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Week six was the halfway point for the divisional matchups..the same matchups that would determine playoff seedings and playoff futures. Those who will make the A’s and those who will make the B’s. The early morning game pitted a pair of Original 6 franchises as the Gate City Goats went on the road to take on the Livin Legends. Since starting 0 and 2 the Goats defense has really caught fire and has become a force to reckon with. With Adam Lafrance at safety, former MVP Jerry Brown at corner, and former 4 time defensive player of the year, Erik Johnson, blitzing, they have been a beast to move the ball against. The first drive of the game saw the Goats Eric Rosario pick off a pass at the 25 and take it to the endzone for 6. Two drives later, Brown did the same thing to put the Goats defense up 13-0. It wasn’t all the defense in this one though, as Luis Andino punched in his team leading 6th TD of the season with just 20 seconds left to end the half 26 zip. The second half was a bit lackidazikal for both teams as the Goats were only able to score second half TD. The Goats D was solid and were looking for a shutout until the Legends bright spot of the day, Brad DeGeatano took a handoff in the backfield and took 60 yards to the house as the clock expired. Legends lose their mojo and fall to the Goats 32-6.
The next game saw a pair of former champions matchup as the Battletoads took on the Scoregasms. The Scoregasms..well..scoregasm’ed all over the Toads early and often in this one. The Toads in their defense was without their team Captain who coincidentally is their QB and Safety. He decided to leave the team this weekend to head to a taping of Maury Povich in which he was told he was NOT the father on this Father’s day weekend. He will immediately be able to resume football activities this coming week. The Scoregasms Dan Walkley had his way with the Toads minus the putative father. Walkley ended the day with 8 catches for 124 yards and 3 highlight reel TD’s. The Scoregasms explode all over the Toads, 37-16.
At 10:30 ‘twas a matchup of winless teams. The Sons of Flagarchy and Bangarang matched up in a divisional battle of epic proportions. By epic we mean…apathetic…at least for the Sons of Flagarchy anyways. The Sons with a squad left of 6 men had no desire to change the way they have been playing all season. Championships aren’t made on paper, they are made on the field and Bangarang continued to shut down the Sons high aspirations. The first play of the game saw Bangarang’s all-star vote leader, Jovany Santos get open in space and take it 60 yards up the sideline for the score. The Sons responded instantly. Shawn Morin ran a skinny post up the sideline on their second play from scrimmage to tie it up at 7. That’s when things got chippy. On the second drive of the game for Bangarang, the Sons safety speared the receiver out of bounds which led to officials and league security escorting a player from each team off of the field. That was all the fight the Sons had left. Bangarang went on to score 30 unanswered points in a battle of the Black Sea. Santos ended the day with 7 catches and 5 touchdowns. Bangarang gets their first W of the season, 37-7.
The next game on paper was the matchup of the year in the North division. But then some guys didn’t show up, and some others guys got hurt and some other guys did some stuff and some other guys did some other stuff too, so we had just another ol’ fashion beatdown. The Rage led by Jimmy Sanford took on America’s Children at 11:30. Rob Keddie flexed his muscles early as he scored 2 TD’s on two catches in the first two drives for a two score lead for the Rage. Brian Bebyn who is making a case for Offensive Player of the year then decided to get involved scoring back to back TD’s to close out the half, 26-6. The American Children cried for their mommies and rummaged perilously for their binkies in the second half as it got even more out of hand. So out of hand in fact that an American Children fan decided to go streaking onto the field in hopes to put an end to the child laboring taking place. Rage spank America’s Children 41-6.
