Posted: 2:44 pm Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Flag football: First-round state playoff games set for Saturday 

By Jodie Wagner

Defending state champion Seminole Ridge, Atlantic, Dwyer, John I. Leonard and Martin County won district championships this week and will play first-round state play-in games Saturday.

The unbeaten and No. 1-ranked Hawks shut out Pahokee 37-0 Wednesday for the District 23 championship and will host District 24 champion John I. Leonard at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The Lancers upset Lake Worth 12-7 in the district title game.

No. 7-ranked Dwyer defeated Jupiter 19-6 in the District 22 title game Wednesday and will travel to Martin County on Saturday to play the District 21 champion Tigers.

Atlantic defeated Boca Raton 16-13 for the District 25 championship Tuesday and will host District 26 champion Coral Springs-Taravella at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The Eagles went unbeaten in district play this season and hope for a solid performance against the Trojans.

“When our offense starts fast, we’re very hard to stop,” Atlantic coach Dameon Hughes said of his team, which advanced to the state quarterfinals last season. “Our defense has to pull flags and play their position. At the end of the day, when we play as a team, we are hard to beat.”

The winners of Saturday’s games advance to the second round of state play-in competition on Tuesday.

Here is Saturday’s game schedule:

*Dwyer at Martin County, 4 p.m.

*John I. Leonard at Seminole Ridge, 4 p.m.

*Coral Springs-Taravella at Atlantic, 4 p.m.