June 25, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

PHOTOS: Late pick six lifts first place Woodbridge past Uni in PCL flag football

Woodbridge coach Mark Thompson talks to his players during halftime of Wednesday’s game. (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

Pacific Coast League leader Woodbridge held off a late rally by University to capture a 26-14 victory Wednesday afternoon in a girls flag football game at Woodbridge.

Woodbridge (17-2, 6-0) sealed the victory when senior Milan Heisdorf intercepted a pass and returned it about 60 yards for a touchdown with about a minute remaining.

University, which trailed 20-14, was deep into Warrior territory and looking for a touchdown and would have gone for a two-point conversion to win the game.

“Uni is our rival, we’re always up to play each other,” said Woodbridge Coach Mark Thompson. “We knew they wouldn’t let up and they gave us our best, so it was a really close game up until the last couple of plays.”

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Heisdorf, who also hauled in two TD catches from quarterback Teagan Burrus, saved the biggest play of the game until the end.

“Big players make big plays when it counts,” Thompson said.

University Coach Justin Schulman was pleased with how his team (10-6, 3-1) battled until the end.

“We had a shot and that’s all you can ask for against a really good Woodbridge team,” he said. “I’m really proud of our girls. We did not play well, but we were in the game. We had a minute 20 left on their 20 yard line with three shots in the end zone and unfortunately couldn’t get it done, but just to even be in that position, I’m really proud of the girls.”

Burrus was steady all game for the Warriors throwing three touchdown passes.

“Great, accurate passes even in the midfield, advancing the ball and throwing right on a rope on the dime, she was on fire today,” Thompson said.

Woodbridge took the early lead when Zoey Ceman scored on a run and the Warriors converted a two-point conversion on a pass from Burrus to Heisdorf.

University tied the game when quarterback Carson Cruz hooked up with Riley Herstein on a TD pass and then Cruz hit Leah Schulman on the two-point conversion.

The Warriors countered with two touchdowns to end the first 25-minute half. Burrus hit Heisdorf and Tori Zebko on TD passes to give the Warriors a 20-7 lead.

University cut the lead to 20-14 with 12:32 left when Cruz hit Arden Marchiorlatti on a TD pass and then made the two-point conversion.

But the Warriors were able to hold on in front of about 200 fans at the on-campus field.

It’s the first year of CIF approved flag football and the players and coaches seem to be enjoying it.

“There are a lot of good teams, I’m excited for it to go and I wish I could play the next few years because I know it’s going to be even bigger and better competition,” said Burrus, Woodbridge’s senior quarterback.

“It’s been great, it’s a blast for the girls, I’m glad they have this opportunity, the tournaments we’ve had on the weekends have been good too,” Schulman, the Uni coach said. “Mission Viejo and El Toro hosted tournaments, so that’s been fun. I’m just glad the girls are getting to experience this and they will have 24 games which is pretty cool.”

“So much fun, it’s so exciting, finally getting acknowledged as a CIF sport and all the students get to come out and we get to play on our home field, it’s amazing,” added Thompson, the Woodbridge coach.

Teams in the Pacific Coast League are expected to take part in a season-ending tournament. Not enough schools are fielding flag football teams to have CIF playoffs, but playoffs are expected to happen next year.

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—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com