Flag football: Lennard’s win Over Alonso marks New Era in the sport — May 1, 2024

Robinson and Alonso have set the standard for flag football in the state – and nation. The powerhouse programs are near locks every year for a state title, winning a combined 10 since 2016. 

Their dominance raised the profile of the sport. The programs appeared in a Nike commercial that aired during the Super Bowl in 2021 and helped bring the state finals to Tampa, hosted by the Buccaneers no less.

But having such a stranglehold on state championship trophies means parity can be difficult to achieve. 

Lennard is starting to change that.  

Last year, the Longhorns beat Robinson in overtime. It was just the second time the Knights lost in the regular season in a 79-game span and marked their first loss at home since 2012. 

On Tuesday, Lennard got another meaningful victory, this time with something bigger at stake. 

The Longhorns withstood a comeback before beating the defending 2A state champion Ravens 19-13 in overtime in the region final. 

It is the first time Lennard has advanced to the state semifinals. 

Alonso, ranked fifth nationally by MaxPreps, had won 41 straight games dating back to last season. The Ravens kept racking up wins thanks to a dominant defense that allowed just 19 points all year heading into Tuesday’s matchup. 

Still, the Longhorns were confident. They got off to a strong start, building a 13-0 lead. Then they held on just enough to send the game to overtime. Moments later, they pulled off the win. 

Now, Lennard takes on Newsome, another Hillsborough County program that has helped create parity, in Friday’s region final.