Temecula Valley senior girls Powder Puff football team won the 2013 Sugar Bowl. Great Oak was host to the annual event that brings all three of Temecula’s high schools together. Powder Puff football – a favorite among senior girls – has become popular over the years and this year the stands were full of fans, friends and family ready to see what the girls from all three schools were capable of and to see who would be crowned the city’s Champion.
Even before the tripleheader night, Powder Puff football had been quite eventful this year. The Temecula Valley Seniors vs. Juniors game last week filled the stands with a thrilling offense-filled 42-36 come-from-behind victory by the Senior team.
Great Oak seniors also beat their juniors 14-7 the night before the big game, but six or seven injuries (practice and game) – ranging from a concussion to broken teeth – took their toll with the seniors’ team losing players left and right. On Sugar Bowl game day, Great Oak seniors were left with less than half the girls they had started with, but were confident that it wouldn’t stop them from coming out on top.
After weeks of conditioning and football practices, Friday May 17 – the day of the Sugar Bowl tournament – finally arrived and all three teams were excited and ready to go.
The Great Oak vs. Chaparral game was first and as both teams warmed up, Justin Barlow, Great Oak’s head coach explained, “I expect an intense game. This is a lot of fun for the girls. We may have some soreness from last night’s game against the juniors, but we’re fired up and ready to go!”
The game began very quickly as Chaparral’s Ariel Robiski made the first touchdown on a 60-yard inside reverse in only the fifth minute of the first quarter. But Chaparral’s early lead didn’t stop Great Oak from fighting, keeping Chaparral from scoring again the entire first half while also trying to get a touchdown of their own. At the end of the half, both teams hadn’t budged, keeping the score at 7-0.
Chaparral then finally managed to break through the Great Oak defense again in the last six minutes of the game. Running back, Tori Alemany, caught a pass from quarterback Corey Strang and ran 45 yards for the touchdown. But Great Oak wasn’t going down without a fight and in the last 30 seconds of the game, they managed to score on a safety, finalizing the game at 14-2.
Chaparral, excited from their win, then prepared to play the second game against Temecula Valley, who after watching the first game were eager to get on the field. TV Head Coach Brendon Marchand expected a fast-paced game, “I expect a lot of speed and misdirection from them, but if we stay home like we practiced and execute on offense, we’ll come out with a win.”
Temecula Valley took an early lead when three-sport athlete Kamarria “Kiki” Rehn, TV’s 2013 Female Athlete of the Year, made a 35-yard run for the end zone in the last five minutes of the first quarter. But Chaparral came right back with a touchdown of their own as quarterback Corey Strang scored on a seven-yard run around the left side with only seconds left on the clock in the first half to tie the game at 7-7.
The second half of the game brought a fierce Chaparral, keeping TV from making any progress for nearly all of the third quarter. TV finally found an opportunity as defensive back Jasmine Smith intercepted the ball and ran 35 yards to score another touchdown, giving TVHS a 14-7 lead. With only 47 seconds left in the quarter, TV finally managed to make a ten yard pass for the touchdown, which then unfortunately got called back for holding on TV’s part. The almost touchdown kept both teams on their toes, and with both fighting hard. The game ended without either team being able to score again.
After Temecula Valley beat Chaparral 14-7, it was Great Oak’s turn to see if they could redeem themselves. Great Oak started the game strong, as running back, Shelly Fingerlin, went left through TV’s defense for a 65-yard touchdown in the fourth minute, bringing the screaming crowd to their feet. But it didn’t take long for TV to even the score; not even four minutes later Kiki Rehn, made her first touchdown of the game and second of the night. Her sweep around the right side resulted in a 60-yard score. And it didn’t stop there; with only a minute and a half left in the first quarter, Rehn made an 85-yard run, bringing the score to 14-7 and then seven minutes later, she made yet another, outrunning everyone for a 50-yd score. By the time the refs called for halftime, the score was 21-7 and Great Oak had no idea what had hit them.
In the third quarter, Rebecca Cartmill scored on a 70 yard pass play down the middle of the field and Jessica Borrego intercepted a Great oak pass for a “pick-six” score, bringing the score to 35-7. Even with the score looking dismal, Great Oak kept trying, pushing the TV girls hard and pushing themselves even harder. And it paid off when in the last 33 seconds of the third quarter, Tori Noelle, one of their receivers, caught the pass and made a run for the end zone, finally scoring another touchdown for Great Oak. But TV wasn’t done just yet, and in the last three minutes of the game they made one last touchdown, bringing the end score to 42-14.
After the game, Temecula Valley was named 2013 Sugar Bowl Champions. “There was a lot of running tonight,” Kiki, TV’s star player, explained. “I just kept telling myself ‘no matter what, keep going!’ I expected us to win and I am so happy.”
Rehn ended the night with over 250 yards rushing and four touchdowns.
Entertaining and tightly choreographed routines – including high-flying double somersault tosses, back-flips, and round-offs – by each team’s “Man-Leaders” brought rousing cheers of approval from the crowds.