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    Greece Athena knocks off Batavia, wins Section V flag football championship

    By James Johnson, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle,


    The Greece Athena Trojans found a path on to the list of Section V's short list of flag football champions and closed the door behind them to defeat undefeated Batavia 13-0 in the Section V Class B1 championship game on Tuesday.

    The Trojans scored a touchdown in each half of the tournament final at Monroe Community College. Athena is the first sectional champion crowned in Section V during the second season of a high school sport in a serious growth-pattern within the state .

    Athena (13-1) overcame the only team that defeated the Trojans this season. The Batavia Blue Devils (13-1), the tournament's No. 1 seed , turned the season-opener for both teams March 25 into a 38-6 romp.

    This time, the Trojans, the tournament's No. 2 seed, had more than enough answers to shut down Batavia, a finalist in 2023 that lost to Canisteo-Greenwood.

    Girls flag football: Section V scores for the 2024 season

    Player of the game

    Kate Rayburn , Greece Athena junior who turned a short pass play into about a 12-yard touchdown during the second half that put the Trojans ahead by two scores. Rayburn also was a key player on the Athena defense that shut down the high-scoring Blue Devils, as she intercepted a pass and made seven flag pulls.

    Play of the game

    1:40 - Time remaining in the first half when Athena defensive player Emily McMichael pulled the flag for what amounted to a sack that pushed Batavia behind the Trojans' 20-yard line. The Trojans then kept their 6-0 lead, when a pass to the end zone by Batavia was incomplete on the next play.

    By the numbers

    2 - Touchdown passes by Athena sophomore Anna Forman , who was 6 of 12 passing and as a defender made five flag pulls and intercepted a pass.

    3 - Yards covered on Forman's first touchdown pass, a throw to sophomore Emilee Montagliano , who caught the ball with 9:45 remaining in the first half, while on her way across the middle of the field. This was the first play after a timeout. Athena's conversion attempt failed, so its lead was 6-0.

    9 - Shutout wins for the Greece Athena Trojans, including all three of the team's sectional tournament games.

    11 - Games the Batavia Blue Devils scored 20 or more points this season.

    45 - Yards of a punt by Montagliano that went out of bounds at the equivalent of the Batavia 1-yard line.

    10 - Flag pulls by Montagliano.

    1 - Interceptions each by Athena defensive players Kaylee Kaufman and Priscilla Palmieri .

    They said it

    "We came back even harder and look where we are," Rayburn said about the team's win over Batavia the second time around.

    "She had a game. She's been that rock, that solid rock for us all year. We needed her there, and she was there defensively and offensively," Athena coach Tim Bruner said about Rayburn .

    "Getting this far has been crazy for us, a great opportunity," Rayburn said.

    What's next

    The Greece Athena Trojans can play on. They face Bishop Kearney, the Section V Class B2 champion, for a place in the first complete state tournaments , 6 p.m. May 23 at East Rochester.

    This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Greece Athena knocks off Batavia, wins Section V flag football championship

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