The Fayette County Dragons flag football team traveled to the state tournament in Canton at the Hall of Fame complex on Saturday, Nov. 12. They were going for their fourth state championship in a row, as the Dragons were state champions in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Due to Covid, there was not a state tournament in 2020.
The Dragons defeated Hilliard, 26-12, and then Westerville, 18-12, on their way to their fourth straight state title.
Chad Blakely, Special Olympics coordinator for the Fayette County Dragons, spoke about the championship day.
“We won our semifinal game against Hilliard, 26-12. In the championship game against Westerville, we took a 12-0 halftime lead. It started sleeting, snowing, and was freezing. We couldn’t pass the ball in the second half because the ball was slick,” he said. “They were using Nike balls and when they get wet, they are very slick. Westerville came back and took a 14-12 lead with 1:15 left in the game. We passed the ball on our next play and Devin Ison connected with Jarad Kuhn and took the ball to their 40-yard line. Westerville got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct because they tackled Jarad instead of pulling his flag. With the ball on the 25-yard line and 35 seconds left, Devin Ison handed the ball off to Miguel Molina and he ran the ball into the endzone to make the final score 18-12.”
The 2022 Fayette County Dragons flag football roster consists of William Burlile, Rodney Ison, Devin Ison, Jarad Kuhn, Miguel Molina, Dakota Oyer, Trevon Toppins, Timothy Runnels, Katelyn Runnels, Chris Runnels, Doug Sowders (Team Manager), Kyler Thornburg, Matthew Wilson, and Austin York.
The team is coached by Jake Hays, Marcus Pineda and Nick Oyer.