental blowout.
The Seniors received the opening throw-off, and returned the ball to the goal-line. Two missed passes and a quarterback sweep that was stopped for no gain brought up an early fourth down, a situation the Seniors did not expect. The offensive confusion ended when Senior quarterback Kesha Tiller squirted across the goal-line for the first score of the game. After falling behind 1-0 early, the Sophomores fell apart.
Following two consecutive incomplete passes on the Sophomores' opening drive, a backward-pass fumble was recovered by the Seniors and returned for a touchdown. The Seniors were up 2-0.
The Seniors all but sealed the deal during the Sophomores next drive when defensive back Taran Shultz intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to push the score to 3-0.
Then, following a turnover-on-downs by the Sophomores, Tiller broke a quarterback sweep. Outrunning everyone on the field, Tiller went 84 yards for the score. Yes, 84 yards. Instead of stopping after she crossed the 50-yard line, she showed off her speed by sprinting into the regulation end zone.
The score was 4-0 when the buzzer sounded and the Seniors were crowned Champions of the 2008 Powder Puff football game.