Some pretty good drama unfolded late Saturday afternoon at Monsignor Pace High School as a pair of undefeated flag football teams in Pace and Miramar put on quite a show.
And in the end it was Pace quarterback Sabrina Cabrera who decided the issue, scoring from a yard out on third-and-goal in the second overtime to give the Spartans a 19-13 double OT victory over the Patriots in a First Round Play-In game. Pace (14-0) will host Everglades on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in a Second Round Play-In contest with the winner punching their ticket to the state tournament in Tallahassee.
“I don’t know how to explain it, but we were so determined to find a way to get it done today,” said Cabrera who completed 8 of 20 for 139 yards and two touchdowns. “I had to find a way to get in that end zone and end it.”
With a defense that had yet to be scored on all season, Pace got all the points it thought it would need when Cabrera, on third-and-20, found Daisza Jones for a 60-yard score on the third play of the second half for a 6-0 lead.
But the Patriots became the first team to penetrate the Spartans end zone all season when Tyshasia Thornton found Tatiana Williams for a 5 yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal with four minutes left leaving the game tied at six after just barely missing the conversion.
The Cabrera/Jones combination worked again when the two hooked up for a 10-yard scoring toss on the first play of overtime putting the Spartans up 13-6 after Cabrera found Jones for the one-point conversion as well.
But the Patriots (11-1) scored on fourth down again, a one yard plunge by Williams who then found Yolanda Gregory for the all-important conversion tying the game again sending it to a second overtime.
“All I know is she’s fast and when I see her open I have to find a way to get her the ball,” said Cabrera about her favorite target in Jones. “She showed why today as she really made the big plays for us. She’s my little Mighty Mouse.”
▪ State play-in first round— Everglades 18, Archbishop McCarthy 13: Down 13-6 midway through the fourth quarter, host Everglades was able to score twice in the final minutes to defeat Archbishop McCarthy.
The game-winning score came on a 5-yard pass from Nicole Lennie to Alyssa Jones with 27 seconds left and put Everglades (12-2) up 18-13.
"This was a pretty big win for us, " said Lennie who passed for 107 yards and three touchdowns, but also threw seven interceptions. "At first it was just nerves, but I got my head in the game."
The Mavericks (9-3) were led by Jennifer Lopez who had three interceptions, including a 25-yard touchdown return on her third to put McCarthy up 13-6 early in the fourth quarter. Sophie Jardon had a 45-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter.
The Mavericks lead was cut to 13-12 on a 20-yard pass from Lennie to Karina Harris.
Everglades will play Monsignor Pace in round two of the state play-in Tuesday at 7 p.m.
▪ State play-in first round — Boyd Anderson 14, Blanche Ely 7: The Cobras (8-3) scored both touchdowns in the first half, then held off the rallying Tigers (11-3) to advance in the state playoffs.
BA faces Taravella in the round of 16.
Kenya Lindo threw touchdown passes to Mariah Roach and Shaniya Grace for the 14-0 halftime lead. Blanche Ely cut the lead in half when Briana LeBrun took a pitchout from quarterback Faitia Irving for a six-yard score midway in the third quarter. The Tigers' final attempt to tie the game was killed when BA's Grace picked off a pass on second-and-goal before the two-minute warning.
▪ State play-in first round — Taravella 21, Boca Raton 6: The Trojans came back from an early 6-0 deficit with 21 unanswered points to eliminate the visiting Bobcats.
Taravella (11-3) answered Boca Raton's early touchdown when Mariah Triplett threw a touchdown pass to Jordan Gomes. Kristen Gomes made the reception for the extra point to give for the 7-6 lead the Trojans never relinquished.
All the scoring took place in the first half as the Bobcats end their season at 11-4. Taravella will face Boyd Anderson in the second round of the state play-in round.
Triplett finished with two touchdown passes and McKenzie Malone accounted for two scores with a 40-yard interception return and a 10-yard TD catch.
Miami Country Day School’s Sascha Kappos has signed to play basketball at Dalhousie University in Halifax Nova Scotia in Canada.