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At 8:30 the number 2 seed Gate City Goats took on the number 7 Pure Magic. This game was supposed to be a total blowout, but Pure Magic gave the Goats a run for their money. The Goats offense was completely anemic in the first half as they were only able to take a 12-8 lead into the lockerroom. Coming outta the break the Goats first possession led to 2 points for Pure Magic, cutting their lead to just 2 points. It stayed that way til the midway point in the game when the Goats offense finally got moving. They scored two consecutive TDs to secure the victory. Goats hang on and avoid a catastrophic upset, 25-8.
The next game saw the number 2 seed of the other division, Scoregasm’s take on the Agency. The Agency had been coming along week by week and showing slight improvement, however, this is the playoffs and this is where the big boys come to play. The Scoregasm’s came out strong scoring 27 points in the first half and not allowing a single first down. The second half was more of the same as the Agency had no answer to the Scoregasm offense or defense. Scoregasm’s win 54 love.
At 10:30 the red hot Lions took on the Control Freaks for the second straight week. The week of watching game tape and long sessions in the film room, didn’t help out the Control Freaks much as the Lions had their way with them once again. The Control Freaks averaged 12 points a game in the regular season, and they stayed right on point in this one. The Lions roar to victory in the first round 58-12.
The next game may be a game for the ages. A game that all the people who witnessed it, will remember. At 11:30, Flagnado traveled to take on the Rough Riders in a 4 vs 5 matchup. The first half defense was the name of the game as the Rough Riders led 15-6 at the break by way of a pick 6 and blown coverage TD. After halftime Flagnado got hot. They scored on all but one drive the entire half, but unfortunately for them…the Rough Riders did the same. It was a back and forth battle each team going by 3 or 4 points on every drive. Flagnado with just under 2 minutes remaining took a 3 point lead and needed a defensive stop to hold on for the victory. The Rough Riders were not going to be upset on this day though, they drove the ball straight down the field and took the lead with 30 seconds left to play. Flagnado was out of timeouts and out of comebacks in this one as the time expired on a spike ball attempt, the Rough Riders hang on to fight another day 37-34.
The 3 seed Fan Faves were at home to take on the 6 seed Nashua Vikings in the next game. The Fan Faves have been a shell of their former selves lately as the injury and commitment factor has gotten to them. With a whole new personnel on both sides of the ball and facing off against a hungry well rested Vikings squad, they were doomed from the get go. Despite this game being close at the half (15-12), the Vikings were in total control of this entire game. The Fan Faves playoff winning streak and hopes of a fourth straight championship are shattered as they lose 41-20.
The finale of the first round was another game of memorable notion. Where it was worth paying the full price of admission. In another 4 vs 5 matchup, Catalina Wine Mixer took on the Battletoads. If you believe in foreshadowing, the first score of the game came on a Battletoads safety to take a 2 pt lead. Both teams played their hearts out inching out each yard as if it were there last. Catalina had the advantage after a tough first half battle 15-9. The Battletoads hankered down in the second half on D. They completely shut down the Catalina offense the rest of the way through. The Toads with just under 80 seconds to play scored their first TD of the second half to take their first lead of the day since the opening safety 16-15. Catalina had both of their timeouts in their pocket to go down the field with under a minute to play. They got almost to midfield before their luck ran out and they turned the ball over on downs back to the Battletoads. Now with 26 seconds left to play, all the Battletoads need to do is get the ball out of the endzone and take a knee. However, just as scripted before, a false start on the offense resulted in a safety and the Battletoads one point lead, suddenly became a one point deficit. Catalina ran the clock out and wins a thrilling first round playoff game 17-16.
What a weekend of games. This is what playoffs are all about. Tough, grinding games that are played to the end. Now we are at the final four in each division and we will see a new champion crowned next weekend. Thank you to everyone who came out this session that won’t be taking part in next weeks action. This was one heck of a season, thanks to everyone who made it great. Til next week…goodluck and godspeed.
In the season finale, a lot was on the line for a lot of teams. The Blue Balls Dynasty and the Gate City Goats held their destiny in their own hands. All they needed to do was win and they get the bye. If the second place teams, Scoregasm’s and Rage win, then they can take the number one seed with Blue Ball and Goats losses.
