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The Coyote Caller

The Coyote Caller

The Coyote Caller

Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
Scott Hoskins, Journalism Adviser/Photographer • Published May 13, 2024
Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
Photo Gallery: Soccer vs. Northwest, May 9, 2024
Scott Hoskins, Journalism Adviser/Photographer • Published May 13, 2024
Photo Gallery: JROTC @Daytona Beach Drill World Championships
Photo Gallery: JROTC @Daytona Beach Drill World Championships
Gisely Argueta, Phototgrapher • Published May 8, 2024
Exam schedule posted
Exam schedule posted
Staff ReportPublished May 8, 2024
Laptop collection day set for Thursday, May 16
Laptop collection day set for Thursday, May 16
Staff ReportPublished May 6, 2024

Flag football squad falls in championship game

Senior+Madison+Bennett+cuts+to+the+end+zone+for+a+Coyote+score+in+the+game+on+April+25%2C+2024.
Scott Hoskins
Senior Madison Bennett cuts to the end zone for a Coyote score in the game on April 25, 2024.

Last year, the flag football team won the first county championship with a 13-6 win over Montgomery Central High School. This year, the team looked to repeat–against Central again. A repeat was not in the cards, though. Thursday night’s championship contest saw the Lady Indians avenge last year’s loss by a 14-6 score. The Lady Coyotes finish runner-up in the county with an 8-2 overall record, both losses coming against Central.

“Our defense played their hearts out,” head coach Aaron King said. “Not only in this game, but all season long. We liked the matchups that we set up, it just didn’t go our way this time. Central likes short chunk plays, but they also have deep-threat potential.”

After the defense forced the Lady Indians to punt on its first possession, the Lady Coyotes scored on its first possession. After a long Nicole Cushionbarry grab, Madison Bennett’s touchdown run gave them a 6-0 lead. She scampered through the Indians’ defense for twenty-plus yards for the score. The extra point try was unsuccessful.

Coach King said Bennett has been the workhorse this season. The senior led the team in touchdowns but will move on to play collegiate soccer next year. “Her level of athleticism is something that is going to be tough to find again,” Coach King said.

The home team quickly moved the ball down the field on its next possession through a combination of runs and short passes. The combination of Central quarterback Audrey Levendusky, wide receivers Kat Vidovic and Emily Whitmore and running back Libby “Squirrel” Dominiak consistently picked up big chunks of yardage. With less than five minutes remaining in the first half, the Indians scored on a touchdown pass, tying the game at six. The extra-point try was good, and the Coyotes were down 7-6. That score stood at halftime.

In the second half, the Coyotes moved the ball, but a disciplined Indian defense kept the offense in check. Quarterback Kinleigh Lewis’s long pass attempts fell incomplete, and several dropped passes hampered the offense. The running game ground out a few yards at a time but had no big gains.

Coach King noted the effect the dropped passes had.  “Dropped passes are momentum killers,” he said. “That is something that hurt us a lot this season. We got better as the year went on but that will be a major focus for us next season when we are evaluating during tryouts and during conditioning.”

The Coyotes’ defensive discipline matched the Indians’. Although the Indians moved the ball, they weren’t able to score until the 11:33 mark of the second half. Scoring on a short run, the Indians increased their lead to 13-6 and with the successful point-after-try, made it 14-6.

The Coyotes had several chances after that but could not capitalize. The Indians’ defense clamped down, not letting the Coyotes’ deep threats get open. With less than a minute to play, Cusionberry caught a long pass to move the ball to midfield, but on the next pass, the Indians intercepted Lewis’s pass to end the game.

“I know it’s not the end we wanted,” Coach King said, “but I am still so proud to be a part of this movement for flag football and women’s sports as a whole.”

Next year flag football will be a TSSAA-sanctioned sport.

“The ball is rolling for this sport to be one of the biggest hits in the country,” Coach King said. “These girls work so hard to learn the game of football, the intricacies, the physical demand. They are learning this sport from the ground up. Even through all of that, they are playing it at a high level compared to their competition.”

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About the Contributor
Scott Hoskins
Scott Hoskins, Journalism Adviser
Mr. Hoskins is the faculty adviser for the yearbook and student newspaper. He has 25 years of experience as a classroom teacher and library media specialist.