For the second straight week, the men of the Blue Balls Dynasty took on an undefeated squad. This time they were at home and faced off against former teammates who now play for Catalina Wine Mixer. The fans filled the stands and the bands sat in the grands while cheerleaders danced for the chance to see the game of the week on Blitz sands. Catalina came out swinging in this one and silenced the rowdy Blue Balls fans early (we’re done with rhyming now). The Blue Balls got on the board first when Dave Martel found Johnny Nadeau in the back of the endzone for a 6 nil lead. After that; Catalina started crushing grapes (making wine..anyone? No?). Well anyways, Catalina QB Danny Connolly quoted before the game, “I told you all, Ryan Rule in the best player in this league,” and Connolly made it to point to prove that to the world. Connolly connected with Rule on two consecutive scores to take a one TD lead. The Blue Balls couldn’t get it going offensively because of the David Lee like forgotten talent of Mike Dion. Dion stopped two Blue Ball drives with INT’s to kill the Dynasty’s momentum. Then, on Catalina’s final drive, Vinnie Frasco went in motion and caught a TD deep as the first half clock expired; nailing a dagger into the hearts of the Blue Ball fan base. Catalina had what seemed like an insurmountable 20-6 lead at the break. After an inspirational pep talk in the lockerroom by Jay Vance, he came out with a fire in the second half. Vance scored the first TD of the second half and while on D, deflected pass after pass. Despite Vance’s effort though, the Blue Balls still trailed by a TD. Catalina’s Connolly and Frasco worked the ball all the way down to the 5 yard line with just two minutes to play and could not punch in the game clincher. Blue Balls made them pay. Dave Martel connected with Kiel Canada 4 times on the immediate drive that eventually led to a game tying Vance TD. This game seemed destined for OT as Catalina hadn’t scored since the first half. Connolly had his Wine Mixers marching with under a minute to play. On fourth and inches from their own 29, Connolly took a shot at Martel at corner. Martel jumped the route, bobbled the ball and ripped it from the offense and took it straight up the sideline, Forrest Gump style and ran into the tunnel to win it. Blue Balls send their fans home happy and Catalina loses their first of the season, 26-20.
At 1:30 The Looney Goons went on the road to face off against the early season surprise team, the Force. The Looney Goons were seeking revenge for last weeks embarrassment, and the Force fell onto the schedule at the wrong time. If you have ever followed the story of a man named Dubois, the legend says that he is the metaphorical Tortilla that holds together the spicy bean burrito known as the Looney Goons. The legend of the Tortilla man also claims that he rolls (he’s a tortilla, get it), best with a sidekick. A sidekick known as…Valcarel. Valcarel goes by the street name of Beans. He gives the burrito the protein to make the enzymes to destroy the weak sauce that stands in their way. The story of Tortilla and Beans is a simple one…they score touchdowns and pick off passes. In this one they combined for 5 offensive touchdowns along with 3 interceptions and a pick six. Tortilla and Beans rolled to victory, 61-28. Perhaps next week, they will gain another hero..a long grain of white who can add texture and chuck to the burrito. His name…Rice..his birth name..Dalton. To see how the three combine next week, tune in for another action packed adventure at 10:30 while they take on Catalina Wine Mixer for a chance at a division title. We all know, Wine and Burritos don’t go well together….
The final game of the day was a defensive battle as the T-Money Tigers and the Nashua Vikings renewed their rivalry. The rivalry of this one dates back to last season when the Tigers were undefeated and were dethroned and beheaded by the eventual champion Vikings. The Tigers came into this one with a few cubs left at home in the cage, but they they came out growling. Anthony Williams broke the zeroes with his third TD of the season just 5 minutes into the game to put the Tigers up 7. Down after down and failed conversion after failed conversion the Vikings with 4 minutes left finally got on the board via Mike Lamonday TD. The score would sit at 7-6 Tigers at halftime. If you were expecting to hear that the second half was different and the teams got off their butts and started scoring, you my friendly readers, would be wrong. The second half was riddled with interceptions…5 to be exact and all 5 were thrown by the Vikings. Luckily for them, they had reigning defensive player of the year, John Colon. He wreaked havoc in the first half with 3 recorded sacks, and despite not getting an official sack in the second, he pressured and rushed his way into multiple turnovers on downs for the Tigers. Vikings Tight End Matt Arpin had a slow first half, but he caught one in the second that mattered. He caught a high slant going over the middle to take a 5 point lead with 7 minutes to play. Despite 2 more Viking picks, Colon halted all the Tiger second half drives. Even with 5 turnovers on the day and only 12 points to show for themselves, the pesky Vikings found yet another new way to win, 12-7.
