Los Al tops El Toro for first flag football win

Griffins hosting St. Joseph High today at 6 p.m.

Kassidy Beach goes for a flag on an El Toro runner. Photo by Ted Apodaca

Los Alamitos High’s newest sports team came about quickly since the start of the year, when CIF-SS Girls Flag Football became a reality. With tryouts in early August and first practice taking place on Aug. 9, the girls have been working hard to build themselves into a cohesive team.

The Griffins opened the season with a 13-7 loss to Lakewood, but got their first win on Friday with a 12-0 win on the road at El Toro High. Head Coach Laura Hart said she felt like the players had some first-game jitters that may have stymied their play. But that might have been expected after the quick turnaround from formation to first game.

“I was proud of how quick the girls learned and how they are playing,” Hart said.

The Griffins were able to strike quickly against El Toro, when Kassidy Beach intercepted a pass on the second play of the game and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown that gave the Griffins a 6-0 lead. The Griffin defense kept the Chargers from getting much of anything in the first half.

Los Alamitos added another touchdown with a more sustained drive that ended when quarterback Rylee Robles hit Kennedy Bowe with a short pass in traffic that Bowe was able to catch above the defenders for another touchdown. A failed point after try gave the Griffins a 12-0 win at halftime.

“I like where we’re at as a team, we have a lot of natural talent, it’s just hard to get everyone involved with only two, 20-minute halves,” Hart said.

The Griffins opened the second half with a long drive, deep into Chargers territory. But the drive stalled and the Chargers took over on downs. El Toro was able to mount its best drive of the game driving the ball back into Griffin’s territory before the Los Al defense was able to stall the drive and take over on downs. 

Both teams had a couple of short possessions after that, but time ran out and the Griffins had their first win. Hart said her team has been working hard and have a mental focus that has her optimistic of a successful season. The Griffins will be competing in the LA Rams Girls Flag Football Jamboree on Sept 23 at Loyola Marymount. She said she expects the team to gain valuable experience at the event.

“I’m excited to see the girls compete against teams at different skill levels with some having been playing together for a while,” Hart said.

The Griffins will host St. Joseph High today, starting at 6 p.m. at Los Al High. They will also host Edison High on Wednesday, starting at 6 p.m.

Quarterback Rylee Robles eludes a pass rusher and takes off running. Photo by Ted Apodaca
Kennedy Bowe tries to get around a defender. Photo by Ted Apodaca