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Seminole Ridge advances to state flag football final

The Seminole Ridge flag football team overcame the threat of thunderstorms and a slow start to run its winning streak to 52 games with a 25-12 victory over Cooper City in the Class 2A state semifinals Friday at Citizens Field.

On the second possession of the game, Cooper City (15-2) capitalized on a Seminole Ridge (16-0) turnover by taking a 6-0 lead on a touchdown pass from Caitlin Dunn to Kimberly Slinkosky.

Seminole Ridge tied the game when Emily Higgins found Ayanna Wiltshire for a 50-yard touchdown pass.

Higgins threw a second touchdown pass, this time to Ashley Hollandsworth, just before halftime to give Seminole a 12-6 lead.

After an exchange of possessions in the third quarter, Higgins capped a six-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run to make it 18-6.

Dunn found Slinkosky again for their second touchdown to pull Cooper City within 18-12.

Seminole responded when Higgins found Kristi Kemper for a 17-yard touchdown pass to cap the scoring.

Seminole Ridge was led defensively by sophomore Emma Wagenman, who recorded nine sacks.

“I was really nervous because I have never been in this kind of game,” Wagenman said of playing in her first state tournament. “(My teammates) really did help me, being state champions. They helped me a lot because they were really good mentors and they set a really good example.”

Seminole coach Scott O’Hara said Wagenman’s performance helped the Hawks overcome a slow start.

“She is an amazing player and has really set the tone for the defense,” O’Hara said. “We did have a slow start, but we have gone through some of those this year, and I think that experience has really helped us.”

Seminole will look to defend its state title when it faces Tampa-Plant (15-2) in the Class 2A state final at 11:30 a.m. today. Plant defeated Orlando-Dr. Phillips 33-14 in Friday’s other state semifinal.

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