And what do you know…just as we scripted it, the Scoregasm’s and Goats both played each other to kick off the day in what some writers argue, could be a possible championship game preview (just as last year, the Goats and Fan Faves played each other in the season finale as well..coincidence???..perhaps). This game started out tough as neither quarterback was able to get any rhythm going stalling both offenses for most of the first half. It wasn’t until 11 minutes left in the first half when Derek Riley was able to connect with James Smith in the back of the endzone to give the Scoregasm’s a 7 point lead. The Goats quickly responded with an Anwar Clarke 60 yard handoff to pull them within one point. That was the brunt of the storyline in the first half until the 1 minute marker when Erik Johnson sacked Riley in the endzone to give the Goats an 8-7 lead heading into the lockerroom. Not many second half adjustments were made as defense continued to dominate the headlines. However, the Scoregasm’s were able to strike first with a Nico Couture screen that he took up the sideline to take back the lead 13-8. After several minutes of sloppy offensive play on both sides, Goats QB Eric Rosario was able to hook up with his center Bob Dawson to take a 1 point lead once again. Erik Johnson continued to stiffle the Scoregasm’s offense and this one appeared to be all but over. But on fourth and long, the Goats elected to pass and Leon Lackiram picked it off and the momentum quickly turned. Riley was able to work his way up the field for the first time all day. In just under a minute, he connected with Dan Walkley for the game winning touchdown with seconds on the clock. Scoregasm’s win 20-14. Now they must watch and wait the next game as the Blue Balls Dynasty looked to clinch against the Nashua Vikings.
Unfortunately for drama sake, the 9:30 game wasn’t quite as much fun to watch. The Vikings were shorthanded and down a man due to a local Boston sports team winning a championship of some kind. However they didn’t’ go down without a fight in this one. They kept it close in the first half. Jake Forsaith found open holes in the soft zone with John Colon who cut his Welker-y way through for a first half TD. Then Jake was able to find brother Tyson to pull within 2 points at halftime 13-15. After the break, the Blue Balls decided to wake up. MVP candidate Dave Martel slung 4 second half TD passes and also was able to get a pair of pick sixes to cruise to victory. Blue Balls clinch the number one seed and a bye, 61-19.
Now that the Goats had lost the Rage knew they had a chance to win the division with a win over a weak and slumping Flagnado squad. Again in this one, defense stepped up. Rage QB Jimmy Sanford connected with Brian Bebyn on a nake bootleg for the lone score of the half 6-0. Coming outta the lockerroom, Sanford and Bebyn hooked up once again to take a 12-0 lead. That was all they needed in this one as the pressure delivered all day by Adam Sullivan stiffled the Flagnado offense. The Rage was able to get a pair of quick TD’s with just under 4 minutes to go, and take this one by way of the the shutout, 24-0. With the win, The Rage clinch the Top seed in their division and will enjoy a much needed week of rest.
At 11:30 the usually scrappy Agency squad stayed at home to face off against the Battletoads. Unfortunately this game was over before it started. The Agency wasn’t able to piece together an entire squad as they lose by way of forfeit on the last game of the season. Battletoads win in an exhibition match 52-13.
The matinee matched up the Lions going on the road to take on the Control Freaks. This game meant nothing towards the playoff picture because both of their seeds are already locked up. The Control Freaks did have some pride to play for though, they wanted to prove that they are better than their record indicates. However, it was a tough task to choose the Lions as an opponent in that situation. The Lions came out roaring as usual and were unstoppable from the start. Ivan Valcarel was able to get the first score of the game on a deep post down the sideline and then the floodgates opened up from there on out. Valcarel went on to grab 4 TD’s on the day to pull him in a tied for the league lead in TD catches. The Control Freaks showed sparks of genius at times in this one as they were able to shred up the Lions D on occasion, but just couldn’t punch it into the endzone once in the hotzone. Lions go on to win easily 48-12.
