Creek wins in rain, edges Mainland for Five Star title

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On a soggy pitch and in the pouring rain, Spruce Creek quarterback Katie Herb tucked the football in, turned the corner and sprinted along the right sideline, juking the players in the process of road, to score the tied touchdown with 4:50 left.

Herb then ran into the extra point, and the Hawks held off Mainland 7-6 in the Five Star Conference Flag Football Championship game on March 31 at Flagler Palm Coast High School.

Mainland collected the ball twice in the closing minutes but couldn’t respond.

Spruce Creek improved to 6-0 as the Bucs (3-1) suffered their first loss of the season.

“It was a great game,” Mainland coach Ethan Simpson said. “The defense was playing well. We knew (Herb) was one of the most athletic players we were going to see. They put the ball in her hands and she left. We were playing a bit back, and she came out of our defense and hit it. We missed a few flags.

The rain started in the second quarter and intensified in the second half, making it more difficult to pass the ball, which is the base of the Bucs.

“It’s always a good game between us and Creek. It’s always close. We are excited to play them again in a few weeks.

ETHAN SIMPSON, Mainland flag football coach

“When the weather started to change, it changed our game plan,” Simpson said. “For Creek, they handled the ball well.”

The Bucs took a 6-0 lead on the first drive of the game as quarterback Alexa Wilson threw a 6-yard tilt to Kassie Stoner for the touchdown. Wilson’s extra points pass fell incomplete. And that turned out to be the difference in the game.

“It was a very close game,” Simpson said. “It’s always with them. It’s always difficult to play them. This weather has made it difficult.

Spruce Creek was the only team to beat Mainland in the regular season last year, 30-20, in a game that looked nothing like the defensive battle for the conference title.

The teams will meet again in the regular season finale on April 18 in Mainland.

“It’s always a good game between us and Creek,” Simpson said. “It’s always close. We are excited to play them again in a few weeks.

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