Flag football champions crowned
The Patriots’ Sammy Lyles hit Ja’Angelo Forrest for a 1-yard touchdown pass and a 12-6 overtime win over the Falcons in the Jasper County Parks and Recreation Youth Flag Football League championship game.
The Patriots trailed 6-0 until late in the fourth quarter.
After the game, Lyles said: “We told each other to stick your man and get an interception.”
Defense dominated the game, as the first quarter was highlighted by Ty’shon Mansell grabbing an interception for the Falcons and Lyles getting a sack for the Patriots. Lyles had three sacks overall and Mansell had two interceptions.
The Falcons got on the board on the first play of the second quarter, as Reed Smith hit Jordan Mikell for a touchdown bomb and a 6-0 lead.
The Patriots responded by moving down the field, with Lyles and Joseph Robinson taking turns at quarterback. However, with Ryder Smith putting the rush on Robinson, Mansell’s interception ended the drive.
The Patriots drove again late in the quarter as Lyles hit Malcom Gordon for a long gain. Three plays later Mikell blocked Lyles’ fourth-down pass for Forrest.
The score remained 6-0 throughout the third quarter and most of the fourth, with Jacair Medlock making a fourth-down stop for the Patriots and Mikell getting an interception for the Falcons.
On the Patriots’ last drive of regulation, Gordon made a long run on first down. Two plays later, on third down, a scrambling Lyles hit Robinson for a 30-yard touchdown to tie the game 6-6.
The Falcons got the ball first in overtime, but Lyles made a sack and an interception to give the Patriots the ball.
On second down, Lyles eluded a rushing Mansell and threw to Medlock, who was stopped by Ryder Smith on the 1-yard line. On the next play, Lyles hit Forrest for the winning touchdown.
Forrest’s father, James Forrest, coached the Patriots, while Dwyane Perry coached the Falcons.
In spite of the disappointing ending, Mikell stayed positive: “I had a great season, and my teammates had a great season.”
The events of the day started with the third- and fourth-place teams playing a consolation game. The Steelers defeated the Dolphins, 21-6.
During the awards ceremony after the championship game, recreation director Johnny Davis said, “I thank everyone of you for coming out here. It’s been an awesome time.”
Davis also thanked referees Javon Allen and Dionjae Mikell (Jordan’s brother), and he closed by saying, “I hope we have more teams next year.”
Lyles said, “If they have more teams, then I wanna play with the same guys.”