Flag Football Comes Up Short in Section V Championship

There were plenty of firsts for flag football at Gananda in 2024.

But that’s going to happen during an inaugural season. And while the Blue Panthers advanced to the Section V Class B2 championship, their first title will have to wait for at least another year.

The effort was valiant and the margin was close, but Gananda fell short of a Section V title with a 20-13 loss to Bishop Kearney in Tuesday’s championship played at Monroe Community College.

It’s not what Gananda wanted, but it was far better than the 44-19 loss to Bishop Kearney during the regular season.

The Blue Panthers took a 7-0 lead in the first half when Avery Hoffmann caught a scoring pass from Ella Lathrop. Bishop Kearney responded with two touchdowns in the final 7:29 of the first half for a 14-7 halftime lead. 

Lathrop’s touchdown run with 15:43 left in the game pulled Gananda to within 14-13 after the conversion was stopped short. And even when Bishop Kearney took a 20-13 lead with 14.5 seconds left, there was hope for Gananda. 

The Blue Panthers advanced to midfield and completed a pass on what would be the final play. The pass was complete but the Blue Panthers needed a touchdown and were stopped short. 

Gananda ends its season with a 9-3 record and plenty of pride for a first-year program.

“Overall the season was a success,” coach Emily Slentz said. “There are lots of other athletes out there watching us as a pilot program. We told our girls that if you do good things, good things will happen so hopefully, these girls are inspiring younger players to start playing.”