Thompson hero of Fleming Island Final Four ticket

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 5/11/22

FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High’s girls flag football team had the clutch hands of receiver Taylor Thompson go big on Monday in the Golden Eagles 19-7 2A region championship win over Pace High …

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Thompson hero of Fleming Island Final Four ticket

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND - Fleming Island High’s girls flag football team had the clutch hands of receiver Taylor Thompson go big on Monday in the Golden Eagles 19-7 2A region championship win over Pace High as the stealthy pass catcher created the two biggest plays of the day to secure a flag football Final Four berth for coach Clinton Lyons.

Note: Fleming Island defeated Spruce Creek 6-0 in the region semifinal on Thursday to advance. Fleming Island (16-1) will host a state semifinal against Western High out of Davie (17-0, 17-1 last year, 2A runnerup to Newsome High 20-19) on May 13 at 7:15 p.m. with the championship weekend at Mandarin High School on May 13-14.

“When I saw all that green grass, I just ran as hard as I could and hoped noone would catch me,” said Thompson, who on her first heroic play of the night, caught a lofty pass downfield from quarterback Mykayla Maddox and shrugged away a tackler for space, then proceeded to outrun the Pace High defense for about 30 yards to paydirt and a 6-0 first quarter lead. “I just use the gloves and keep my eyes on the ball.”

Lyons noted that Pace’s defense was a little disregarding of the sideline with their internal speed on defense.

“Taylor Thompson had a great game and we thought they played a little soft on the edge,” said Lyons. “We make that catch and toss and it’s a big gain. Flag football is all about throwing and catching the ball first. We had trouble catching the ball against Spruce Creek, but it was on tonight.”

With the Fleming Island defense continually harassing Pace behind hard outside rushes from Khalia Jadan, then Angela Arnold when Jadan banged up her knee late in the fourth quarter, Mattox went to Thompson again on the Golden Eagles second offensive series for their potent Hook ‘N Ladder catch and toss pass play that Thompson calmly made the hook catch, turned and rugby-lateraled to speed outback Rose Martin near midfield and in front of the Pace High sideline. Martin, who is Lyons’ speed threat on the Golden Eagles’ jet sweep calls, kept full tilt speed all the way down the sideline to score Fleming Island’s second score and a 13-0 lead before the half.

“Rose Martin is a great all around player,” said Lyons. “She is a player on both sides of the ball.”

Fleming Island got a final score with a little backfield chicanery as Edwards got a back lateral from Maddox, ran back right behind the line of scrimmage, then hit Sarah Yirka in the end zone with a corner pass with 5:44 in the third to put the score at 19-7. Yerkas also had a fourth quarter interception off a tipped pass.

Pace scored on a post pattern pass that saw the Patriots wideout outsprint the entire Fleming Island defense to the goal line.

Late in the fourth quarter, Edwards ripped around left end for about 30 yards before being upended at the one yard line. Gabi Musa was stopped at the goal line on fourth down to prevent a fourth Golden Eagle score.

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