By Dre’Quinn Johnson Contributing Writer
San Quentin’s Flag Football program opened the 2019 season in late September with All Madden playing Georgia United (GU), a team put together by former NFL quarterback and current Fox Sports co-host Michael Vick.
Final score? 32-14, with All Madden taking a loss on the their first Sunday night game.
“We played against a professional flag football team tonight,” said head coach Dwight Kennedy. “We still showed up as a team, and I’m proud of what we did tonight.”
GU plays around the country, has won multiple tournaments, and plays under Fast Track flag foot- ball rules. The All Madden team was unprepared, having practiced for a traditional game. Fast Track rules make all men on the offensive side of the ball eligible to catch passes, while traditional rules make offensive linemen ineligible.
Even though Vick wasn’t there, GU showed The Q’s football team why they are professionals.
All Madden opened with a turnover on an interception by Charles ‘Pookie’ Sylvester, who played with the visiting team at their request.
“If you want to win, put Pookie in,” Sylvester said, with a huge smile on his face. “If you want to lose, do what you choose.”
All Madden’s defense made quick adjustments, getting running backs and receivers on the field to match up against GU’s offensive speed.
“We got three interceptions to get our offense the ball, and I’m definitely proud of the way the defense adapt- ed,” said defensive coordinator Aaron “Showtime” Taylor.
But All Madden’s offense struggled throughout the game. By the end of the first half, starting quarterback Brandon Riddle-Terrell had thrown one touchdown and three interceptions.
GU quarterback “BBG” (Black Baby Gesus) threw three touchdowns, running and escaping the pocket, gaining extra yardage with his scrambling. On one play, he showed his arm strength by throwing the ball side-arm on the run for a15 yard completion and extending the possession for GU.
Even more potent was the post-game love shared by the visiting team.
“We’re definitely coming back, and we’re also spreading the word to help this pro- gram out because we believe in what you’re doing here,” said GU center Patrick Henderson. “We can see the rehabilitative power of sports and religion as well.”
All of the visiting players congratulated the All Madden team on their spirit and taking the challenge to play under unfamiliar rules. They promised to get other teams from around the nation to come in and play some flag football at The Q.