By KEVIN ROBERTS
In flag football, speed kills. This year, Southington’s powder puff team had plenty of that deadly speed. And they weren’t afraid to use it.
The Lady Knights had three touchdowns of 25 yards or more in a 21-0 victory over Rocky Hill on Nov. 19 in front of an enthusiastic home crowd. It was the inaugural powder puff football game between the two schools.
Rocky Hill, a last-second opponent, gave Southington a game for a while. It was 7-0 near the end of the first half when Hailey Morelli pulled down the first of her two interceptions. The Lady Knights went into halftime ahead by that same 7-0 score, made some adjustments, and went to work against the much smaller roster of the Terriers.
On the first play of the second half, Abby Lamson threw down the middle to a wide open Chrissy Marotto for a 75-yard, catch-and-run touchdown. Kelly Doyle’s second extra point of the game put Southington up 14-0.
“In this game, speed kills. You get someone open, then it’s pursuit, pursuit, pursuit, pursuit,” Lady Knights coach Charles Kemp said.
On the ensuing Rocky Hill possession, Morelli came up with her second interception.
“Flag football is all about misdirection and speed. You don’t see the ball go in the air a lot,” Kemp said. “Rocky Hill threw it a lot, and they were very successful. We were fortunate enough that we made the adjustments, and Morelli made the adjustments to get the turnovers.”
Doyle ran 27 yards for a touchdown on the first play of the ensuing Southington drive, and the extra point from Alijah Vega put the home team up 21-0 at the end of the third quarter. Rocky Hill got the ball inside the Southington 10 on the game’s final possession, but Jessica Griffin pulled the flag on a Terrier runner for a five-yard loss on third down. An incomplete pass on fourth down ended the game.
Izabella Porkowski ran off the field with her teammates, happily yelling about the team’s shutout. Pokorski was one of a bunch of Lady Knights who pulled multiple flags on defense. Madison Rocha, Anna Laone, Julia Jackman, Karolina Kurzatkowski and Mallie Selinske also pulled multiple flags.
On offense, Marotto caught two passes for 87 yards. One was the touchdown from Lamson, and the other was a 12-yard completion from Gabby Malachowski. Verderame and Doyle provided the long runs for the Lady Knights, who ran less plays than the Terriers but maximized their output on their opportunities.
Southington’s male cheerleaders got the crowd going and gave them plenty of laughs throughout the game. Music blared, and the Lady Knight sideline sang along to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com.