To kick off week five the field crew was there nice and early in the drizzly rain to set up the field for the day. Magically just 15 minutes before kickoff, the sky cleared and the sun made it’s appearance. The first game of the day featured the Livin Legends taking a short trip up route 3 North to face off against the Manchester Rage. The Legends without their marquee players and big three did their best to compete against a crafty and skilled Rage squad. Within three minutes of this thing starting off, it was all but over. Rage’s Brian Bebyn scored on the second play of the game on a deep post for the first of his three TD’s on the day. The Legends without their QB had no answer for RIcky Torres. Torres wreaked havoc from the first drive on. On third down he forced the Legends QB to run for his life, straight out of bounds that led to a safety. He did that two more times on the day to lead the Rage to an easy 39-12 victory.
The 9:30 game wasn’t much better as a pair of divisional rivals took the field. The division leading Xtreme went into the hostile territory of the Sons of Flagarchy. Xtreme controlled this game from the get go. They had the ball first and they scored first. They ate up most of the first half clock matriculating their way down the field play after play. The Xtreme were able to open up a 26 point lead at the half which featured a circus one-handed behind the back interception and pick 6 by Justic Wallace as time expired. The second half, either the Xtreme pumped the brakes on the blowout or the Sons figured it out. The Sons of Flagarchy came out of the lockerroom and scored on their first two drives of the second half. Despite a second half equalization, the 26 point first half still existed. Xtreme go on to win in impressive clock eating fashion, 38-14.
At 10:30 a pair of winless teams matched up against each other, so one of them had to win right? Bangarang looked to gain a high seed in the already clinched B-division playoffs against Flaggravated Assault. David Zocco was the star of the game in this one hauling in 6 catches, 3 of which went for endzone celebrations. Flaggravated Assault led 18-0 at halftime looking for a shutout. The Bangarang D lead by Eric Sullivan, found a way to shutdown Zocco in the second half as they held them to just a single score by James Harvey. If Bangarang could get their offense rolling a tad bit earlier, they might have had a chance. Steve Sullivan grabbed a TD catch with just under two minutes to play after a methodical drive to avoid the shutout. With just 10 seconds left to play, Eric Sullivan picked off a pass at the one and stepped into the endzone to make this closer than it appeared. Flaggravated hang on and pick up their first W of the season, 24-12.
The game of the week took place at 11:30. The stands filled up and the hot dog vendors sold out for the Blue Balls and the Looney Goons divisional matchup of undefeated teams. The Looney Goons are putting up insane numbers and the Blue Balls have been right there behind them all season playing catch up. In this one though, the Blue Balls showed that they are the premier point scorers in the league. The soon to be, hands down, no doubt about it league MVP (maybe), started the scoring off in this one. Jay Vance caught two of his three receiving TD’s on the day in the first half to provide the only two scores for the the Blue Balls in the first half. Looney Goons, Bryant Bettez got a TD in the final 30 secons to make it a 6 point game at the break. The second half was all Vance once again. He and zone mate, Kevin Langevin made it a second half pick party. Both caught a pair of second half INT’s, one of which, Vance took to the house for his 4th total TD of the day. Looney Goons shut down and waited for the clock to expire in this one as the fall for the first time this season, 40-18.
In the waning minutes of the previous game, the crowd shuffled out so they could get back to their cars and avoid traffic, but little did they know, they would be missing the surprising best game of the day. The 12:30 game featured the shorthanded Battletoads versus the shorthanded Tigers. The first half was a close one at 12-6, here’s how it unfolded. The Tigers got on the board first with a beauty of a pass by Joe Sheehan to Keith Lebrecque from the 10 yard line. After the a turnover on downs by both teams, the Battletoads answered back. Nick Kepka Calvetti who caught a total of 9 balls on the day, ate up an entire drive with 4 catches in the slot that led to a TD to tie it up. The lead didn’t last long though as Danny Lebrecque found the endzone to give the Tigers a one score lead at the half. Kepka Calvetti came out again sunglasses a-blazing. In the first drive he caught 3 more catches and caught his second TD of the day to tie it up and give them the lead with the extra point conversion. Both teams stalled on offense pretty much the rest of the half thanks to Keith Lebrecque and his pair of picks. With the 2 minute warning looming, the Tigers took one of Keith’s INT’s and took it all the way down the field for the game winning Touchdown right into the hands of Danny Lebrecque. The Tigers win a big one to hold onto their hopes of an A division playoff birth as they win 20-13.
