Seabreeze quarterback Bailey McQuarrie torched the Hawks with 3 touchdown passes.
The Sandcrabs’ Alex Nelson never played center before the start of the 2019 season. She was on the Seabreeze flag football team’s junior varsity roster as a freshman last year and did not expect to make it onto the varsity team as a sophomore.
In Seabreeze’s matchup with Spruce Creek on the afternoon of Thursday, March 14, Nelson zipped between the Hawks’ defense and was open in the right corner of the end zone at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex. A well-placed throw by Sandcrabs quarterback Bailey McQuarrie found Nelson’s open arms, giving Seabreeze a 19-0 lead over the Hawks.
Nelson let out a triumphant roar as she stormed back to the sideline, slapping fives with her teammates and coaches along the way.
The Sandcrabs have played three games so far this season — all victories — and Nelson has scored in every one of them.
“I get really excited and I feed off of that,” she said. “It helps me keep my energy throughout the game.”
Thursday’s game was relatively uneventful for the majority of the first three quarters. Sandcrabs receiver Kara Haas hauled in a 15-yard touchdown pass from McQuarrie for the Sandcrabs’ first score of the game with 1:02 to play in the opening half.
That score remained until Giuliana Klioze caught a touchdown pass to give the Sandcrabs a 12-0 with 9:34 to play in regulation.
McQuarrie, who also plays defense, snagged an interception on the Hawks’ ensuing drive. The change in possession led to Nelson’s touchdown.
“Playing on defense really helps me clear my head,” McQuarrie said. “I don’t focus on what I’m doing wrong. I can just play football.”
An interception by Haas with fewer than 3 minutes to play ended the contest.
“I think we’re in a really good place,” McQuarrie said. “We’re clicking and working together. We have a really strong bond.”
Seabreeze lost six starters from last season. But in their place have stepped in several others — most of whom previously played on the JV team: Nelson, Angelina Cruz, who recorded her first career interception in the win over the Hawks, and Riley Stoner are some of the names that come to mind.
“These girls are stepping up,” Fries said. “They’re taking that varsity jersey seriously.”