Packers edge Chiefs for flag football crown

Huntington Beach Friday Night Lights Flag Football League wrapped up its inaugural season Friday with championship-game action at Marina High in four divisions.

Teams had to win three games Friday in order to win their division title.

In the 5th/6th grade division, the Packers claimed the championship after a two-point pass attempt by the Chiefs fell incomplete with no time remaining in a 19-18 final.

The Chiefs, the No. 8-seed in the division and coached by Rick Brand, scored on a screen pass as time expired to pull to within a point of the Packers. Instead of playing for the tie, they attempted a two-point pass (from the 12-yard line) for the win. The Packers, who entered the postseason with a No. 3-seed and are coached by Mike Smith, got a strong pass-rush up front and the pass attempt fell incomplete in the back of the end zone.

The title game pitted the Packers' top-ranked defense against a Chiefs team that was averaging more than 30 points per game.

The Chiefs scored the game's first touchdown for a 6-0 lead, but the Packers got their rushing game, led early by back Cody Pokorny, going and scored consecutive touchdowns to take the lead. The Packers converted the game's only point-after conversion (from the five-yard line) on a bootleg pass from Cade Smith to Jon Oatis following one of the scores to take a 13-6 lead.

After the Packers pulled to within, 13-12, Connor Aoki hit Smith with a scoring pass that turned out to be the clinching touchdown.

The Packers defense, which got strong performances from linebackers Nick Fuji and Mike Magula and rushing touchdowns from Jack Morrell and Austin Heberden, shut out both the Cardinals and Jets in two playoff games also played Friday. They ended the season with a league-best 11-2 record.

The Chiefs, who had reached the championship game by eliminating the Dolphins (Red Division champs) and Seahawks in two earlier playoff games, finished the year 9-4.

In the 1st/2nd grade division, the No. 2-seed Vikings, coached by Tim Rosenkranz, beat the top-seed Steelers, coached by Thomas Johansen, 40-6.

In the 3rd/4th grade division, top-seed UCLA, coached by Bill Furlong, topped a No. 7-seed Alabama team coached by Jon Harnisch, 27-6.

In the 7th/8th grade division, Coach Mark Fullbright's No. 3-seed Texas team got past top-seed Ohio St., coached by Brek Jacobsen, 13-7.

Friday Night Lights Flag Football is open to local youth kindergarten through eighth grade. The league is hosting a spring football clinic Feb. 5 at Marina. The clinic is run by Marina Coach George Pascoe and his staff. The cost is $40 per player. Registration information can be found at

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World