Seminole Ridge goes to Class 2A title game
In 2013, after years of scattering flag football’s postseason games across Florida, theFHSAAcentralized the state playoffs. Since then, only one team has made the trip to the final four every year.
And each time they’ve made the trip — once to Tampa, once to Kissimmee, twice to Tallahassee and now to Gainesville — the SeminoleRidgeHawkshave hung around for Saturday.
On a rainy Friday at Gainesville’s Citizens Field, coach Scott O’Hara’s team beat Cooper City 25-12 to reach its sixth straight Class 2A championship and push its winning streak to 52 games. TheHawks will face No. 4 Tampa Plant today at 11:30 a.m.
Led by senior quarterback Emily Higgins, whose quick feet and quicker release kept Ridge’s drives from stalling, the Hawks really didn’t take control until the middle of the fourth quarter.
After Cooper City QB Caitlin Dunn hit Kimberly Slinkosky for a touchdown that got the Cowboys to within 6, Seminole Ridge took over and quickly found itself on the verge of a 3-and-out, needing 15 yards with 6:48 left to play.
Higgins calmly took the snap and hit a streaking Ashley Hollandworth on a post route up the middle that put Ridge on the Cowboys’ 22-yard line. Three plays later, Higgins eluded a rusher and tossed a rainbow to KristiKemper in the back of the end zone to put the game out of reach.
It was a game that matcheduptwoof the area’s most newsworthy flag teams this season: the Hawks, currently South Florida’s longest-running high school dynasty; and the Cowboys, a team on the bright end of a formidable turnaround.
In the two years prior to last year’s hiring of coach Al Diliello, theCowboyswere a combined 1-24. This year, their only regular-season loss came against Pines Charter in a battle of undefeateds.