On Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, the Mount Eden Monarchs faced off against the Berkeley High School Yellow Jackets in a game of flag football. The game began with an exciting start. Despite Berkeley’s defense, The Monarchs were able to secure two first downs. After a stunning throw by their quarterback, it was first and goal for Mount Eden. The Monarchs’ quarterback was then able to run the ball into the goal line. However, Mount Eden was not able to get the point conversion as Ali Forbush, a BHS sophomore, hit the pass to the ground thereby denying Mount Eden the point.
This was new territory for The Jackets. In their previous games, they hadn’t allowed any points against them and had only allowed three first downs in their combined two games. “We’ve won with pretty much blowouts, so I think we came in a little bit in our heads and we were kinda talking to each other a little bit scared, so I think that really was reflected in the first few minutes where they got their touchdown,” said Forbush. However, Mount Eden’s success was short-lived. On their next possession, The Monarch’s quarterback threw an interception, allowing Berkeley’s quarterback, junior Shayla Kerr, to throw a long ball into the goal line for a touchdown. The Jackets secured the one-point conversion, giving themselves the lead. When reflecting on the game, both coaches and players spoke about how proud they were that the team was able to adapt. Israel Carrero, Berkeley’s coach, said, “We have yet to have to respond to anyone and that shows a lot of character and I’m pretty proud about that part.”
After a Berkeley sack, Mount Eden elected to “punt” the ball. In flag football, this means that the other team starts with the ball at their five-yard line. After three strong consecutive plays by Berkeley, their quarterback threw a stunning long ball to Forbush scoring a second touchdown for The Jackets. Right before halftime, Berkeley secured the point conversion, making the score 14-6 for The Jackets. This touchdown was a key moment where the team demonstrated their ability to adapt. “I started reading their defense and how they played it, to where I was setting up a certain play, which happened to be the very touchdown at the very end of the first half … if they play high, we attack low, and if they play low, we attack high”, said Carrero.
The first play of the second half, Kerr threw a long ball to Forbush, who ran it into the goal line. Kerr again threw to Forbush for the point conversion, making it 21-6. After two more attempts by The Monarchs to even out the game, their quarterback threw another interception, caught by Berkeley senior Jamaia Harrison. Kerr was then able to throw yet another long ball into the end zone. After the point conversion, the score was 27-6 for The Jackets. The final whistle was blown and the Berkeley supporters cheered.
When speaking about her goals for the flag football team this season, senior Amaya Houston said, “I just want us to be more in sync, I feel like when we grow a better connection as a team we learn the way each other plays, and we’ll fall more in sync.”
Forbush’s main goal is to increase the amount of recognition for her team. “We wanna compare ourselves to the guys football team … we’re out here, we’re doing our best, people are coming and watching, which is amazing, and we’re showing up,” she said.