Powder Puff Football Takes Over Panther Stadium

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Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Junior team
Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Maddie Horn get a block from Molly McQuirk
Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Senior captains Mackenzie Merriman and Maddy Biscarro, photobombed by Connor Mayes
Leader Photo by Jack Walker  Senior Mackenzie Merriman running with ball, Maddie Horn making the stop, junior Abby Morgan (blue shirt) chasing
Leader Photo by Jack Walker   Coach Alex Phillips with basketball whiteboard

For the 22nd time in the 23-year history of the Van Alstyne High School Powder Puff Bowl game the juniors have upset the senior team. This year it was no contest.

It was a 42-0 beat down by the junior class and after the game we caught up with Senior’s coach Connor Mayes.

“Coach, in all honesty, your team looked really confused out there today, did the junior’s pull anything unexpected,” we queried.

“No, we had them scouted pretty well and I thought we gave 110 percent, maybe more, but we didn’t get any breaks,” Mayes said.

After holding the juniors scoreless in the first quarter, the senior defense gave up three touchdowns in the second, two coming on pass interceptions.

Coach Mayes wanted to make sure we understood what happened on those two picks.

‘Our quarterback made the right reads, she gave 115 percent all day, but I feel like they had too many players in their defensive backfield,” he said.

After a Bailey Allen to Maddie Horn touchdown pass in the first quarter was erased by penalty, Allen connected with Horn on the first play of the second half for the junior’s first touchdown of the contest.

With a little more than eight minutes left in the quarter, Horn intercepted a pass in the flat and ran it in for a pick-six.

Ashley Burts made an interception with three minutes left and raced 67 yards for the junior’s third touchdown of the half.

Overlooked in the juniors’ big win was the tough inside running by seniors Maddy Darling and Mackenzie Merriman. Both girls had a lot of east-west yardage; unfortunately the Panther Stadium field runs north-south.

At halftime we asked Mayes what changes he would make in the second half.

“We just have to play our game and keep giving 120 percent,” he said. “Maybe we’re looking ahead to next week but we will be better in the second half.”

We commented that his number 14 was playing really well, that we had seen her all over the field in the opening period.

“Uh, sir, they’re all wearing number 14. It’s the senior class of 2014,” he Mayes replied.

Oh, our bad, but back to the game.

On the junior’s first play of the third quarter, Allen lateraled the ball to Horn on a sweep to the right and she threw a perfect pass to Emma Moreno in the left flat amounting to an 80-yard catch-and-run touchdown play.

We asked juniors coach Alex Phillips to talk about that play.

“It’s just like I drew it up on this board,” Phillips said, showing us a whiteboard with a printed basketball court.

When we pointed out this discrepancy he was quite surprised.

We asked how he prepared his team for this pivotal game.

“I told them nobody was going to outwork us, nobody was going to out run us and certainly nobody was going to out coach us. The only way we can lose this game is if they score more points than us,” Phillips said.

You can’t argue with that logic.

The senior class failed to complete a pass during the entire contest and we can credit the defensive scheme devised by coach Kearon Redmon for that shutout.

After the game we asked Redmon a couple of questions concerning his defense.

“What was the key in keeping the seniors without a completion,” we asked.

“Execution, we knew we had the numbers and the firepower to take charge and cover a lot of territory,” Redmon said.

“What was the key in Russia’s takeover in Crimea,” we queried.

“Execution, they knew that they had the numbers and firepower to take charge and cover a lot of territory,” Redmon astutely replied.

We caught up with a dejected Mayes leaving the stadium after the game.

“We just have to play better next week, we have to give 125 percent to get a shot at a bowl bid,” he stated.

We just didn’t have the heart to tell him that there is no next week. Powder puff is over for a year.