Thursday, November 26, 2015 • 08:04

Seniors air it out to win 2013 Powderpuff football game

Savanna Reilly and the junior offense huddle up in the first half.
June 12, 2013
Big plays on defense proved to be the key in the 2012 Valley Center High School Powderpuff flag football game, as Alex Scoles picked off four passes to lead the class of 2012 to a 14–6 win.

This year, the class of 2013 offense exploded to score four touchdowns, including three through the air, to beat the class of 2014 27–0.

Senior quarterback Vinessa Perryman launched deep pass after deep pass, and the speedy Heredia sisters kept getting past the junior defense to end up on the receiving end of four different deep completions that covered 60, 42, 32 and 31 yards. Perryman finished the game with three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown to lead her team to the big win.

"There were a lot of rumors about who was talking trash, so it was great to go out and get the shutout," Perryman said after the game. "Our receivers are great, and the offensive line did a great job giving me time to throw. You never want to lose to the juniors, so it means a lot to go out with a win our senior year."

The juniors got the ball to start the game and picked up a quick first down on a draw up the middle by Leina Villemez. The offense moved the chains again on third down as quarterback Savanna Reilly connected with Julia Stone on a quick pass to the seniors' 35-yard line.

Vinessa Perryman (kneeling) talks to the senior offense in the huddle.
But the juniors elected to go for it on fourth and five from the seniors' 30-yard line, and Reilly was stopped at the line by the class of 2013's front four, and the seniors took over on downs.

The junior defense stepped up though, limiting the seniors to only one first down before they stopped Perryman on a run on fourth down, giving the class of 2014 the ball back at its own 42.

Three plays later, however, the juniors had to punt, and the seniors took over at their own 40.

After a run for no gain on first down, Perryman let fly with a deep pass down the right sideline, and Melina Heredia got behind the defense for a 60-yard touchdown with just over 11 minutes left in the first half. The seniors went for two and came up short, giving them a 6–0 lead early in the game.

The juniors went three-and-out on their next possession, giving the ball back to the class of 2013 at its own 42-yard line after a punt return by Perryman.

On first down, Perryman once again found Melina Heredia open, this time down the left sideline, and the seniors picked up 42 yards. On the next play, Perryman ran a quarterback sweep and outran the defense to the front corner of the endzone for a 16-yard touchdown run. The extra point kick hit the right upright, but the seniors still had a 12–0 lead with just over five minutes left in the half.

The juniors needed some momentum on their next drive, but the offense was moving in the wrong direction. After an incomplete pass on first down, the juniors lost the ball on a pitch to the running back, which ended the play and lost the team four yards to its own 11-yard line. The juniors were then called for delay of game, then fumbled the shotgun snap at their own four-yard line, forcing them to punt from their own endzone.

The seniors got a good return to the class of 2014's 29-yard line, but with the clock running out on the first half, they had time for one last play, which came up short of scoring.

The class of 2013 took the second half kickoff and embarked on a seven-play, 59-yard drive that once again found the endzone and extended the lead. Perryman connected with Melina Heredia for a gain of 31 yards on the drive, then the duo hooked up for a five-yard touchdown pass, as Perryman's pass made it just over the hands of the leaping defender. The class of 2013 kicked the extra point, giving the team a 19–0 lead with just over 20 minutes remaining in the game.

The class of 2014 found some rhythm on its first possession of the second half, as the juniors took advantage of a fast-paced attack that caught the seniors off guard. When the juniors hurried up to the line, the seniors were slow to line up on defense and Villemez picked up 31 yards on a run to the outside. The juniors hustled to the line on the next play and again found the seniors still lining up, so Reilly swung a quick pass out to Villemez in the flat, and the speedy running back picked up 14 more yards to make it to the seniors' 17-yard line.

But the senior defense dug in and came up with a big stop, forcing the juniors to lose a total of seven yards in the next three plays, and the class of 2014 elected to attempt a 42-yard field goal on fourth down, which had the distance, but sailed wide right.

The class of 2013 took over at its own 25-yard line and immediately picked up a first down and got ten more yards with a penalty on the juniors. Four plays later, Perryman threw another bomb, this one to Vanessa Heredia, who caught the pass in stride for a 32-yard touchdown. The seniors scored the two-point conversion on a run by Perryman, giving the team a 27–0 lead with just over eight minutes left in the game.

The juniors had one last gasp to try to get on the scoreboard, but couldn't get any further than their own 40-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.

The seniors got one more big play, this time from backup quarterback Rosie Hughes, who threw a strike to Perryman over the middle on a pass that turned into a 25-yard gain.

Junior defensive lineman JoAnna Brown finally got to Perryman for a sack on the next play, and the game ended on a double-reverse that came up short of the endzone as the clock expired.

"We trusted our receivers to get open, the o-line gave us time, and we must have run the hitch-and-go like six times, and they just didn't know how to react," Class of 2013 Head Coach Michael McInerny said after the game. "Our defense got the shutout and our offense scored a lot of points because all the girls stepped up. We got everybody in the game, which was something we really wanted to do. Not everybody got to play last year, so everybody was happy to know that they busted their butts in practice and they got to get in the game this year. We had a bitter taste after last year, and we all remembered how that felt, so to come out and get the win this year was huge.

"Give credit to the juniors," he added. "They didn't have the numbers that we had, but they made due. I know next year they'll come out and they'll have the experience of playing this year, and they should have a great team next year."

"We played a good game and we showed a lot of heart, but unfortunately we couldn't put it all together," Class of 2014 Head Coach Anthony Ricks said. "We'll be back next year. We learned a lot that's going to be helpful next year, like how to be organized and what to focus on in practice. We'll get better. We're excited to play again next year."

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