. 2019 Shitsuke Flag Football League
By Bantus Ugorji
Season Four edition of the Shitsuke Flag Football League game ended last Sunday, December 8, 2019 at the Meadow Hall School Sports Arena, Lekki Pennisula 2, Lagos, amidst pomp and pageantry.
The highly entertaining championship did not only witness a large turnout of Flag football enthusiasts but was characterised with glamour, splendour and elegance.
The thrilling encounter which ended 41-39 saw newly crowned champions, Titans slightly edging out vastly improved Panthers, who took this year’s tournament by storm with their sensational display.
No doubt, the Panthers started off this season with a lot of excitement just as their teeming fans were excited to see them progress having failed to make the playoffs in Season 3 of the championship.
A pip into their build up for this year’s encounter showed that Panthers were more determined to make history having paraded a compact squad of new players with a mix of few top experienced players.
This yielded result as the team stayed together and built on the strong foundation of last season. In fact, Panthers went on a 5-game winning streak ending the season with a 5-2 record and thus winning the Eko North Division.
They also thumped Season 3 champions, Vortex in the playoffs by a point to secure place in the finals.
Panthers, no doubt, were the fans favourites going into the final showdown with the Titans. Indeed, Panthers were at their best throughout the encounter with a fine display having put up a spirited effort in a bid to dislodge the Titans only to lose out barely 12 seconds to the end of the epic duel.
Tunji Andrews, a member of the Panthers team disclosed that his side started out on defense in order to stop the Titans scoring first but they somehow managed it and went up 6-0. They later came out on offensive and responded with a touchdown to tie the game at 6-6.
“We scored a female touchdown and garnered eight points in the process and followed by a male extra one point. At this juncture, it was the Panthers all the way with our fans reeling in ecstasy of a possible rout of our hard fighting opponents,” he said.
Panthers responded with a male touchdown (6 points) and a female extra point (3 points) thereby tying the game up at 15-15 at half time.
Second half resumed with a Panther touchdown and a subsequent defensive touchdown and they were up by 14 points. Thereafter, an exchange of scores ensued and the Titans were up by two (2) points.
As the game gradually winds down, it became a ding-dong affair between the two sides while their fans were in suspense as to where the victory will tilt. Panthers, however scored and garnered four (4) points within the last 33 seconds. Titans scored and regained their two (2) points lead and closed out the game within the last 12 seconds.
Panthers ace, Tunji Andrews further disclosed that the Panthers came into this year’s championship as underdogs but were excited to have played in the finals at the expense of last year’s winners, Voltex whom they edged out in the playoffs.
He, however, noted that his team will get better in next years’ edition.
Shitsuke Flag Football League is a hybrid of American football and was started to satisfy the aspirations of American football lovers in Lagos. It is a non-professional game which gives participating teams an avenue to have fun and network with others.
This year’s edition is co-sponsored by Max Engineer Chinedu, and is tagged Max-Shitsuke Flag Football League championship game.
For a better society