Men’s and women’s champs look to repeat

Panthers Jermaine Sharpe was a 'sack machine' in the semifinals. (Courtesy CIFFA)

The reigning Cayman Islands Flag Football Association (CIFFA) Premier League champions will defend their titles this Saturday 23 September at the Ed Bush Playing Field against eager contenders. Men’s title holders Island Heritage Predators will face off against Burger King Panthers and women’s champions HSM Vipers take on the Greenhouse Lynx in the 2017 Premier League finals.

In the men’s semi-finals, Maples faced Burger King Panthers. The game opened with strong runs by Larue Nixon and Fabio Gall of Maples but they soon handed the ball over to the Panthers. Once on defense, Maples turned up the heat with tackles by Adrian Rowe and an interception by the amazing Jonathan Allen.

Veteran team Panthers kept their cool and retaliated once the ball was turned over, with sacks on Maples quarterback Chris LeBlou by Jermaine Sharpe. Despite some offensive advances, Maples’ defense would command the first half of the game with an interception for a defensive touchdown and successive field goal by Dimitri Chisholm.

Panthers’ Jordan Cacho hustled for a touchdown to ensure that his team would not be left off the board. The Maples defense was not dismayed but instead sought to break the tie but were unsuccessful. The Panthers would use their next offensive drive to send John Pump up for a field goal and earn them three additional points. Fabio Gall of Maples took one final attempt at the end of the game to score and catapult Maples into the finals but Panthers’ safety Andrew Frederick stopped him with a crucial tackle. The game ended with a score of 7-10 in the favour of the Burger King Panthers.

The Tribe Tattoo Lady Sharks vied for a chance to be the next women’s champions against the HSM Vipers. The Vipers sought an early lead with a touchdown run by Jen Choice, true to their consistent execution since the start of the season and were able to redirect their attention to keeping a strong defense. Rusher Racquel Brown sacked Sharks’ quarterback Courtisha Ebanks multiple times during the game. However, once on defense, the Sharks were aggressive with numerous tackles by rookie Bianca Hunt.

While there were no offensive points in the second half of the game, defense gave an impressive showing on both sides. Renee Chisholm and Tanjana Campbell of the HSM Vipers intercepted the Sharks’ ball in the final minutes. The Vipers earned their twelfth victory with a score of 6-0. The Vipers hold the best record for 2017 not just for women but overall.


Island Heritage Predators will defend their men’s championship title.


Longtime rivals Island Heritage Predators and Kensington Hellcats met next to compete for a spot in the men’s finals.

Defending champs Predators opened the game strong with an early touchdown by Avery Ebanks. While the Hellcats didn’t have success on offense during their initial drive, veteran safety Renford Barnes would seize an interception for his team. Still, the Predators maintained control and regained the ball for quarterback Jordan Stubblefield to take his turn across the goal line and score for the Predators once again.

The Hellcats made their best efforts to stop any more points being scored against them with notable tackles by Nate Narcisse and Terrick Myles. Hellcats quarterback Will Peguero made good shuffles on offense but Predators players like Jaryd “Kiddo” Bodden would be there to stop him. The Predators ended the game with a final interception by Avery Ebanks and a solid score of 12-0. Each touchdown was supplemented with extra-point kicks by Oliver Parker.


Coach Renford Barnes tried to inspire his Lynx to victory.


The Greenhouse Lynx took on third place Red Stripe Wolverines in the final game of the day. Early in the game, the Wolverines ran tight defense against the Lynx, who sent Ashley Frederick to run the ball and earn them yards but was often stopped by the efforts of Shanice Bodden and Tajae Grey.

The Lynx gave their own disruptions with tackles by Lexi Walton and Yasmin James. The teams were able to fend each other off until the second half when spritely Arissa McField of the Wolverines was able to scramble downfield and across the goal line, putting the Wolverines in the lead.

The Lynx made good effort to recover with a key pass by Christsania Parker and gains by Kristina Seymour. They were soon followed by Denicia Cranston who equalized the score with a touchdown. Cassandra Bodden of the Wolverines was key in moving her team downfield with multiple receptions.

In overtime, the Wolverines were in good field position and were soon able to find Cassandra Bodden on the goal line to regain the lead. They continued with strong defensive play, namely by Nikita Saintvil, but Denicia Cranston once again scored a touchdown to even the score at 12-12. Lynx quarterback Erica Bosch then turned her eyes to her offensive line and sent the ball to blocker Bernadette Beckles for the one-point conversion that decided the game. The game ended in a hard-earned score of 12-13 in favour of the Lynx.

This will be the HSM Vipers’ and The Greenhouse Lynx’s second consecutive year meeting at the women’s finals. While the HSM Vipers’ formidable record make them favourites to win, the Lynx also boast a strong record and have won the women’s championship in the past.

The 2017 CIFFA Premier League finals begin at 3:00 p.m. at the Ed Bush Playing Field in West Bay this Saturday afternoon.

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