The Dimond Lynx turned to an unlikely source to come up with a familiar result Saturday in the Cook Inlet Conference flag football championship game.
In a sport where everyone is an eligible receiver, sophomore center Ruth Lomu, who usually only touches the ball when she snaps it, caught a pair of touchdown passes to help the Lynx wrap up an undefeated season with a 14-6 victory over West at Dimond Alumni Field.
The championship was the third for Dimond since the Anchorage School District introduced flag football seven years ago. It marked the first undefeated season for the Lynx, whose other titles came in 2009 and 2010.
"You tell the girls to relax, it's just another ball game, but you are feeling all the pressure of winning another title and being undefeated," Dimond coach Kathleen Navarre said. "It puts a lot of added pressure on you."
Everyone was gunning for the 17-0 Lynx, who beat Bartlett 20-0 in the first round of the playoffs and Eagle River 41-14 before facing West.
"Every game in these playoffs was so hard because we had everything to lose and the other teams had nothing to lose but to come after us and play their game," Navarre said. "Eagle River, that 41-14 score is not a relection of that game -- I was nervous the whole time.
"Today West came in eager to beat us. They were cheering for us on Thursday because they wanted us. They wanted a chance to beat us."
The Eagles made it a one-possession game late in the third quarter when Shiccia Harris rushed for a touchdown. But West never threatened again.
Lomu caught both of touchdown passes from Tara Thompson in the first half to give the Lynx a 14-0 halftime lead. Though she has been thrown to a couple of times during the season, Lomu had never scored a touchdown until Saturday.
"We weren't trying to be tricky," Navarre said. "We knew with this offensive set, if (West) rushed two, somebody (would be) open. We worked on it yesterday. We put two receivers on both ends; if they put two to the outside and rush two, we know somebody's going to be open, so we worked with Ruthie being open."
Lomu took the first pass from Thompson 16 yards for a score, and her second touchdown was the result of an adventurous five yards.
"She fell down, bobbled it and caught it in the end zone," Navarre said.
Thompson rushed for 46 yards and completed seven of 11 passes for 114 yards, with three passes going to Lomu for 43 yards.
Thompson also shined on defense with three pulls and an interception. Whitney Jackson had eight pulls, one for a loss. Also contributing on defense was linebacker Gabby Coleman, a senior who became the first player in CIC history to win three flag football titles. Coleman started as a freshman when Dimond won its first crown in 2009.
Anchorage Daily News