Fairview used a stifling defense that tallied six interceptions on the day to sweep a pair of games over visiting Independence and Summit on the opening day of girls’ flag football in Williamson County.
The Tennessee Titans-sponsored program has long been a desire of Fairview head coach Chris Hughes.
“This is something I have been trying to do for a long time,” Hughes said. “It was great when the Titans got behind this and put some money behind it. Isn’t that always the way, someone puts some support behind something and it (gets started).”
Fairview won 19-6 over visiting Independence and 6-0 over Summit to tie Ravenwood and Franklin for first place after the opening weekend of games.
The Yellow Jackets (2-0) got on the board midway through the first half when Lily Ann McElroy took a reverse pitch from Summer Anderson and scooted around the left side just inside the pylon for a 6-0 lead. Anderson stopped Independence’s next series when she intercepted a Madelyn Truitt pass and returned it deep into Eagle territory. A few plays later Anderson took a shovel pass from Skyler Reinfelder from short range for a touchdown and a 12-0 lead with 8:30 left in the first half.
The very next play saw the Fairview defense get its second pick of the game, this one by Maddie Sanderson, who halted another drive late in the half with her second interception and her team’s third of the first half.
Fortune turned for Independence (1-1) late in the half when Truitt’s pass for Finley Tapia was broken up by Alyssa Andrea. A hustling Claudia Chilton cradled the carom in the endzone for the Eagles’ first score of the season with eight seconds left in the half, but a failed conversion attempt kept Fairview’s halftime lead at 12-6.
Midway through the second half, Dillingham climbed the ladder to pick off quarterback Emma Green’s pass, setting up a one-yard touchdown run for Anderson. McElroy caught a short pass for the extra point, giving Fairview a 19-6 lead with 10:50 to play.
The deficit forced the Eagles to pass, resulting in two more interceptions for Fairview, one by McElroy and the other by Anderson, giving the Yellow Jackets a total of six in the game.
“At first I didn’t think we were going to be that great of a team,” said Anderson, who finished with two interceptions and two touchdowns. “But after the scrimmage we had last weekend, I thought we were going to be really good overall.”
“I think they played hard,” Hughes said. “We’re missing about eight girls today and we’re playing a little ironman football. They got a little worn down. Defense played really lights out. Offensively, we’ve got to get a little more fluent. For the first game, I’m extremely happy.”
Independence gets first win in overtime
The day’s second game saw another first as Independence pulled out a 7-6 overtime win over Summit.
It was the first overtime game of the new league. Madelyn Truitt’s keeper around the right side of the Summit defense tied the game with 44 seconds remaining and Chaise Bethmann’s two-yard conversion was the game-winner.
Summit broke through first when Jadie Arnold broke free for a 40-yard scamper which saw her cut back left to right all the way across the field to outrun the defense.
Madeline Mainis’ interception on Summit’s overtime attempt opened the way for Independence.
“I just wanted to win against Summit cause they’re our rivals,” Bethmann said. I just saw the gap and ran through and there you go, we got the dub.”
Independence head coach Andre Flowers was proud of his team’s effort.
“They did a great job,” Independence coach Andre Flowers said of his team’s effort. “They faced a little adversity, and they came through. I think for our girls they got some continuity toward the end, they started realizing how the plays work working, where they’re supposed to be, and when they’re supposed to be there. And our quarterback did a good job getting the ball to them. It’s definitely a learning experience for all of us.”
McElroy’s TD enough for Fairview to complete sweep
Lily Ann McElroy corralled a long pass from Skyler Reinfelder with seven minutes left in the game and outraced the defense to the endzone as Fairview held off Summit 6-0 in the final game.
McElroy was a key on both sides of the ball, defending the pass and making key catches.
“Overall (we played) great,” McElroy said. “We all put in the effort and made some plays. I believe we’re doing great on both sides of the ball right now. There’s still tons of work for us to do.”
A game that saw outstanding defense from both sides was in doubt until Maddie Brewer iced the game with a late interception. Summit had early chances early, but a Lily Driscoll interception return to Fairview’s 1-yard line went for naught as the Spartans turned it over on downs.
“I think they played with great effort,” Summit coach Tae Martin said. “We’ve got to clean up a little bit of stuff. I have no complaints. This is just trial and error, seeing what works and what doesn’t work. We’ll think about this and use it as motivation.”
“Close,” Hughes said of the Summit victory. “We had the ball on the 1-yard line, and she threw a pick, and they almost ran it back on us,” recalled Hughes with a laugh. “I thought we’d be two scores up. Our defense was lights out. Our girls placed hard and pulled flags. It’s all about pulling flags. People don’t understand how hard that is. Two-hand touch is easier. Having to pull a flag and wave it in this wind, that’s tough. We work flag pulling drills every practice.”
Girls’ Flag Football Week 1 Scores
- At Nolensville
- Ravenwood 48, Nolensville 0
- Ravenwood 40, Brentwood 6
- Brentwood 27, Nolensville 26
- At Fairview
- Fairview 19, Independence 6
- Independence 7, Summit 6 (OT)
- Fairview 6, Summit 0
- At Franklin
- Franklin 13, Centennial 7
- Page 19, Centennial 14
- Franklin 18, Page 6
Williamson County Girls’ Flag Football Standings
- 2-0: Ravenwood, Fairview, Franklin
- 1-1: Page, Independence, Brentwood
- 0-2: Summit, Centennial, Nolensville
Next week’s games
Home team is listed first.
- At Centennial
- 2:00 – Centennial vs. Brentwood
- 3:00 – Brentwood vs. Fairview
- 4:00 – Centennial vs. Fairview
- At Ravenwood
- 2:00 – Ravenwood vs. Independence
- 3:00 – Independence vs. Franklin
- 4:00 – Ravenwood vs. Franklin
- At Page
- 2:00 – Page vs. Summit
- 3:00 – Summit vs. Nolensville
- 4:00 – Page vs. Nolensville