Northeast Florida Sports Jacksonville

A Fine Day For Flag Football!!

Jackson High School- As the sun set on a beautiful spring afternoon, Andrew Jackson’s Karlyta Shealey and Shirlayshia Rodgers met Terry Parker’s Rashonda Hall and Yazmin Brown at midfield before their flag football contest. The sun set behind the home team Jackson, as Shealey and Rodgers seemingly blocked the sun while shaking the hands of the much shorter Hall and Brown. This would be an ominous sign for the Lady Tigers as they would try to stand tall in defense of their home field against the speed of the Lady Braves.

Terry Parker began the contest deep inside Jackson territory after an interception by #1 Rashonda Hall. Hall darted in front of the intended Jackson receiver and raced down the left sideline. It didn’t take long for Hall to finish on offense what she started on defense, as she took a sweep around the right end for the game’s first touchdown. Hall showed incredible speed on the play, out running the outstretched arms of the Jackson defenders. The point after would be no good, as Parker led 6-0. On Jackson’s next drive, the turnover bug would bite them again as Parker’s #9 Keszirea Odoms intercepted another Jackson pass attempt. IMG_2685The interception set the Braves up deep in Tiger territory again. After a sweep left put them inside the five yeard line, #10 Jazmyn Simmons would take the snap and rush for a Brave’s  touchdown. She would add a QB sneak up the middle to increase their lead to 13-0 in the first quarter. Jackson fell behind early due to turnovers, but they began to make plays in the second quarter. #2 Diamond Harris took a sweep left and put a nice move on the Parker defender to get to the sideline. She would rush 40 yards down to the Parker 10 yard line. After four downs in the redzone, the Tigers could not put points on the board. Parker’s defense would successfully execute a goal-line stand, paving the way for their offense to score their third touchdown of the half. #5 Natalia Smith would have the longest run of the day as she took the handoff and rushed 50 yards for the touchdown. Terry Parker would lead Jackson 19-0 at halftime.

In the second half, Jackson’s defense stiffened. Safety Karlyta Shealey roamed sideline to sideline making plays in the secondary. She had a beautiful one on one pass breakup against Rashonda Hall, and nearly came away with three interceptions on the day using her length as an advantage on defense. Shealey also lead her team in tackles. She was successful in stopping Hall in the air, but at safety she was ineffective against Hall on the ground. Rashonda would lead Parker in rushing on the day, using her agility and quickness to frustrate the taller and longer Tigers. This would be the difference in the game, as Parker’s smaller and shiftier runners proved to quick for Jackson. Parker would get a score on a short pass from Simmons to #23 Yazman Brown; And Hall would put the icing on the cake with her second touchdown of the day as Terry Parker defeated Jackson 31-0.

It was a great showcase of athletic talent on the field by both teams, yet Parker played much better as a unit. Their Head Coach Keith Poole knows that experience comes with time. “This team was together when we were struggling and now they are playing at a very high level together”, said Poole. His passionate approach to coaching the ladies have resonated with his team on and off the field. “The girls know they have to execute on the field as well as in the class room. It is no different; we expect them to give 100% out there and they respond very well”.  For Poole the win was bitter sweet for him as he defeated a former player of his, Jackson’s Head Coach Rene Howell. Howell played for Poole at Terry Parker in the inaugural season of Flag Football, going undefeated on the 2000′ team. Poole currently has his team 7-0 on the season and looking to repeat history in remaining unblemished.

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