The Dimond Lynx enjoyed the perfect ending to a perfect season on Friday.
The Lynx capped a two-year run of dominance by capturing their second straight Cook Inlet Conference flag football championship with a 33-7 win over South at Dimond Alumni Field.
A strong defensive effort and two touchdowns apiece from Tara Thompson and Vanessa Tufaga gave Dimonds its 34th victory in a row, securing a second consecutive undefeated season for the senior-laden team.
"It's tough to do, because every team is the team that wants to beat Dimond," Lynx coach Kathleen Navarre said. "These girls didn't get rattled. They didn't feel the pressure as much as the coaches did. The kids were relaxed."
It helped that the Lynx (17-0) grabbed a quick 7-0 lead on Vanessa Tufaga's 8-yard touchdown pass to Whitney Jackson, a score that came on the first possession of the game.
"We want the ball first," Navarre said. "Most teams defer, but it's so important for us momentum-wise. It gets our defense going. The two close games we've had, we didn't score on our first possession."
Dimond rolled to a 27-0 halftime and didn't give up a touchdown until the fourth quarter, when Kalli Albright scored for South on a big pass play.
"Our defense was unbelievable tonight. It was amazing," Navarre said. "We shut them down early and they couldn't get anything going."
Thompson led the defense with 10 pulls, and Tufaga and Lauren Hines combined for nine more.
Thompson, a three-time CIC Player of the Year, completed three of five passes for 53 yards, including a 43-yard touchdowns strike to Hines. She also returned a kickoff 80 yards in the waning moments of the first half.
Tufaga rushed for a two-yard touchdown in addition to the touchdown pass to Jackson. She finished with 28 rushing yards on six carries.
Thompson and Tufaga are among 17 seniors on Dimond's 28-player roster, but the Lynx won't be completely depleted next season. Hines is a junior and Malia Lyken, who carried the ball eight times for 75 yards and a 2-yard touchdowns, is a sophomore.
The CIC championship is Dimond's fourth since flag football became a varsity sport in 2006. And while the team's 34-game winning streak is impressive, it's not close to being an Alaska record -- the Service girls gymnastics team won more than 100 meets in a row in the 1990s and the Service girls soccer team won 77 straight matches in a streak that ended in 1991.
South finished the season 12-5, with three of its losses coming to Dimond. The game marked the Wolverines' first appearance in the CIC title game.
Cook Inlet Conference
Flag football champions
2013 -- Dimond 33, South 7
2012 -- Dimond 14, West 6
2011 -- East 13, West 12 (OT)
2010 -- Dimond 21, East 15
2009 -- Dimond 32, Bartlett 12
2008 -- Chugiak 13, Bartlett 6
2007 -- Chugiak 33, Service 7
2006 -- Bartlett 19, Chugiak 18
Anchorage Daily News