As the early months of the calendar year signify pro football playoffs in the United States, Australia enjoys its summer months, setting the stage for an exciting chapter in female sport there. With the Female Gridiron League of Queensland becoming home to some of the finest tackle football players down under, such an empowering league is headlined by superstars such as Kristy Moran.
One of the franchise players of the Logan City Jets, Moran is at the heartbeat of its offense, while serving as one of the league’s most popular and recognizable players. During the inaugural season of the FGLQ, the Jets grabbed the league’s first championship. Known as the Summerbowl, Moran was part of a 38-20 triumph against the Kenmore Panthers. The success of the FGLQ would spawn other leagues throughout Australia’s provinces, including New South Wales and Victoria.
Such a development would have a direct impact on Moran’s career. While she continued to play with the Jets in the FGLQ, there was also a to be contested on a national level. Of note, players from all three provinces would become eligible for roster spots on the Queensland SunDevils, an impromptu All-Star team. The result was a roster of elite talent that would compete for the Womens Australian Gridiron League National Championship game in 2014.
On their way to the 2014 national title, Moran was pure magic with the Sun Devils. Against the New South Wales Coyotes, she proved to be the factor in a convincing 42-6 victory. Contested at the Hurtsville Oval in Sydney, Moran assembled a solid ground game of over 200 rushing yards. While teammate Jodie Carl also scored a touchdown, a pair of quarterback sacks by Teri Nukz helped set the tone, as Moran’s superlative performance nullified the valiant efforts of Coyotes quarterback Nicole Morley.
Advancing against ACT (Australia’s Capital Territory) Gridiron Monarchs for championship bragging rights, Moran remained the focal point for the Sun Devils. In the aftermath of a 14-6 final in favor of Queensland, Moran added another significant milestone, obtaining Game MVP honors.
Her 43 yard touchdown run just before halftime provided Queensland with the 8-6 lead, helping shift momentum and perhaps confidence in its favor. With quarterback Denise Pepe (an FGLQ rival with the Gold Coast Sea Wolves) orchestrating a late game drive, it was Moran who would score with 10 seconds remaining, providing Queensland with the prestige of being national champions.
An historic honor for Moran complemented another series of MVP nods. Considering that the Jets have enjoyed three straight trips to the Summerbowl (winning in 2012 and 2014), Moran was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of Summerbowl II. Despite the Gold Coast Stingrays prevailing by a 12-8 count, Moran became the first player from a losing team to obtain such an honor.
In that same season, Moran was recognized as the FGLQ’s Offensive Most Valuable Player, marking the second straight season that a Jets player earned an end of season award. In 2012, Hayley Peterson, who was also bestowed the honor of the MVP in Summerbowl I, was recognized as the League MVP, respectively.
While Moran and Peterson have a mutual respect for each other, there is definitely a friendly rivalry between the two. Of note, both share the record for most touchdowns in an FGLQ game. Peterson would become the first to set the record, scoring four touchdowns against the Gold Coast Sea Wolves on August 31, 2013.
Moran would not just match the record, running for daylight on four separate occasions against an overwhelmed Western Jaguars squad on November 8, 2013, she would duplicate such success a second time. One week later, a rematch against the Jaguars saw Moran maintain her dominant ways, managing another sterling four touchdown performance.
Throughout such an incredible football journey, part of Moran’s likeability is defined by her humility. Devoted to her teammates, her football legacy is not just based on her legendary play, but her ability to stand proudly as a role model. Championing the highly admirable #nojokefootball campaign, there is no question that Moran shall likely a remain a key figure in the growth of the game.