Another big divisional matchup took place at 1:30 at both the Goats and America’s Children were fighting for their playoff lives in this one. The first half, the mercury was rising because both teams were too concerned about what the other team was doing to them physically than what was happening on the field. America’s Children playing with just 5 guys was able to punch in the first TD of the game and actually had control of this game in the first half. But not so fast said the Goats Luis Andino. The man who catches TD’s and that’s it. With 10 seconds left in the first half he caught a deep ball and then caught the conversion to put the Goats up by one at halftime. The second half was all Erik Johnson. He finally broke out of his mini sack slump. He tied his single game sack record with 4. One of which resulted in safety as the gameclock was winding down. Goats win in defensive minded fashion once again, 28-6.
ICYMI the 2:30 was finished in a flash, just like the uniforms of Catalina Wine Mixer on the back of a leopard at midnight under the aurora borealis. The days’ finale was the undefeated Catalina Wine Mixer taking on the Forceful Force. Danny Connolly and his Wine MIxers didn’t have it in the first half as both teams played out to a zero zero tie at the half. Catalina made tremendous lockerroom adjustments that led to 28 second half points. Chris Connolly who scored one of the team’s 4 straight TD’s said after the game, “It was easy in the second half. It was almost like nobody was there.” Alex Kahl said something along the same lines, “I give a lot of credit to Danny for throwing through those Lake Michigan sized gaps in the D.” The Force coaches and captains declined to comment on their non-existent D. They will await further discipline from the league as to skipping out of their post game presser. Catalina pitches a shutout and win this one easily, 28-0.
Week Four kicked off the summer heat. When temperatures rise, tempers rise and fatigue sets in. The blitzers at Atherton Ave though, persevered and we all made it through with very little incident.
The day started off at a calming 74 degrees where the Battletoads went on the road to face off against the undefeated Catalina Wine Mixer. The first half in this one was a battle. Catalina got it started off by way of a Danny Connolly bomb deep down the sideline to Alex Kahl for the first of his three TD’s on the day. The Battletoads responded on their very next drive, methodically picking apart the Catalina D to pull within one via Ben Phelps TD. The rest of the half was a back and forth defensive stand. It wasn’t until the 2 minute warning when the Battletoads Scott French launched one deep to his go to guy John Groff to give them the lead 13-7 at the half. The second half was a different story. It was all Vinnie Frasco and Alex Kahl. Both snagged a pair of TD’s and led a second half shutout, Catalina remains unbeaten, 33-13.
