By Jacob Greene
Simpson University football is here. Non-athlete, female-only flag football, too.
Mark Endraske was appointed the head coach of one team. Athletic Director Rob Harley was the coach for the opposing team.
The first practice for Endraske’s team took place on Oct. 17 inside Humphries-Collard at the whiteboard with an overview of the basic rules of football. Next, Endraske explained an 8-man formation on offense, with a 3-man line.
Blocking strategies were discussed.
“[It’s] Getting in their way not physically moving them,” Endraske said.
After, the team did an overview of defense they headed outside.
“I want to get a sense of our team,” Endraske said as he assigned positions in formation.
He had plays drawn up already. But they were not printed before the practice.
Endraske got them into their offense formation. He told each player what to do. As he explained each play–walking through it with each player–the whole team started to find a role that fit them well.
After practice ended Morgan Wilson was named tailback, Jewelia Zaragoza was named the starting quarterback. Endraske said both were easy position choices as Zaragoza showed off a strong, accurate arm. Wilson displayed fast acceleration with an ability to get around the offensive line and outrun the defense.
Endraske offered his thoughts after the first practice.
“I feel like we have the best powderpuff team ever. Jewelia and Morgan are like Allen and Diggs,” Endraske said referring to the duo's chemistry after the first practice.
The quarterback offered her thoughts on the team.
“It’s pretty cool, all that time with my brothers playing football really paid off,” Zaragoza said.
The next 3 days the team repeated most of what they did in their first practice. Endraske slowly added more elements to prepare his team for Friday’s game. He had drawn up several trick plays including a bubble screen, flea flicker, and multiple versions of a reverse.
On Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. the first ever Simpson powderpuff football game began.
Rob Harley’s team was referred to as the yellow team. Endraske’s team was referred to as the red team. It was a defensive game after yellow’s opening drive. Red would score only once. Zaragoza threw a perfect pass to her younger sister–Jessie Zaragoza–who broke the plane after her reception.
The yellow team got another touchdown in the second half—on yet another rushing play. A strategy the red team could not stop consistently.
The turning point in the game was an interception by Isabella Balsano in the last 3 minutes of the game.
A one-touchdown difference was enough for Harley’s team to win the first inaugural powderpuff football game.