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NMA debuts in flag football, falls to Dothan and Catholic | High-school - FlagSpin

NMA debuts in flag football, falls to Dothan and Catholic | High-school

The scoresheet didn’t look pretty for the Northside Methodist Academy girls flag football team on Tuesday night, but it was a start for the new program.

The Knights were overwhelmed by the speed and athleticism of Montgomery Catholic and Dothan, falling to Catholic in the opener 30-0 and to Dothan in the nightcap 34-0 during a tri-match at Rip Hewes Stadium.

Dothan also played Catholic, losing 25-6.

While his team lost twice, Northside Methodist coach Robby Morris said the Knights, with 14 players on roster, gained valuable experience in the school’s first game in the sport of girls flag football.

“We just take out of it the experience of playing two games and playing against two pretty decent teams,” Morris said. “They (the opponent) may have been older, but I think our girls were satisfied with how they played, but not the results. We will go back to practice and keep getting better.”

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Morris later added, “I take this for what it is – a learning experience. I tried to tell them (the girls after the games) that it is a learning experience and all we can do is take that experience and get better.”

In its historic first game, Northside Methodist lost to Catholic, which scored on its first two possessions to build a 12-0 halftime lead and pulled away in the second half with three touchdowns.

The historic first play in NMA flag football history had Catholic’s Ann Cobb finding open room on the left side for a 30-yard gain to the 36 with NMA’s Sydney Freeman recording the first tackle. Cobb scored on a 1-yard run to cap the drive. The extra-point conversion failed, leaving it 6-0 Catholic.

Northside Methodist had its first offensive series and the first play was a fumble for a 3-yard loss. The second play was an incomplete pass by quarterback Ari Jenkins before the first positive play and first completed pass in NMA history occurred, a 4-yard pass from Jenkins to Baileigh Martin.

The host Knights threw an incomplete pass on 4th down, turning it over to the Knights from Montgomery, who promptly scored in one play on a reverse with Cobb running 15 yards for a touchdown. Northside Methodist’s Madelyn Cheatwood tackled a Catholic runner short on the conversion attempt, leaving it 12-0.

NMA’s Jenkins had the program’s first positive rushing play on the next series with a 4-yard run, but the Knights had to bring in punter Dana Cool. The sophomore was one of the positives on the night for NMA, booming three punts for 119 yards in the two games (39.7 average).

Catholic threatened twice before the half, but Northside Methodist’s defense held the Montgomery team out of the end zone to trail only 12-0 at halftime.

The visitors, though, scored on three straight possessions to pull away in the second half. Cobb scored on an 11-yard run, Carysn Hawkins tallied on 1-yard run and Andy Aiken on a 9-yard run.

After five three-and-outs and an interception in six possessions, Northside Methodist earned its first and only first down on the game’s last play when Jenkins connected with Cool on a 9-yard gain to pass the first-down marker.

“The speed of the game at the beginning, especially in the first game, really caught us,” Morris said. “We tried to emulate that in practice, but you only do so much when you don’t have a full team (for seven-on-seven). We did a little better job with that (speed) in the second game.”

Northside finished the night with its game against Dothan and produced a few highlights. Jenkins completed a 13-yard pass to Anna Bull and a 15-yard completion to Freeman for first downs and Cool unleashed a 47-yard punt.

Three injuries forced the Knights to play four seventh graders out of the seven on the field at times during the second half.

Dothan splits: A slow start in the opener was detrimental to Dothan in an opening 25-6 loss to Montgomery Catholic, but the Wolves turned it around with a strong passing game against Northside Methodist as quarterback Reecy Beacham threw five touchdowns in the 34-0 win. Both games ended on the 19-point two-minute mercy rule

“We still have a tendency to just not start the first half very strong and we dug ourselves a hole (in first game), so what I am most proud of is from the first game to the second game we seemed to have a good first half in the second game,” Dothan head coach Haley Williams said. “I thought it was a good way to respond after being mercy ruled in the first game.”

Against Northside Methodist, Beacham threw a 14-yard TD pass to Dallas Pfister on a crossing route for a 6-0 lead on Dothan’s first series. After a punt, the Wolves scored on their first two possessions of the first half on a 5-yard Beacham to Aliceia Ransom pass and a 23-yard Beacham to Brenna Pfister score with five seconds left in the half.

In the second half, Beacham threw a 23-yard TD pass to Saniyah Fletcher, who caught the ball between two Knight defenders for the score, and added a 30-yard pass to Dallas Pfister, who caught a short pass, made a few defenders miss with some good moves then sprinted outside to the left and downward for the TD.

Beacham finished the game 10-of-19 passing for 185 yards with Fletcher catching four passes for 69 yards.

In between the two scores, the Wolves earned a safety when Sevyn Walker was able to grab the NMA quarterback’s flag off in the end zone.

In addition to the safety, the Dothan defense earned four interceptions. Jamie McCloud had two and Brenna Pfister and Varner had one each.

In Dothan’s first game, Catholic seized a 19-0 lead less than six minutes in off a 38-yard TD run by Cobb on a reverse, a 22-yard run by Aiken and a 21-yard interception return for a touchdown by Heaven Bailey.

Dothan’s Kevelyn Grayson intercepted a pass to deny the first conversion attempt and Brenna Pfister stopped a run attempt on the second conversion before Catholic’s Aiken scored on the third try.

Dothan scored on a 16-yard pass from Beacham to Josie Varner with 16 seconds left in the first half to cut the margin to 18-6. A try for two failed.

Cobb scored on another reverse, this one from 3 yards out early in the second half, extending the margin to 25-6.

Beacham and Varner combined on an explosive 47-yard catch and run play for Dothan, but time ran out on the play with the Wolves having used all their timeouts.

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Travis Burnett

Travis Burnett

A pioneer in the flag football community, Travis helped co-found the Flag Football World Championship Tour, FlagSpin and USA Flag. Featuring 15+ years of content creation for the sport of flag football, creating and managing the largest flag football tournaments on the planet, coaching experience at the youth and adult level as well as an active player with National and World Championship level experience.

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