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Lennard ‘ready to make history’ in state flag football final

TAMPA — Now one win away from a Class 2A state flag football title, Lennard still thinks he has something to prove.

“I think a lot of people didn’t expect us to be here,” junior Layla Crawford said. “But here we are and we totally believe we can do it. It doesn’t matter what other people think. »

Perhaps more than any other play in Friday night’s semifinal against Wellington, it was the fourth pass that Crawford broke up at the goal line with five seconds remaining in the second quarter that epitomized what are the Longhorns.

“(Crawford) stayed disciplined and did her job,” Lennard coach Travis Combs said. “Everyone did their job on the four (Wellington plays from the 3-yard line). That’s what they do, and that’s why we keep winning.

Lennard junior Kyah Vance breaks free for a long run in Friday's state semifinal.
Lennard junior Kyah Vance breaks free for a long run in Friday’s state semifinal. (SCOTT PURKS | Special for the Times)

The game was the closest Wellington (15-4) came to scoring on the night, ultimately falling 7-0 to the Longhorns, who improved to 19-3 and now have a chance to become first state champion in a team sport at Lennard. .

Besides Crawford, the heroes included quarterback Abby Elwell, center Kate Keith, receivers Kyah Vance, Grayce Bird, Isabella Coronel, Sydney Elizondo, Diany Reyes, Jocelyn Brush and edge rusher Brianna Nelson.

It was Elwell and Keith who scored the only goal Friday, a 20-yard pass to Keith over the middle. It’s a pass they’ve converted time and time again this season.

“(Keith) is 6 feet tall and we take that pass when we get it,” Combs said. “It’s a tough combination to cover.”

Lennard senior Abby Elwell makes all the big plays when needed in the Longhorns' first state semifinal win Friday.
Lennard senior Abby Elwell makes all the big plays when needed in the Longhorns’ first state semifinal win Friday. (SCOTT PURKS | Special for the Times)

If Lennard wins Saturday against top-seeded Palmetto (19-1), which beat Pace 12-6 to advance, and Robinson beats Pembroke Pines Charter in the Class 1A final, it would be the sixth time in eight years that Hillsborough County won state titles in both divisions.

“I think we’re ready to make history,” Combs said. “I think we’re ready.”

State finals

AdventHealth Training Center, Tampa. Entrance is free, but a mobile ticket is required; visit fhsaa.com/sports/flag

Parking is available in Publix Lot 14 off Himes Avenue.

Class 1A: No. 3 Pembroke Pines Charter vs. No. 1 Robinson, 4 p.m. Saturday

Class 2A: No. 2 Lennard against No. 1 Palmetto, 6 p.m. Saturday