Volume 78 - Number 37 / February 11 - 17, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933

Local 74 is Number 1 after the Championship Game.

Sol Lain ‘Super Bowl’: Ruiz run wins it for Local

By Edward Garcia

Thanks to a lot of outreach to bring in new players this year, by the season opener the Sol Lain Flag Football League had enough players for four teams. The season ran from October until Dec. 20, when the league held its Championship Game.

In the semifinals, Local 74, which won 6 and lost 3 games in the regular season, were matched up against the Silver Bears, which were 3 and 6, in last place. The other semifinal, pitted the Augustine Saints against the Mendez Eagles, both with 4-4 records.

Mendez — the team, not their namesake, Councilmember Rosie Mendez — and the Saints both showed up ready to play. But in the first half, Mendez ran all over the Saints, and by halftime it was 4-0. In the second half, the Saints scored on the first play and their defense was much better. But Mendez hung on to win, 7-5.

The Championship Game was the day after a snowfall, which made it more fun in the opinion of the players. Local 74, having bested the Bears, and the Mendez Eagles both were at the top of their game, and running was the game. It was slippery, and both teams first tried throwing the ball, but were not able to connect on any big passes.

The teams then both tried to outwit each other with trick plays, like double-reverse runs. By halftime, it was tied, 3-3.

By the second half, the temperature had warmed up a little, but it was still a very tight game — until Krystal Ruiz, captain of Local 74, suddenly broke loose down the sideline. Matthew Hernandez, the Mendez Eagles’ captain, couldn’t grab her flag as he was being blocked by Jonathan Brown, and Ruiz motored in for the game-winning touchdown. Final score: 5-3, Local 74.

Then it was off to the Championship trophy ceremony. This year’s special trophy winners included Rookie of the Year, John Ramos; Defensive Player of the Year, Edwin Rivera III; Offensive Player of the Year, Matthew Hernandez; and M.V.P. and Player of the Year, Krystal Ruiz.





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