Dons Punch Ticket to Finals, 20-15

Verdugo Hills advances to the CIF Division 1 Flag Football Championship.

By Rich Whittington

(Tujunga) – The Verdugo Hills Lady Dons scored first, then came from behind to defeat the visiting Cleveland High School Lady Cavaliers, 20-15, Tuesday afternoon at Turner Stadium, earning a trip to the CIF Division 1 Flag Football Championship.

As mentioned above, the Dons scored the first points of the evening, as quarterback Bella Garibay connected with wideout Lauren Brink for an 11-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was unsuccessful, making the score 6-0, with 1:41 remaining in the opening half. This would prove to be the score at the break.

Things started to heat up in the second half. Cleveland got on the board on their first possession of the second half, when quarterback Johanna Granillo found receiver Valerie Anzora for a 20-yard score. The same tandem also converted the 1-Point point after attempt, making the score 7-6, with 15:13 remaining in the game.

Verdugo Hills answered as Garibay and Brink accounted for their second TD of the afternoon, coincidentally, another 11-yard completion. The 2-Point PAT attempt was successful, courtesy of Brink and receiver Jasmine Aquino, making the score 14-7, with 10:46 remaining in regulation.

Cleveland took the lead in the game’s waning moments, as Granillo’s pass to Skyler Lamb was complete for a 10-yard score. The 2-Point PAT was added by a Granillo to Anzora connection, making the score 15-14, with 1:53 remaining in the game.

Verdugo Hills’ final possession proved to be the game winner. With the game on the line, the battery of Garibay to Brink connected for their third touchdown of the contest…a 35-yard catch-and-run. The PAT was unsuccessful, making the score 20-15 with 36 seconds remaining on the clock.

Cleveland had a final attempt. Unfortunately, after a pair of 15-yard gains, the Cavaliers’ final two pass attempts fell incomplete, ending the game with a score of 20-15.

Verdugo Hills improves to 10-8 and will face the Sylmar Spartans in the in the 2023 CIF LA City Section, Division 1, Finals. The game will be played this Saturday, November 18, at Birmingham High School. Game time is 3:00 PM. Cleveland finished their season with a record of 4-7, having made it to the Division Semi-Finals.

*Note: These teams are not in our coverage area but we did want to spotlight Girls Flag Football that is continuing to grow. It will be much bigger in 2024 with more schools participating.

2 Comments to "Dons Punch Ticket to Finals, 20-15"

  1. Rich Whittington's Gravatar Rich Whittington
    November 16, 2023 - 10:20 pm | Permalink

    My pleasure. Good luck on Saturday. Beat Sylmar.

  2. Darren FitzGerald's Gravatar Darren FitzGerald
    November 15, 2023 - 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Rich thank you so much for supporting Girls Flag Football and covering the game yesterday. Great write up thanks again

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