The next game was the game of the day as the Vikings went on the road to face off against the Xtreme. The Xtreme didn’t quite know what to do about speedster Kyle Twiss in the beginning. Twiss scored the games first TD on a deep fly route and then caught 3 more balls in the next two drives. The Xtreme 10 minutes in figured it out and shut him and the Vikings offense down completely. With just under 4 minutes to play in the half, Xtreme’s Dave Wiggin rumbled and batted his massive paws down the sideline to tie the game up. They converted the extra point and went into the lockerroom with a 7-6 lead. The Vikings brought their championship form out of the gate and Matt Arpin scored a TD in their first drive to give them the lead right back. After a turnover on the downs, the Vikings had the ball and was ready to put this game out of reach. However, Xtreme’s Jerrick Wallace had different plans. He picked off a funky Vikings tip ball and took it all the way to the house to tie the game up at 13. The Xtreme had the momentum. The game was in their hands, Dave Caponigro made an incredible one handed pick that set up another Jerrick Wallace TD to put Xtreme up 19-13. With their backs against the wall and the fans booing them off the field, the Vikings unleashed Twiss one more time. On fourth down from their own 22 yard line, QB Jake Forsaith launched up a prayer and Twiss leaped up and got it in stride for the equalizer. Once they converted the extra point, the Xtreme had the ball with a chance to win. The Vikings D bent but did not break. They haulted the Xtreme at the 11 to get the ball back with 47 seconds left to play. Forsaith took a controversial pair of knees at the one and one and half yard line to seal the deal. Xtreme filed the paperwork for protest and lose the game playing under protest, 20-19. Now the league offices will have to review the paperwork and announce a ruling within 15 days. If the game is not overturned, the Xtreme can take it to an independent arbiter to hear their appeal. We will have to wait…
The next game of course could not live up to the kind of glam and bam as the previous. The Manchester Rage took on Bangarang at 10:30. This game was over on literally the first play of the game. Rage QB Jimmy Sanford threw a 60 yard bomb to receiver Shawn Leal to create an already insurmountable lead for Bangarang. The bright spot for Bangarang is that rusher Eric Sullivan was able to sneak in and get his 4th sack of the season in his many games. The Rage skunk a solid Bangarang team, 33-0.
The 11:30 game saw the Livin Legends go on the road to take on the winless and frustrated Flaggravated Assault. This was another good one the first half. Assault’s David Zocco caught his second TD of season and the first of his two on the day to get the scoring started off. The Legends were able to tie the game up shortly after with a HB option to Anwar Clark who took a handoff, ball faked and rushed his way down the field for 60 yards to tie up. Brad DeGaetano broke the tie in the two minute drill to give the Legends a one TD lead at the break. The scoring the second half favored the Legends as they went on and scored 25 unanswered points to give themselves a 31-6 lead. This game suddenly became the highest ranking penalized game in blitz history resulting in 23 penalties combined. The Assault took advantage of the lack of Legends discipline and got a few TD’s in towards the end. However, it was too little too late, Flaggravated Assault fall in a game that was closer than it appeared, 31-22.
The high noon game continued the trend of blowouts as the Gate City Goats took on a shorthanded and new look Force squad. Once again, it was a great game in the first half and the hot temperatures which reached 91 degrees during this game, hit the short handed team the hardest. The first half featured a Goat’s Luis Andino scoring one of his two TD’s on the day and Adam Lafrance scoring one his two pick 6’s on the day. While for the Force, the league’s new Randy Moss, Austin Ogiba score on a deep ball and youngin’ Brad Kamal scoring via shifty mctwisty to make this thing a 1 point game at the half. Playing two ways nonstop for 40 minutes is hard enough as it is, but when you put a field in the middle of the sun with no shade in 90 degree weather, it really beats you up. The Goats who roll 10 deep had no problem staying hydrated in the second half. Andino and Lafrance repeated their first half performances to go along with Erik Johnson’s pair of safety tackles. One from a QB sack and one from a handoff. The Goats D outscores their offense and rolls, 31-13.
At 1:30 the Blue Balls looked to stay undefeated against the Scoregasms.This was the the third game of the day that featured a one point gap at the half. The Blue Balls Johnny Nadeau scored the first TD of the game and caught 4 balls in the first two drives. The first score was quickly followed by a Scoregasms Dan Walkley TD to tie it up. Kiel Canada got in the endzone and then Leon Lackiram followed by the Scoregasms again. Then #JugGate happened. Due to the high temps, first half MVP Johnny Nadeau’s water was left out and got warm. Heat does crazy things to people and he let the heat get the best of him. Nadeau decided to knock down a league employed waterboy and guzzle his icy cold Gatorade bucket. It did not go unnoticed, as league officials caught him and assessed him with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that ended his first half early. Score at the half, Blue Balls 13-12. Coming out of the locker room, the Blue Balls proved why they are the best team in Vegas’ power rankings. Kiel Canada, Flash Shattuck and MVP front runner, Jay Vance all scored second half TD’s while sandwiching in another Walkley Scoregasms TD. Nadeau who was hot in the first half, goes cold, just like the water he wasn’t allowed to drink..Blue Balls win 31-18.
