While the Seabreeze boys couldn’t get the job done against the Mainland Bucs in this past season’s cross town rivalry, the Lady Sandcrabs avenged their loss by beating the Lady Bucs 14-12 in a hotly contested flag football battle Thursday, April 2, at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex.
“It was just an exciting win; it’s always nice to beat Mainland,” coach Blake Hillman said. “My hats off to the Mainland kids, though. They played a great game.”
Seabreeze struck first in the opening quarter, when McKenzie Bowlus connected with her favorite receiver, Kaley Dale, for a 40-yard touchdown pass and scored on the conversion to go up 7-0. The Bucs got on the board in the second quarter, when quarterback Haley Burdett found Gabrielle Judd for a score, but Mainland failed on the conversion, which came to hurt them in the end.
After halftime, Seabreeze forced a three-and-out and returned the punt inside of Mainland’s territory. Held to a fourth-and-long, Bowlus was able to score from nearly 20 yards out on a scramble through multiple defenders. The Sandcrabs converted the extra play to go up 14-6.
After getting the ball to midfield, Mainland’s Kaeli Raspotnik pulled off a double pass, by catching the ball behind the line of scrimmage and then hitting Jasmine Hadley in stride for a big gain. Hadley would score, but the Bucs failed on another conversion to trail 14-12 late in the game.
After moving the ball down near Mainland’s end zone, Seabreeze’s Bowlus was picked off by LeeAnn Kent in the end zone, who returned it near midfield with just over three minutes remaining to give Mainland a last chance.
After a penalty was called against Seabreeze to preserve Mainland’s drive on fourth down with less than a minute remaining in the game, the Buccaneer’s final pass was broken up as time expired.
“I’m proud of the defense, because we could’ve scored and gone up by at least eight, but we didn’t,” Hillman said. “And, we gave up some long balls, but we eventually stopped them to win the game. I was very proud of them.”
The loss was Mainland’s first of the season, and Seabreeze remained undefeated in district play. According to Hillman, there may be another game such as this one in the weeks to come.
“We’re probably going to have to play them again in district tournament, so it could be just as great and exciting as this game, all over again,” he said.
BOX: Seabreeze quarterback McKenzie Bowlus went 12-for-22 for 104 yards and a touchdown. She also rushed for 40 yards and another score. On defense she had seven flag pulls.
Kaley Dale caught Bowlus’ touchdown and finished with 60 receiving yards. Kylee Howland had five flag pulls and two sacks, and Ashley Loyd led the team with nine flag pulls. Dale and Mikayla Lake scored the deciding conversions that made the difference in the game.
For the Lady Bucs, quarterback Haley Burdett threw two touchdowns, one to Jasmine Hadley, and the other to Gabrielle Rudd. LeeAnn Kent caught an interception and returned it for 36 yards.