Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK's Emma Heaney, right, celebrates with Lara Glasser...

Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK's Emma Heaney, right, celebrates with Lara Glasser after an interception during the Division I final at the NYSPHSAA Flag Football Championships in Cortland, N.Y., Sunday. Credit: Adrian Kraus

CORTLAND — There’s taking over a game, and then there’s what Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK’s Emma Heaney did on Sunday.

With her team leading by five and Scarsdale marching down the field, the junior used every bit of her 6-1 frame to tip a pass to herself at the line of scrimmage, reel in the Hawks’ fifth interception of the game and sprint 53 yards for a touchdown with eight seconds remaining.

Heaney’s third interception of the game and her second pick-6 capped Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK’s 19-7 win over Scarsdale in a battle of unbeatens in the inaugural Division I flag football state championship game at Cortland High School.

“That was the fastest I’ve ever run,” said Heaney, a wide receiver who also plays on the defensive line. “I was just like, ‘Get to the end zone, we’re winning this thing.’ ”

Plainview finished 20-0, completing back-to-back perfect seasons and riding a 38-game winning streak into next year. Scarsdale finished at 19-1.

The Hawks trailed 7-0 at halftime before Lara Glasser caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Jen Canarutto to make it 7-6 with 17:32 left in the second half.

On the first play of Scarsdale’s ensuing drive, Heaney made her first interception and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown, giving the Hawks a 12-7 lead.

“It’s amazing to have a team that has your back and can keep everyone’s confidence up,” Canarutto said.

Two Scarsdale drives later, Heaney again tipped a pass to herself for an interception, giving Plainview the ball at its own 33-yard line with 3:53 left.

The Hawks wound the clock down to 1:24 before punting to Scarsdale’s 15, where the Raiders started their final drive.

“We said before the game that Emma Heaney had to be the best athlete on the field because Scarsdale has a lot of great athletes,” coach Alec Abramowitz said. “If Emma was the best, we would win the game, and that’s exactly what she was.”

Aside from the lone Scarsdale touchdown in the first half, Plainview’s defense was a force to be reckoned with. Rachel Ganz had two interceptions, including one at Plainview’s 34 to set up Glasser’s touchdown.

The Hawks preyed on Scarsdale’s flags all game.

Glasser pulled seven flags, Heaney and Gabi Weinstein each pulled six and Julia Kesselman pulled five.

“There’s so many drills that we do with [assistant coach Christine Ho] to pull flags,” Weinstein said. “Before the games, we get into groups of three and there’s one person that has to pull as many flags as everyone is coming at you. It’s using your reflexes and critical thinking skills under pressure that helps us in games.”

Weinstein is one of only three seniors on the team, meaning the dominant Hawks will return most of this team next season.

“I couldn’t stop shaking at the end of the game,” Weinstein said. “One of my teammates had to come and hold my hand. It was just so much relief and happiness. I can’t explain how grateful I am for this team.”

 

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