The most anticipated game of the day was subsequently, the last one. It featured a pair of undefeated and championship contenders with the Looney Goons and America’s Children. The Looney Goons, in Looney Goons fashion put up points despite a usually stout Murica D. The Looney Goons got out to a 22-0 lead with a pair of Ivan Valcarels TD’s before America’s Children responded. QB Matt Auger took a handoff in the backfield and weaved his way through defenders for a 60 yard rushing TD. Unfortunately for the Children, that was the lone highlight of the day as Valcarel added another TD as the men separated themselves from the boys…children. Looney Goons score the most points in a day that didn’t feature many of them. Goons put the Children to bed, 42-18.
Memorial Day weekend was a weekend of half rosters, injuries and wind; all three of which kept the scores funky and standings jumbled.
At 8:30 if you liked defense, this was the game for you as the division leading Xtreme took on the shorthanded Tigers. This game was a coming out game for Xtreme’s Dave Caponigro. He made catch after catch with defenders on top, behind and running through him. Caponigro is well on his way to the sportscenter top 10 plays of the week with his 6 catches on the day. His first 3 catches set up the first and only score of the first half by Jarrick Wallace. Xtreme go into the lockerroom with a 7-0 shutout on the Potent Tigers offense. Out of the gate, the Tigers finally got it going as Big Cat Joe Sheehan found Charlie Emerson in his first game of the season to bring them within one. The game had it’s fair share of turnovers as both teams battled back and forth, not being able to capitalize off of them. With the game winding down, and the Tigers with 2 timeouts in their pocket, Xtreme’s Josh Lavoie punched in the dagger that eventually led to the win. Xtreme win, 13-6.
The next game pitted a pair of bitter rivals who met last year in the B division conference finals. The winless Sons of Flagarchy went into the swamplands to take on the Battletoads. The Sons came out hot in this one. They marched right down the field without hesitation on their first two drives by way of TD’s from Rodrigo Piriz and Kyle Yatabe. From that moment out, the Sons lost their mojo. The Battletoads scored on their next two possessions to close out the half 14-13. Injuries struck both teams hard as the Sons lost their two outside receivers and QB late and the Battletoads left their top wideout in the lockerroom. The second half was more like the first game, riddled with interceptions and poor decisions. With just under 30 seconds to play, the Toads Donnie Bowers caught a quick slant and scampered his way into the endzone to put this one out of reach. The shorthanded Battletoads win a big one and get in the win column, 25-13.
The 10:30 game, featured a winless Flaggravated Assault traveling to the hostile environment of the Nashua Vikings. If you blinked to start the game, you may have missed it, the first half just powered through in impressive time as the Vikings jumped out to a 20 to nil lead at break. The second half moved just as fast, and without many moments for the highlight reel. Last year’s playoff MVP was the man of the hour, hauling in 3 catches and 2 INT’s to go along with 2 tackles. The Vikings steamroll onto an impressive 32-0 victory.
The game of the day was a possible championship game preview as the Rage took on the Blue Balls Dynasty. The wind was fierce from the get go, hampering deep balls and all throws over 15 yards to go off target. The game stayed locked at zeroes until an arid Jimmy Sanford pass went off the fingertips of his receiver right into the arms of Joey Parzych who fluttered his way into the endzone for a 6-0 lead. It stayed that way until half was winding down and the Blue Balls had the final possession. With the clock hitting zeroes, QB Dave Martel dropped back and launched one to Kiel Canada in the endzone for the TD. Blue Balls led it 12-0 at the half. The Rage out of the break came out with some…well Rage. They got their act together and adjusted to the elements. Brian Bebyn and James Huard paired for 6 catches on the first drive to get the Rage on the board. The Rage blitz of Showtime Andrew Howard was able to shut down the Blue Balls offense for the rest of the half. Unfortunately for the Rage, a key injury to Bebyn caused them to play shorthanded. In desperation mode, Blue Balls Jay Vance, picked off a pass and took it to the house to close it out. Blue Balls stay undefeated and win a huge game, 19-12.
