Dothan flag football player Sevyn Walker might have a new nickname following Monday’s game against Northside Methodist Academy – The Disruptor.
The junior defensive rusher shrugged of blocking attempts to pull down the flags of the Northside Methodist quarterback eight times in the backfield for QB sacks and constantly forced quick throws or penalties, leading the Wolves defense in a 13-0 shutout win over the Knights at Rip Hewes Stadium.
Dothan improved to 2-2 on the season, while NMA dropped to 2-2.
“We switched that up as we started rushing her,” Dothan head coach Lee Merritt said of Walker. “We let her go all night. She is in a great shape. She caused problems in the backfield all night. That really helped everybody else behind her.”
Walker was a thorn in Northside Methodist’s side, especially quarterback Sydney Freeman, throughout the game.
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“No. 7 controlled what our quarterback did and controlled the decisions Sydney made,” Northside Methodist head coach Robby Morris said. “Obviously, we tried several people to try and block her. The times Sydney had time to throw, No. 7 wasn’t rushing. She just caused havoc. Even when she got beat, she still made the tackle downfield. She has a lot of speed and a lot of quickness.”
Walker was so disruptive that Merritt moved the other normal rusher on the defensive line back to help defend against passes.
“We started rushing two and realized that No. 7 (Walker) was doing such a good enough job behind herself, so we left her as the only one (rushing),” Merritt said.
Pushing the other rusher back in the defense clogged up the passing lanes behind the line even more. The Knights completed only 9-of-24 passes with three of their eight drives ending on Dothan interceptions. Tionna Edwards had two of the interceptions and Emma Jayne Hanie had the other.
Walker also caused a lot of illegal blocks by Northside Methodist, which was flagged for at least four blocking infraction penalties.
Northside Methodist’s Morris said his team has to work on its offense before its plays again in two weeks.
“We also have to have crisper passes, run better routes and block better, especially communicating for blocking,” Morris said.
Dothan capitalized on two short fields to score both of its touchdowns in the first half.
The Wolves started their second possession at the Northside Methodist 16 after Walker pulled the flag of Freeman’s for a seven-yard loss on fourth down. Four plays later on 4th-and-7 at the 13, Dothan quarterback Reecy Beacham connected with Brianna Milton on a 13-yard scoring pass on the left side. Beacham passed to Josie Varner on the conversion play to make it 7-0 with 12:35 left in the first half.
Late in the half, an Edwards interception and return gave Dothan the ball at the NMA 23. Three plays later, Edwards took a handoff on a speed sweep option to the left and raced to the end zone to complete an 8-yard TD run. The extra point failed, but Dothan led 13-0 with 1:17 left before halftime.
Northside Methodist, which had only two first downs in the first half, one on a penalty, had a little offensive success on its first drive of the second half. A 27-yard Freeman to Rachel Gray pass pushed the Knights into Dothan territory, but Walker stymied the drive with several stops, including on fourth down.
Dothan moved inside the Knights’ 30 with three drives in the second half, but couldn’t push a score on the board.
“I thought we were sluggish,” Merritt said. “I thought we should have scored 35 points, but we stopped our routes when the ball was in the air instead of continuing to run under the ball. We just backpedaled instead of running to the ball.”
Dothan returns to action on Tuesday, hosting Russell County at Rip Hewes in an area game. Northside Methodist is off until Oct. 17 when its plays Dothan and Carroll in a tri-match on Oct. 17 at Rip Hewes Stadium.
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