Lynn Classical’s Anna Flaherty runs the ball up the field during the annual powderpuff football game against Lynn Classical Sunday night at Manning Field. (Item Photo: Jakob Menendez)

Lynn Classical, Lynn English battle to tie in annual powderpuff game

LYNN — The first Lynn Classical-Lynn English powderpuff football game in two years was as good as advertised Sunday night, as the two teams battled to a 0-0 tie under the lights at Manning Field.

The game was a special one in the number of respects, as it was the final game for Classical head coach Rob Smith, the first game for English head coach Travonne Berry-Rogers and the first powderpuff football game played under the lights in the history of the rivalry.

“It was just a really emotional night for me,” said Smith, who has coached the Classical powderpuff team for the past 14 years. “Coaching these girls over the years has been an experience I’ll never forget, and to be out there tonight and see girls from every class up there in the stands supporting me, it was a really special feeling.”

“It was a great night and I’m really happy that I got to be a part of it,” said Berry-Rogers, who will be starting his first season as the English girls basketball coach in a couple weeks. “I’ve known Rob basically my whole life and he coached my sister when she played at Classical, so it was really special for me to be a part of his final game.”

Anna Flaherty took the bulk of the carries for the Classical offense, while Gianna Nikolakakis ran the show at quarterback. Izzy Faessler, Chloe Clement and Reese Brinkler also played well for the Rams.

On the English side, Stephanie Recinos played a solid game at quarterback while Kendra Malcolm and Kelsey McNeil ran well at running back. Estefani Sorto also played well for the Bulldogs.

The game was a defensive battle from start to finish, with each side getting inside the Red zone on a number of occasions but failing to capitalize.

Classical moved the ball inside the 10-yard line three different times during the game, but twice the Rams turned the ball over on downs and once they threw an interception on the one-yard line.

But despite the lack of scoring, both coaches were happy with the defensive effort and the overall camaraderie between the two teams.

“Obviously we hoped the outcome would go in our favor, but both teams came out and played hard from start to finish,” said Smith. “The girls on both sides really came to play (Sunday).”

“The girls fought hard out there,” said Berry-Rogers. “Our defense really came to play, and although we wish our offense could have picked up on a couple of opportunities, we were happy with the effort and we’re glad everyone had fun out there.”

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