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SECTION IV FLAG FOOTBALL: WAVERLY SCORES LATE TO SALVAGE 13-13 TIE WITH MAINE-ENDWELL IN REGULAR-SEASON FINALE (24 PHOTOS) (2024-05-11)

Valley Sports Report
ENDWELL — Senior Allison Barrett scored on a 6-yard run with 1:48 remaining, and senior Paige Robinson picked off a pass at the goal line in the closing seconds to preserve a 13-13 tie with Maine-Endwell here Saturday night in Section IV girls flag football action.

The Spartans finish the regular season at 10-1-2, while the Wolverines finish at 8-1-3.  Second-seed Waverly will host 3-seed Maine-Endwell Wednesday night in the semifinals of the Section IV, Division 2 playoffs. (1-seed Owego hosts 4-seed Vestal in the other semi-final game.)

“It was a hell of a game — a lot of fun,” said Waverly coach Dave Shaw. “The girls competed right to the end.

“We were a tipped pass away from winning that game and being home Wednesday, but now we’re going to have to come back up here for the playoffs.

“I think we’re pretty even,” he noted. “Both teams did a lot of really good things, and both teams had a lot of opportunities to quit, but both fought, and clawed, and scratched right to the end; that has kind of been our girls’ MO all year.

“I’ve said it from the beginning, but this bunch is really inspiring, they just play their butts off right to the final whistle,” added Shaw. (M-E) had a chance at the very end, and we picked it off in the end zone.”

Shaw also took note of the physicality of the game.

“Our girls did not back down,” said Shaw. “Just like our boys in the fall, our girls are tough. They’re not afraid to lose, and they’re not afraid to compete. It makes you proud as hell to watch them keep getting up, and play; and that’s all you can ask.

“As coaches we always say, ‘it’s really easy to be good when things are going good,’” noted Shaw. “But when things are going bad, it’s hard to be good. I feel like these girls are good when things are going bad, and that says a lot about what they’re going to do in their lives.”

The Spartans scored less than 5 minutes into the game to take a 6-0 lead.

After a few exchanges of possessions, senior Ashlen Croft returned a punt 25 yards into M-E territory. About a minute later, thanks to a couple M-E penalties, the Wolverines were knocking on the door, and Robinson scored on a 1-yard run to tie the game. Robinson’s pass on the PAT to senior Erica Ryck gave Waverly a 7-6 lead, which it would carry into the halftime locker room.

Neither team did much offensively for the first 15 minutes of the second half, until M-E scored on a short pass into the back of the end zone. The PAT gave the Spartans a 13-7 lead with 8:50 remaining in the game.

The Wolverines took advantage of a string of M-E penalties, including one on 4th-and-5 at the Spartan 25 to keep the drive alive, and scored moments later on a 6-yard run by senior Allison Barrett to tie the game at 13-13 with 1:48 left in the contest.

Waverly’s PAT for the lead was tipped, and the score remained 13-13.

The Spartans quickly moved the ball into Waverly territory, and ultimately faced fourth-and-goal from the Wolverine with 12 with 2 seconds remaining. The M-E pass to the end zone was intercepted at the goal line by Robinson to end the game.

Barrett led Waverly’s ground game, which had 136 yards on 25 carries, with 87 yards and one TD On 11 carries, while Robinson had 34 yards on 10 carries, freshman Avalynn Boots had nine yards on two carries, and 8th-grader Kaylin Twedt added six yards on two carries.

Robinson completed 9 of 20 passes for 52 yards, and was intercept twice. Eighth-grader Lauryn Welles led Waverly with five receptions for 31 yards, while Ryck had three grabs for 18 yards, and Croft chipped in with one each for three yards.

Sophomore Mira Kittle led Waverly with 10 flag-pulls, while Welles recorded eight, Robinson had four, and Ryck added three.

Shaw boils the remainder of the season down to five words.

“It’s win or go home.”

——————

IN PHOTO 1: Waverly’s Mira Kittle. … PHOTOS BY MATT PATTON.


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