Flag football teams see confidence rising


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Eagle River’s Gabrielle Mordini turns the corner against the East defense during Eagle River’s 18-6 homecoming win over the T-Birds on Sept. 17 at Eagle River High.

STAR PHOTO BY MIKE NESPER

Eagle River avenged an overtime loss to East earlier this season with an 18-6 victory over the Thunderbirds on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Wolves’ den.

The homecoming victory put Eagle River at 4-4 this season.

With several games being decided late in the fourth quarter or overtime this year, the two-touchdown victory was a welcomed change for head coach Matt Turner.

“It was nice getting a win like that,” he said.

Gabrielle Mordini sealed the victory for Eagle River with a 10-yard scamper on third-and-goal with under four minutes to play.

Mordini then showed off her skills on defense.

After Meaghan Byman sacked East’s quarterback, two straight incompletions brought up fourth down. The T-Birds aired out a pass, but Mordini batted it down to give possession back to Eagle River with less than two minutes to play.

The girls were anticipating a long throw, Mordini said, and she was able to get her hands on the pass.

“Turner’s motto is, ‘Find the ball, get the ball,’” Mordini said.

Byman was a constant nuisance to East’s quarterback, Turner said. Turner described Byman’s play as “quick and dominating.”

The Wolves wanted payback for East’s 7-6 overtime win Aug. 30, Mordini said.

“We really wanted this one,” she said.

Freshman quarterback Lauren Frost took a 9-yard run in for the game-winning touchdown with just under seven minutes to play in the first half.

Frost kept the drive alive with a 21-yard pass to Mordini on fourth down one play prior to her touchdown run.

East marched down the field on its ensuing possession and had a first-and-goal with 1:21 left in the half. The Wolves’ defense held East to preserve a 12-6 halftime lead.

After falling behind 6-0, Eagle River’s Skylar Metzel took a 72-yard reverse in for a score to tie the game late in the first quarter.

“It was an adrenaline rush,” Metzel said of her long run to the end zone.

The victory was sweetened by playing the game at Eagle River’s field for homecoming, Metzel said.

Metzel also noted the team’s turnaround from its past two winless seasons.

“We’ve made a huge improvement,” she said. “Winning no games to winning four games already.”

Coach Turner wants the trend to continue.

“Hopefully, we’ll keep this momentum going,” he said.

 

LYNX 25, MUSTANGS 6

Chugiak’s flag football team was on the verge of taking a 6-0 lead into halftime against the best team in the Cook Inlet Conference when disaster struck.

Dimond scored a touchdown on the final play of the half Saturday, Sept. 17 at Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium and never looked back, rolling to a 25-6 Cook Inlet Conference victory.

“I think we have a completely different mental attitude if we’re up on the best team instead of down by one,” said Chugiak coach Jon Schroeder.

Chugiak fell to 3-5 in the CIC, while Dimond remained undefeated.

Up until the final play of the first half, the Mustangs gave Dimond all they could handle. Andre Samanigeo scored in the first half to make it 6-0, and Schoreder said both his offense and defense were going head-to-head with the defending conference champs.

“I’m encouraged,” he said.

Chugiak turned the ball over twice in the second half as the Lynx pulled away. But Schroder said he thinks the squad continues to improve as the season wears on, and the head coach believes his team is capable of big things — once they play up to their talent level.

“They need to be as excited about our potential as I am,” Schroeder said.

 

Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or mike.nesper@alaskastar.com

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