Dino's Vols slip by Coors Light for flag football championship

from staff reports


   On Sunday, Nov. 17, the Elizabethton Parks & Recreation flag football championship was decided, with Dino's Vols taking the crown, outlasting Coors Light 53-52 in triple overtime.
   Prior to the crowning, Coors Light (the regular-season champion at 9-0) defeated S. Pinnell by the score of 108-52 in the semifinals. The second semifinal game saw Dino's Vols beat Dead Zone Keggers (the most improved team at 7-4) 76-40.
   The title game between the two winners was held around mid-afternoon. As the two teams prepared to take the field, a brisk breeze began to blow and the snow and rain began to fall.
   The field was wet from the prior days of rain, but the Park and Recreation crew had it in fine shape. Seeing the matchup of Coors Light (#1 seed) against Dino's (#2 seed) was going to be a game well worth the wait.
   In the first half, each team drove the length of the field in their first two possessions to score touchdowns, with only the Vols converting one of their two-point conversions, giving them a 14-12 lead.
   John Seehorn, quarterback for the C. Light team, hit Billy Etter on a long touchdown pass, and John Malone capped off the scoring with the two-point conversion, giving Coors the lead at 20-14.
   In three plays, Dino's hit paydirt with a pass over the middle caught for the TD by Andy Loving. The conversion was good, and the Vols held a slight edge, 22-20, going into halftime.
   In the second half, Dino's offense was halted on third down when Adam Copeland intercepted a pass on the 15-yard line. Coors took over, and on a four-play drive, scored a TD and a two-pointer to reclaim the lead.
   Dino's then scored with Chris Phillips tying the game up, 28-28. From there, Coors drove the field and scored on a quick hitter over the middle to W.Kelly, and converted the two-pointer for a 36-28 advantage.
   Quarterback Michael Burrow then led Dino's down the field, and hit Andrew Rhinehart with a scoring pass. The conversion attempt failed after the wet ball slipped through the hands of Rhinehart in the corner of the end zone.
   With the score 36-34, C. Light marched down and scored a touchdown to rebuild an eight-point advantage (42-34) with 8:11 left in the game.
   The Vols broke open for a big play down the sideline as Rhinehart caught the ball and pitched it back to Jamie Horton, who walked across the goal line for six. The conversion failed.
   With the score 42-40, the Vol defense had to step up and it did, stopping Coors short of the goal line.
   With the Vols taking over on offense, two major penalties hit them with consecutive loss of downs, and a sack by Jared Ellis gave the ball back over to C. Light with only 2:06 left on the clock.
   Coors then completed a quick-hitter on the hash mark to Mike Watson to the 17, and Dino's defense used one of three timeouts to stop the clock.
   With time running down, Seehorn hit Casey Blackburn on the sideline for a score. Needing only one point to clinch the game with only 31 second remaining, Coors went for it at the 5-yard line trying to complete the conversion, but the pass was long.
   Trailing 48-40, Dino's took the ball down the field to the 8 before using its final timeout with 11 seconds remaining. Burrow had plenty of time to throw the ball on the next play as Jason Street proved the protection, and found Horton for the six with only two clicks left on the clock.
   Still down by two, the Vols went back to the same play where the ball had slipped through Rhinehart's hands, but this time the conversion was good as Rhinehart clinched the ball and said "not this time, baby."
   Regulation play ended with the two teams in a 48-48 tie.
   With the flag football league going into unchartered grounds (overtime), the coin toss saw Dino's league-leading defense electing to first try and stop the league's best offense.
   With the ball placed on the 10, Coors elected to try for the two-pointer, which it scored.
   Dino's, however, matched the play with its own conversion.
   The second overtime saw Coors go on defense first. Still, Dino's decided to go for the two and made it on a great grab over the middle just inside the goal line.
   From there, the C. Light bunch gathered it in and passed its way to the conversion, knotting the score at 52.
   The Vols, going back on defense, stopped the two-point try by Coors as the ball fell short of the goal line.
   Only needing a point, the Vols went for the 1-point win from the 5. As Burrow dropped back he rolled left, then right, then found his favorite target, Rhinehart, in the corner and nailed him for the win to clinch the championship for Dino's and keep last year's champion from repeating.