At 12:30, the a pair of teams with backup QB’s matched up as the Scoregasms took on Bangarang. The first three scores of the game were all results of safety sacks; two by Bangarang and one by the Scoregasms. With 8 minutes left in the first, Eric Sullivan caught his first TD of the season to give Bangarang an odd 11-2 lead. The Scoregasms Nico Couture on the next drive punched in a TD to pull them within 3 to close the first half. In the first play of the half, the Scoregasms ran a trick play out of the endzone leaving, Travis Nano wiiiide open downfield to give them the lead…a lead they would not look back from. Nano went on to catch three more TD’s that half to bring his season total, to a new career high of 7. Scoregasms with a huge second half, win 35-17.
The days’ finale saw the Looney Goons take on the Livin Legends. This was an intense and adrenaline fueled first half as both teams couldn’t find their rhythm to start. The Looney Goons’ Billy Dubois, kept his defensive player of the year nomination active as he tallied 3 total INT’s on the day, to go along with 3 pick 6’s. The first of which was the first score of the game. The Legends responded with a Mo Kargbo, Mike Langley and Ramon Pena TD to close the half with the lead 18-16. The game kept the fans in the seats until..Billy Dubois struck again. He caught a 60 yard TD to kick off the half and then followed with yet another pick 6. Jeff Denver, Bryant Bettez and Tyler Dubois got in on the scoring in the second half as the Goons, shut out the Legends in the second half. Looney Goons route the Legends to end the Memorial Day mishaps at Atherton Ave, 48-18.
To kick the day off, the Catalina Wine Mixer flew into the deadly home territory of Flaggravated Assault. Catalina was coming off of a huge win last week and looked to gain momentum in their stacked up division while Assault was healthy and had their full roster at their disposal looking for the upset. Catalina slept on the gametime of the Assault because they took it to the Wine Mixers in the first half. David Zocco broke the 0’s with a 15 yard leaping TD to Dylan Humphrey on 4th down to take a 6 nil lead. Catalina quickly responded with an Alex Kahl TD up the sideline followed by an early season MVP candidate Ryan Rule TD to give Catalina their first lead. Assault’s James Harvey then caught a nice TD in the stomach to notch it back up at 12. Flaggravated Assault finally found a way to neutralize the potent Catalina offense in the first half allowing just 12 points. David Zocco struck again this time catching a TD with just under a minute left to give Assault an 18-12 lead. A lead that wouldn’t last long as Ryan Rule struck again on the first play of the half scoring a 60 yard TD to tie it up again. This game would stay tied at 18’s until 4 minutes left, when guess who, Rule caught a 4th down streak up the sideline and put it out of reach for Flaggravated Assault. Catalina squeaked in another garbage TD to close the game and hang on in a tough one 30-18.
The 9:30 game packed the stands and the memories of the fans with a games for the ages. The new look Force went into the not so friendly confines of the Sons of Flagarchy. Both teams came into this game severely short handed as two jam packed rosters, saw themselves limited in substitutions. The Force came out using the “force” as their pass rush of a JJ Watt-ish Jeff Ogiba was downright uncanny disrupting the Sons of Flagarchy’s potent offense and causing them to fail to score on their first 3 drives. On offense they were led by Brad Kamal who had his Blitz coming out party. Kamal torched the Sons D with catch after catch in the slot and scored the first TD of the game. Jeff Ogiba could not be stopped as he scored a TD and then turned it around and recorded a safety sack to give the Force a big 16 point lead. It wasn’t until a Nick Emmons TD on blown coverage that the Sons showed life by scoring 13 unanswered to close the half. The Sons as they always do came out of the lockerroom with great second half adjustments. Prospect, Rodrigo Piriz caught fire on their first drive of the half and got a TD to pull them within 3 points. Then Shawn Morin picked off a pass and caught a TD to give the Sons their first lead of the day. A lead that would be squandered over and over again all thanks to Austin Ogiba. He shadowed his inner Randy Moss of 07 catching bomb after bomb. Each time the Sons would get in the endzone to take a 3 point lead, Ogiba would catch a 50 yard pass to give them a 3 point lead. Austin Ogiba scored 4 second half TD’s to lead the Force to their first win of the season 41-38.
