JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After getting through the state semifinals and getting to the final four teams left to play for both the Class 2A and Class 1A FHSAA girls flag football state championships, two teams came out on top as state champions and, for the seventh time since 2016, both classifications were swept by programs located in Hillsborough County which have become the model for girls flag football programs across Florida and around the nation.
Here is a rewind of what took place over the place this weekend at Mandarin High School:
CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Alonso (Tampa) 33, Fleming Island 6: Playing in the state championship for the first time in program history, the Golden Eagles found the Ravens were no match for them as both teams came into the state championship game sporting undefeated records. After knocking last year’s state champion, Western, into the state semifinals the day before, Fleming Island (16-1) would not score their only points in the second quarter when Mykayla Maddox rolled into the endzone from six yards out. However, Fleming Island was already down 20-0 as the half was closing in. Alonso (23-0) started the game very quickly when Mieke Rowe connected with Makenna Sturgis for a 13-yard touchdown that would give them a quick 7-0 lead. Rowe would connect for a touchdown again midway through the first quarter finding Eryn Klaus for the 21-yard touchdown to make a 14-0 run for the Ravens. With just five minutes shaving off the second quarter clock, Alonso put the game into mercy-rule territory when Rowe threw her third touchdown pass from 21 yards out to Carina Annunziata to make it 20-0 for Alonso. Fleming Island would get shutout in the second half as Alonso scored two more touchdowns with a six-yard score in the third quarter and then a two-yard pass from Rowe to Klaus to make it 33-6 for the final score. Rowe finished the game going 22-of-26 passing for 224 yards and five touchdowns, while Klaus had eight catches for 49 yards and three touchdowns. Sturgis led the Ravens in receiving yards with 55. Sophie Duong and Klaus each led the team with seven flag pulls, while Klaus also had an interception. The Class 2A state championship game victory for Alonso capped off only the second undefeated season for the Ravens in program history. It marks the third time they have won the Class 2A state championship in program history and the first state championship since the 2019 season when Alonso defeated Park Vista in Boca Raton.
Congrats to the 2023 FHSAA 2A State Champions, the Alonso Ravens!!!!!!@RavensFlagFB pic.twitter.com/yNt9JyS7NX
— FloridaHSFootball.com (@FlaHSFootball) May 13, 2023
CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP
Robinson (Tampa) 32, Choctawhatchee (Fort Walton Beach) 13: In a rematch of last year’s Class 1A state championship, the script was different compared to the 18-14 victory from that game as the Knights rolled through the Indians, who were much younger this year compared to last year’s squad. Robinson started quickly with the scoring festivities as Haidyn Spano threw the first of five touchdowns with a 42-yard pass to Manasvi Vijayaraghavan to make it 6-0 on the first play of the game on offense just four minutes into the game. The second touchdown of the first quarter came with Spano found Ryan Leclair on a fourth down pass in the end zone for a two-yard touchdown pass to make it 13-0. With Choctawhatchee struggling, things just further eroded for the Indians as things went into the second quarter as a drive that looked promising collapsed through a Katejion Robinson interception. From there, the Knights rolled right into the end zone again as Spano connected with Katejion Robinson for a two-yard touchdown to make it 19-0 after the point-after try failed. Diaris Morales, the true freshman for the Indians, struggled as Katejion Robinson got her second interception of the game on their third drive of the game. Spano converted the interception on the next play with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Adriana Williams to make it 26-0 with just four minutes left before halftime. Choctawhatchee would not find their first points of the game until 2:10 left in the third quarter, as Morales threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Bailey Schwall to make it 26-6. The Indians would score the second and final touchdown of the game when Morales found Lauren Bage with the eight-yard touchdown with just eight minutes left in the game to make it 26-13. Spano found Bella Rodrigues near the end of the game with a five-yard touchdown pass to make it the final score 32-13. Spano finished the game going 22-of-27 passing for 218 yards and five touchdowns against just one interception. The victory for the Robinson gave the Knights their seventh straight Class 1A state championship and their eighth overall in program history, the most in the history of any girls flag football program in Florida. Robinson wrapped up the season with a 21-2 overall record while Choctawhatchee finished the 2023 season 18-3 overall.
AND YOUR 1A 7 TIME DEFENDING STATE CHAMPIONS!!!! THE ROBINSON KNIGHTS!!!!!! @RobinsonFlag pic.twitter.com/nr2UlIb5at
— FloridaHSFootball.com (@FlaHSFootball) May 13, 2023
STATE SEMIFINAL SCORES
Alonso 19, Seminole Ridge (Westlake) 0
Fleming Island 20, Western (Davie) 14
Robinson 32, Mainland (Daytona Beach) 7
Choctawhatchee 20, Miami Edison 13
Thanks to Robert Rahn for covering the 2023 FHSAA Flag Football State Championship for us and providing all the girls’ flag football fans live coverage from all the games throughout the weekend.
Great weekend, glad I could represent @FlaHSFootball and the @FHSAA! Congrats to the two Champs! The 2022-2023 athletic season was full of excitement, now everyone goes back to the boards and gets ready to do it all over again! https://t.co/xd4Em2JLZR
— Robert Rahn (@CoachRobRahn) May 13, 2023