Mainland came back with a 20-12 win after Jones High School scored the first touchdown in the first half on Wednesday, Apr. 27, at Atlantic High School.
Emotions ran high as Mainland and Jones high schools took the field in the District 10-1A flag football championship game on Wednesday, April 27, at Atlantic High School in Port Orange. Even though the Fightin’ Tigers scored the first touchdown, the Buccaneers dug deep, played a balanced game and brought home the championship trophy with a 20-12 win.
Referees called a sideline infraction on Mainland’s coaches which resulted in a five-yard penalty for the team during the first half of the game. Coach Ethan Simpson acknowledged the issue.
“We have got to keep our heads up and stay focused,” he said. “I have got to get better at staying focused on the game and forget the rest.”
“Once we started punching it in, it gave us hope and gave us energy on defense to start locking it down.”
ETHAN SIMPSON, Mainland flag football head coach
Mainland’s offense had two great drives in the first quarter and dropped two touchdown passes. In the second half, they started running the ball into the end zone — scoring all their points in the third and fourth quarters.
“I think the big thing is, on offense, we were driving the ball like crazy, but we just weren’t finishing,” Simpson said. “We came back the second half and started finishing. We made some good adjustments on coaches and players. Once we started punching it in, it gave us hope and gave us energy on defense to start locking it down.”
Quarterback Alexa Wilson passed for 220 yards, rushed for 106 and scored two touchdowns. She currently leads the team with 411 rushing yards, while wide receiver Camryn Campbell leads in receiving yards at 545 for the season.
Jones High School’s quarterback was pressured throughout the game by team captains Avari Albright-Walker and Tania Bolden who had five sacks between them — four for Bolden. Albright-Walker also scored one 11-yard receiving touchdown while Bolden and linebacker Shelby Lecates led the team with five tackles each. Simpson believes Albright-Walker and Bolden are the top two rushers in the state.
“We have told Nia and Avari from the get-go, in big games, that they can control the game,” Simpson said. “They are fast and good kids. They always bring the big-time plays at the end and big-time sacks.”
Bolden recently signed with Cottey College in Missouri to play flag football.
“We host the first round of the playoffs,” she said. “When I get on the field, I’m going to shut them down.”