BY GENE NARDI
The Seminole Ridge High School girls flag football team won the District 22 title Wednesday, April 24 with a convincing 54-6 performance over the Pahokee High School Blue Devils.
The Hawks first had to face crosstown rival Royal Palm Beach High School on Monday, April 22 and bested the Wildcats 40-0 to make it to the championship game.
Playing before a home crowd, the Hawks extended their unbeaten record to 14-0.
The contest against Pahokee opened up in shocking fashion as the Hawks elected to defer to the second half, and found themselves behind 6-0 for the first time this season when the Blue Devils marched down the field and drew first blood.
The Pahokee lead was short-lived as the Hawks started business as usual and returned with a strike of their own. Hawk receiver Kaitlin O’Hara caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Morgan Lauer and converted the point after to take the lead 7-6. The Hawks would hold their lead and build on it throughout the game.
The tough Hawk defense provided a fierce rush during the game, causing Pahokee to give five turnovers, two of which were returned for Hawk touchdowns. By the end of the first half, Seminole Ridge had mounted a 40-6 advantage.
In the second half, Pahokee attempted a brief comeback, driving into the Hawk red zone twice, but turned the ball over on downs. Seminole Ridge piled up three more scores to close out the game 54-6, giving them the District 22 title.
Top performers were quarterback Morgan Lauer, who threw for 6 touchdowns, and Kaitlin O’Hara with 2 touchdown receptions and 2 interceptions returned for scores. Emily Coulter is credited with 3 touchdown receptions. Sydney Fusco had 2 interceptions, while Savanah Martinez had a touchdown.
On Saturday, April 27, the Hawks faced Boynton Beach for the first round of regional play and defeated the Tigers 19-0, extending their undefeated record. They faced Palm Beach Gardens in the regional finals Tuesday, defeating the Gators 13-0. Seminole Ridge now heads to the state quarterfinals.
ABOVE: Seminole Ridge rusher Kelly Fraidenburg dives to make a flag pull on Pahokee’s Mahogany Johnson.