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Fleming flags fall in final

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 5/18/23

MANDARIN - Fleming Island High’s flag football team held off the defending 2A champion Western High to avenge their 2022 Final Four loss, but did not fare as well against Alonso High of Tampa, now …

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Fleming flags fall in final


Posted

MANDARIN - Fleming Island High’s flag football team held off the defending 2A champion Western High to avenge their 2022 Final Four loss, but did not fare as well against Alonso High of Tampa, now 23-0, as the Golden Eagles lost 33-6 in their first foray into the FHSAA flag football championships Saturday at Mandarin High School. Against Western, Fleming Island held off a late surge by the champions to win a 20-14 match to advance.

“Overall, the past two seasons we were back to back regional champs with an overall record of 32-3 and two of those losses to the eventual state champs; Western in 22 and Alonso in 23,” said Fleming Island coach Clinton Lyons, who guided the team with his dad, Mike, as his assistant. “It was an outstanding season we are only the second North Florida team (Mandarin in 2013) to ever make the championship game since flag playoffs started 20 years ago in 2003.”

Against Western, with senior quarterback Mykala Maddox, headed to Florida Gateway College to play flags in college, Fleming Island, ranked third nationally, gave Western a first score, but responded with Maddox putting the ball in the end zone three straight series; a one yard run, an eight yard pass to Gabi Musa and a two yard run to put Fleming Island up 20-7.

On defense, Fleming Isalnd got interceptions from Musa, Maddox and two sacks from rusher Daisy Fletcher.

Against Alonso, Fleming Island fell uncharacteristically behind 14-0 in the first quarter; 20-0 into the second quarter, off an interception and pass score.

Late in the first half, Maddox, who was, at times, pressured with two players by Alonso, hit passes to Musa and Megan Cobb to keep the chains moving before a 30 yard pass to Alyssa Langston put Fleming Island in scoring position.

Alonso’s defense was able to corral any long passes to wide receiver London Jenkins who has been Maddox’s favorite scoring threat all season.

“London Jenkins was a huge asset in our passing game to be able to take the lid off of defenses and also having defenses worried about her going deep opened up more stuff underneath for other receivers to make plays or for Mykayla to run,” said Lyons. “On defense, As Natalia Ramdas, Musa, and Cobb were a great front line for our defense pulling flags and breaking up the short passes. Ramdas was an emerging player in 2020 as freshman then covid hit and after an ACL tear in soccer her 10th grade year was able to finally comeback as a senior and was a huge help on defense to round out our starting lineup.”

From the six yard line, Maddox galloped in for the Golden Eagles lone score with Alonso scoring two more to end the contest.