Blue Bombers fall to Plattsburgh in flag football opener

Lake Placid’s Eliza Fitzsimmons hauls in a pass before running past the Plattsburgh defense for the Blue Bombers first-ever girls flag football touchdown during Tuesday’s game at the North Elba Show Grounds. Also pictured is Plattsburgh’s Myasia Do. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

LAKE PLACID — After having its first game postponed, the Lake Placid girls flag football team competed for the first-time ever at the North Elba Show Grounds Tuesday afternoon. The Blue Bombers lost its inaugural home opener to the Plattsburgh Hornets 19-7.

Despite having never played a down of flag football this season, the Lake Placid squad competed until the very end. The Hornets used a solid running attack, while stopping the Blue Bombers twice near the goal line to claim their second win of the season, improving to 2-1. The loss dropped Lake Placid’s overall record to 0-1.

“We knew that this was going to be a learning curve and we all knew that learned quite a bit, I was really proud with their effort,” Blue Bombers head coach Tammy Morgan said. “They were in it, and they were competitive.”

The Lake Placid girls flag football team was created last month after the Lake Placid Central School District Board of Education voted to approve the program, joining 12 other Section VII schools with similar programs.

The Blue Bombers squad fields more than 17 girls, some of whom play exclusively flag football, while most are dual athletes participating in another spring sports in addition to flag football. Some schools within Section VII — such as Saranac Lake — have made girls flag football a primary sport, meaning the athletes have to pick either flag football or another spring sport.

Lake Placid’s Anisa Cecunjanin (2) carries the ball during Tuesday’s home game against Plattsburgh. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

On Tuesday, Plattsburgh jumped out to a 7-0 edge at halftime, and opened up the second half with a quick touchdown march, from its quarterback, Myasia Do, who ran 9 yards for the score. But, the Hornets were unable to convert the point after attempt, making the score 13-0.

After getting the ball back, the Blue Bombers responded with its first-ever touchdown when quarterback Anisa Cecunjanin found a wide-open Eliza Fitzsimmons, trailing behind the Plattsburgh defense. After the speedy freshman caught the ball, she darted 60 yards without being touched.

“It was the first in history for my team,” Fitzsimmons said.

Morgan said that Fitzsimmons is one of the youngest players on the team and while Lake Placid students just returned back from a two-week-long spring break, she was one of the few players who showed up to voluntary practices over the break.

“A lot of these girls have been gone for two weeks on a two-week break,” she said. “It’s been tough trying to bring it back together after two weeks off, but Eliza has been here the whole break and she’s been really excited and working with Anisa and that’s something that came from a lot of hard work.”

Lake Placid’s Olivia Skutt carries the ball during Tuesday’s home game against Plattsburgh. (Enterprise photo — Parker O’Brien)

After the touchdown, Lake Placid’s senior back Nadia Philip rushed in for the one-point conversion to make the score 13-7 with more than 17 minutes left in the game.

Both teams’ defenses stepped up, holding each other to back-to-back three and out punts. Morgan said it was the first time that her squad had ever matched up against another team, so it took a bit of time to figure out what to do defensively.

“But we know what to do to work out the kinks,” she said. “They each learned an awful lot about positioning (Tuesday), which was tough to do before we got on the field. This is the first time, we’ve been on a field that was lined.”

While leading 13-7, Plattsburgh extended its lead with around 7 minutes left in the final half when Jania Young ran 8 yards for her second touchdown of the game. After dropping the snap on the one-point conversion attempt the score remained 19-7.

With a few minutes remaining, the Blue Bombers narrowly scored its second touchdown of the contest after driving to about 7 yards outside the end zone. On first down, Cecunjanin pass attempt was turned away and after back-to-back run plays failed, the Hornets came away with a big sack on fourth down to keep Lake Placid out of the end zone.

Young led her team with two rushing touchdowns — one in each half. Do scored one rushing touchdown for Plattsburgh and ran in a one-point conversion. Do also recorded the lone interception in the game early in the first half.

Cecunjanin led the Blue Bombers on the ground, while more than six other players from Lake Placid recorded at least one carry.

“I’m proud of the way that they all came together and there was a lot of positive energy out there,” Morgan said. “Don’t count (Lake Placid) out yet. There was a lot of good stuff.”

The Blue Bombers will return to action on Monday against the AuSable Valley Patriots on the road. The game is slated to start at 7:30 p.m. The Patriots were 0-1 on the season as of Wednesday morning.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today