The City of Richmond’s 10-under Flag Football season kicked off with a “wildly entertaining show of athleticism, sportsmanship and good fun,” said Vencel Alfred, the Recreation Leader and Youth Flag Football Coordinator.
The 10-under youths initially did not have a league, but some of the kids who attended 12-under matches started off-the-field pick-up games, “borrowing flags from the equipment bags and any football they could find,” Alfred said.
Noticing their enthusiasm, Alfred along with fellow City of Richmond Recreation coordinators Tetteh Kisseh, Troy Porter and Jerry Anderson banded together to organize an NFL Flag Football league for them.
On Wednesday, the game was on between the 10-under Richmond PAL and Richmond All-Stars, and it was thrilling.
Richmond PAL’s two-point conversion following an interception that was returned for a touchdown sealed the victory over Richmond All-Stars by the score of 8-6.
“The fact that one team actually scored more points than the other is of little significance as the kids had a wondrous time being on the Martin Luther King Turf field; complete with field markings, officials in stripes and fans cheering the little folks on,” Alfred said.
Also a matter of little significance: The ball being too big for hands, Alfred added.
“It was a joy to see their faces light up as they geared up for their time in the spotlight,” he said. “The first game went great, without a hitch and with excitement to spare.”
City of Richmond Youth Flag Football: 12U Division
The City of Richmond is welcoming San Pablo/Salesian Boys & Girls Club to the 12U Flag Football League. The new team will begin competing this week.
Game 1: EM Downer Bearcats 20 (27 yards in OT) v. Richmond College Prep Cougars 20 (34 yards in OT)
In Week 2 action, EM Downer Bearcats took on Richmond College Prep Cougars. With a Week 1 bye, this was the Cougars first time hitting the field since the Pre-Season Jamboree. The College Prep squad struck early and often jumping out to a 14-0 lead in the first half via two deep tosses over the top and behind Bearcat defenders.
Down 14-0 at the start of the second half, Coach Meech’s Bearcats came out firing on all cylinders. Nifty runs from the pint sized half back left Cougar defenders stunned and grasping for naught. With what seemed to be a come from behind heroics trend early on for the Bearcats, regulation ended with the score tied at 20-20.
Cougars won the overtime coin flip and elected for first possession. After a Cougar receiver snatched a jump ball from above EM Downer defenders, the Cougars finished their set of three downs with 34 yards. This proved to be enough for the OT victory as the Bearcats suffered their first loss of the season after mustering up only 27 yards.
Game 2: Richmond All-Stars 14 v. Richmond PAL 6
The afternoon’s second game saw undefeated Richmond All-Stars take on Richmond PAL.
RPAL, still looking for its first win after last week’s heartbreaking loss in the closing seconds, took the lead early on a 46-yard run to go up 6-0.
Undaunted, Richmond All-Stars scored quickly after the start of the second half to knot the game at 6-6.
A RPAL interception could have greatly changed the tide of the game but the ball carrier stopped, believing his flags had been pulled. Officials took this coaching opportunity to explain to the player to “always play until you hear the whistle.”
As a result, the 6-6 score would hold until there was less than 2 minutes remaining in the game. It appeared that a second overtime game was in the making. But when a quick RPAL pass was cleverly picked off and returned for a touchdown, RPAL’s hopes were all but exhausted. The feisty RPAL team would see their experience there second of back to back last minute losses.
Game color provided by Vencel Alfred