Whilst reveling in their victory, the Force got to stick around and see a game equally as good as theirs..just this game featured more Defense than Offense unlike their game. At 10:30, the defending champion Vikings went into Gate City to take on the Goats. This was a battle of the league’s top two premier rushers. The reigning Defensive player of the year, John Colon, squaring off against the previous 3 time Defensive player of the year, Erik Johnson. The two rushers lived up to the hype shutting down both offenses, leading to only 19 total points in the first half with the Vikings holding onto a 7 point lead. The Goats QB Eric Rosario, got it going out of the break finding Luis Andino to pull them within just a point. After a 4 and out by both sides, a Jerry Brown TD and several momentary laps in strategy by both squads, the Vikings Nate Forsaith called game with a TD in the back of the endzone to put them up 19-18 and send the Goats back to the lockerroom winless.
At 11:30 if your fingernails weren’t nibbled down enough, an America’s Children and Scoregasms matchup finished them off. This one started out sloppy as neither team could move the ball or produce first downs. With 6 minutes left in the half, both teams decided to start scoring and actually play some real football. Travis Tripodi also known as Nano, muscled his way into the endzone by way of throwing down two defenders to give the Scoregams their first lead. After an American Children turnover, Leon Lackiram provided some more points with his third TD of the season to increase their lead. With the two minute warning looming, Murica’s new QB Matt Auger stepped back and found a streaking Joe Daly to pull them within a score at the break. The second half was all about Rookie wideout, Dan Auger. On the fourth play of the second half, Auger juked his way through the defenses for 60 yards to pull them within one. After the Scoregasms failed to score, Auger took control of the next drive, hauling in three catches which led to a leaping endzone grab over some spectacular defensive coverage to give them the lead. A lead they would not look back from. The Auger brothers overload the statsheet as America’s Children remains undefeated, 27-22.
The midday game didn’t count for as much drama as the Tigers went on the road to take on the new look Rage in their season opener. The shorthanded Tigers looked completely overmatched against a veteran savvy Rage squad. Brian Bebyn was the start of the game, picking off a pass in the Tigers first drive that led to the first of his 3 TDs on the day. QB Jimmy Sanford was no slouch either completing 7 TD passes to 3 different receivers. The Tigers bright spot was Anthony Williams who continued his hot start. He caught just two passes but one went the length of the field for a TD when the game was still in hand. He demanded double coverage downfield the entire game but the Tigers just couldn’t find a way to keep up against the veteran Rage squad. The shorthanded Tigers fight, but they end up dropping their first game of the season, 44-12.
The next game was more of the same, as the Looney Goons opened their season on the road against conference rival, Bangarang. This game didn’t start out well for Bangarang as their top pass rusher went down early with an injury. From there on out, the Looney Goons capitalized. Former league MVP Codey Dalton did what Codey Dalton do. He spread the ball to his plethora of receivers completing 21 of 25 passes on the day. Bangarang’s Tim Doss did his best to keep this one close. He sacrificed his body on the field play after play which resulted in a 5 catch, 5 tackle day. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, the Looney Goon’s were just too much. The Dubois brothers both added pick 6’s to their resumes as they win with ease, 42-16.
The day’s finale ended with more of the same lackluster competition. The Blue Balls played their first home game of the season against the Xtreme. The Jay Vance show continued his reign of early season dominance catching two of his three TD’s in the first half. Xtreme was shut out due to a blown call with much controversy as QB Bill Savary rushed up the sideline on a fourth down for a score. The play was called back as it is illegal to run on fourth down. After the refs converged in midfield, they decided to go to the replay booth. Unfortunately for Xtreme, the replay proved to be inconclusive and there was no evidence to overturn the play. From that point out, the Blue Balls grabbed Xtreme by the horns and would not let go. Jeff Ford who is making his name known in the pass rusher department added pressure up the wazoo to go along with three sacks on the day. The Blue Balls win big in this one, 31-0.