BOCA RATON – One of the nightmares that any coach has before a game is that their team comes out flat – lacking the necessary competitive fire.
Miami Edison flag football coach Vince Hall Sr. had to live through that nightmare Saturday night.
His Lady Red Raiders seemed lethargic while Tampa Robinson showed the “want-to” of a team chasing its third straight flag football title as Edison fell 16-0 in the Class 1A state championship game at Boca Raton High School.
Edison trailed 14-0 throughout the entire second half before Robinson was able to notch a safety during the final minute of the game to push the final margin to 16-0.
Robinson’s victory – its second straight over Edison in the state championship game in as many years – completed its “three-peat” quest and gave the Lady Knights their fourth flag football state title in the past five years.
For Edison, it fell short of becoming the first program in Miami-Dade County to win a flag football state championship. Two Broward County teams – Fort Lauderdale in 2003 and Miramar in 2006 have claimed the title since the sport became sanctioned by the FHSAA 15 years ago.
After the game, Hall said he didn’t like his team’s body language from the start of the game – and that it only got worse as his team fell behind.
“We definitely came out flat,” said Hall, who’s in his third season leading the program. “I don’t know if it was fatigue that caught up with us…our girls went to prom last night and we got [to Boca Raton] later than we would have liked. But we still could’ve and should’ve played a better game today.”
“Some of our girls had nails on trying to pull those flags; when it started raining I saw my girls putting plastic bags on their heads to protect their hair-dos, it just there for us today. [Flag football] is one of the last sports of the school year, so you run the risk of the season mixing in with all the senior activities.”
“This is a tough loss,” Hall added.
Tough because of how much success the Lady Red Raiders enjoyed this season.
Coming into Saturday’s title game, Edison held a 16-0 record – including Saturday morning’s shutout win over Belle Glade Glades Central in the state semis. The Red Raiders came into the state final having held its previous six opponents scoreless and had only given up 13 points all season before meeting up with Robinson.
The Knights (15-2) jumped on top of Edison on the first possession of the game – going on a methodical drive down the field sparked by its rugby-style plays that used multiple laterals and pitchbacks.
Robinson extended its lead to 14-0 late in the second quarter while the Red Raiders’ offense sputtered.
Edison quarterback Tatyana Fremont completed just 12 of her 21 passes for 56 yards; Charkeria Cooper had two catches for 1 yard and 5 rushing yards while Irenna Hines finished with 10 yards of offense, seven flag pulls and two interceptions.
The Red Raiders had just 54 total yards of offense while Robinson got 230 passing yards from senior quarterback Lauren King and touchdown receptions from junior Alexis Smith and sophomore Emily Kemp.
Hall said a second straight appearance in the state championship game is a small consolation for his aspiring program.
“At the end of the day, no matter what we do, if we don’t close the deal at the end – you’re still the runner-up,” Hall said of his team, which has lost just four games – two to Tampa Robinson – in three seasons.
“We had this feeling last year, it’s not a good feeling. But I am proud of the girls. We’ve got to keep grinding, we’ve got to keep working.”