From staff reports
OCEAN CITY — Friday nights in the fall at Carey Stadium in Ocean City are filled with screaming fans, the marching band, football players knocking helmets in anticipation of another big game — all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with high school football in America. Normally, on a Tuesday night in November, the stadium is dark and empty.
But this week, the girls got to show their football skills under the lights as Ocean City High School brought back the “Powder Puff” football game for the first time in years. Many schools have the tradition, including Egg Harbor Township and Holy Spirit, and schools such as Oakcrest and Absegami — rivals who play in the annual Thanksgiving game — have their seniors compete against each other. Typically, it is juniors vs. seniors in a clash for bragging rights.
At Ocean City on Tuesday night, the Red Raiders had a little different format, as two teams of juniors and a pair of senior teams squared off against each other in 24-minute games, with the winners battling each other for the championship immediately following the “semifinal” round.

Members of “Team Die-Nasty”, made up of juniors, celebrate their victory over the seniors team of “Back That Pass Up” during the Ocean City Powder Puff Football championship. (Glory Days Magazine photo/Dave O’Sullivan)

In the end, it was a team of juniors, nicknamed “Die-Nasty”, that took home the title, pitching a pair of shutouts. The squad, captained by varsity soccer player Tanis McDonnell and her teammate and Key Club president Meg Sutter, beat their junior counterparts — the “Power Puff Girls” — 42-0 in the semis before taking down the seniors squad called “Back That Pass Up” 6-0 to win the championship. A pair of soccer players, quarterback Abbey Fenton and receiver Delaney Lappin, hooked up for the only score in the championship game, and field hockey player Courtney Storelle had a key interception.
In the senior semifinals, Back That Pass Up was able to slip past team “Steeler Man” 13-6. Steeler Man featured some of the school’s top female athletes, including Danielle Donoghue — Glory Days Magazine’s 2017-2018 Female Athlete of the Year — field hockey stars Reese Bloomstead, Maddie Kahn and Shannon Decosta, as well as lacrosse standout Emily DeMarino. Back That Pass Up featured some stars of its own, including soccer stars Sutter, McDonnell, Tori Rolls, Anna Devlin and Natalie Stinson, as well as cheerleader Sam Levai and basketball standout Savannah Holt.
The game was organized by soccer assistant coach Ashley Schmid along with the Key Club (president Sutter, vice president Casey McLees, a cross country star), and the shirts and logo were designed by Ava Keuhner. The event served as a Key Club sponsored fund raiser, and a check for $500 to go to “Waves of Caring” was presented to Jim Smith, Ocean City Fire Chief and chairman of the Waves of Caring Board of Directors. Waves of Caring is a city-sanctioned charity that helps underprivileged kids in the Ocean City area during the holidays. Dr. Jamison, Dr. O’Neal and Athletic Director Vince Leavey served as guidance to the Key Club in organizing the event, and City Councilman Antwan McClellan served as head of officials. Members of the football coaching staff helped coach the teams, and some senior and junior boys from various sports braved the cold temperatures to serve as a cheerleading squad.

Senior Sam Levai prepares to throw a pass during the Powder Puff Football action at Ocean City High. (Glory Days Magazine photo/Dave O’Sullivan)

Team members:
Power Puff Girls (juniors): Coach: Mr. Cook; Captain: Amara Mulloy; Team members: Ava Ritzel, Hannah Keane, Becca Millar, Martina Citera, Bella Pagan, Meredith Moon, Emily Myers, Ava Mumman, Bridget O’Kane.
Die-Nasty (juniors): Coach: Mr. Kelley; Captain: Delaney Lappin; Team members: Molly Reardon, Emma Sacco, Katy Cossaboone, Courtney Stoerrle, Emma Finnegan, Abbey Fenton, Ava Auwarter, Morgan Pizagno, Jordan Moyer.
Steeler Man (seniors): Coach: Mr. Matthews; Captain: Danielle Donoghue; Team members: Maddie Eggert, Ali Hendricks, Jordan Henry, Ava Romeo, Avery Panico, Karli Montemurro, Emily DiMarino, Shannon Decosta, Reese Bloomstead, Maddie Kahn.
Back That Pass Up (seniors): Coach: Mr. Keyser; Captain: Tanis McDonnell; Team members: Savannah Holt, Sam Levai, Tori Rolls, Alyssa Liebrand, Anna Devlin, Natale Stinson, Gina Schmid, Nicole Blum, Meg Sutter.