Second place goes to Hamilton in NFL flag football showdown

Hamilton’s Buffalo Bills finished second in the girls’ 12 to 14 years old bracket of the National Football League Flag National Tournament of Champions.

Coming through preliminary round play at Disney’s sports complex in Orlando, Florida, undefeated after five games – including three shutouts – the Bills fell 14-7 to the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday (Nov. 22). Not only was it the first time the Buffalo Bills entered a team into this tournament, it was the first time a Canadian squad represented a Regional Team. Members of the 5-on-5 Hamilton team were Jaclyn Carbone, Faith Gallant, Breanna McIntyre, Julia Monaco, Andrea Petrina, Breanne Stramenga, Breanna Tilban, and coaches Vincent Carbone and Matty Hill.

In the championship game, Hamilton took a 7-0 lead scoring with15 seconds left in the first half. The Cowboys, from Cedar Park outside of Austin, Texas, tied the game with 7:38 to go in the second half. On their next possession, after intercepting a pass, the Cowboys scored the winning touchdown with 4:10 seconds to play.

The Cowboys ended Hamilton’s hopes of tying the game when they intercepted again.

Leading to the championship game Hamilton beat the Washington Redskins 13-0, Oakland Raiders, 20-0; Chicago Bears 27-26 in overtime; New England Patriots 19-0; and New York Jets 20-13 in OT.

Teams from three age division – 9 to 11 co-ed, 12 to 14 boys and 12 to 14 girls – who won their NFL FLAG Regional events participated in the Champions Tournament. Twelve regions were represented: Oakland Raiders, St. Louis Rams, NY Jets, Chicago Bears, Buffalo (Hamilton) Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars, Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, Washington Redskins, and Arizona Cardinals.

Hotels and airfare were paid by the NFL for all the teams.