At 1:30 the Rough Riders traveled to take on Pure Magic. If Pure Magic was able to win this game, they would catapult in the standings and take the 5 seed in the playoffs. Pure Magic was able to get on the scoreboard first as Evan Enaya found Joe Medeiros in the endzone to take an early lead. Unfortunately for Pure Magic, that was all the scoring they would be able to muster up in the half. The Rough Riders D led by Mike Hill and Jared DeGeatano completely shut down a usually high powered Magic offense all day. Rough Riders QB Mario Pena found the Magic D easy to dissect as he found 4 different receivers in the endzone on the day that led to 7 total passing TD’s. The Rough Riders win going away, 43-19.
The last game of the regular season pitted the Fan Faves and Catalina Wine Mixer. Both teams are looking to gain some momentum heading into the playoffs because as of late, both have been shells of their previous selves. Catalina is coming off a big win last week against the Rage with a game winning TD catch by Pat Williams. And right on queue, Williams got it started for Catalina in this one with a TD catch across the endzone. Brendon Bernazzani of the Fan Faves answered quick with a TD to Leslie Traeger. Then Bernazzani found Jay Davis deep to take a 13-7 lead. Catalina stood firm and was able to shut them down until the clock was winding down in the first half, when Davis caught a controversial TD on the back line to end the half. The replay officials confirmed that the referee missed the call but nonetheless, the TD stood and the Fan Faves led 19-6 at the half. After the break, Catalina wasn’t able to get much going on the ground or through the air due to the relentless defensive pursuit of Ben Young. The Fan Faves despite sloppy play on the offensive side of the ball, had their defense lead the way and win on the road 44-14.
So in case you missed it, the season ended this past Saturday and what a season it was. Lions QB Codey Dalton fell just 4 TD passes short of setting the single season record; while in the last game he set the single season record for most INT’s. Catalina Wine Mixer RB Mike Dion fell just 1 TD short of tying the single season record for most rushing TD’s in a season. Erik Johnson of the all mighty Goats defense broke his own record for most sacks in a season. And lastly Leslie Traeger of the Fan Faves shattered the single season record for Defensive TDs in a season. Records are made to be broken and that’s all they are for…records mean nothing when it comes down to championship banners. Now that we all had fun with our stats in the regular season, let’s get down to the dirty dirty in the playoffs. This is where MVP’s are made. Where heroes are born. Where Blitz memories…are created. Good luck in the playoffs gentlemen…you’re all gonna need it.
Week 7..two games left…2 byes are up for grabs. 6 teams are looking to capture it…who is gonna step and take charge this week?
After losing in the championship game a year ago, the Goats have been out for blood. They had a small hiccup earlier in the season and are looking to prove that they are in fact..the G.O.A.T.S. At 8:30, Pure Magic traveled to Gate City to take on the aforementioned Goats. Pure Magic has been hit or miss the last couple weeks. Some weeks, their trick style offense and QB by committee works to success, other weeks, it falls flat on it’s face. This week was one of those weeks while taking on the leagues top defense. Goats Linebacker Erik Johnson got in the Magic huddle early and often leading to three first half Goat interceptions. Eric Rosario had the offense moving early as well, with 4 first half TD passes. Goats led at the break 27-0. Pure Magic was able to regroup in the second half..kinda. Evan Enaya took control of the offense and was able to get a rally going with his Tight End Sean Dandley. Dandley led the team in receptions and receiving yards far and away and was able to get in the endzone for the third time this season. Despite a better second half, the Goats offense was still too strong led by Jerry Brown’s 4 TD catches on the day. The Goats stay in control of their division 54-13.
In the next game the Lions looked to keep pace with the Goats by taking on a slumping Flagnado. A matchup that featured the number one offense in the league versus the number two defense in the league. The old adage of “offense wins games, but defense wins championships” deemed to be true in this one. The Lions offense was unstoppable against a top defense. Codey Dalton was firing at will all day. He shredded the Flagnado D continuously on strong side bootlegs to Ivan Valcarel for three endzone connections. Against a hobbled Flagnado squad, this game was over before it started, Lions roar to an easy divisional victory 46-19.
At 10:30, the new look Agency took on the Nashua Vikings. The Vikings felt good, having their full compliment of players back at their disposal. The first 10 minutes was a scoreless battle, until the Vikings finally broke through with a Kyle Gagnon pick six. From there, they stepped on the gas and never looked back. Vikings rout the Agency, 42-0.
The BSM game of the week saw the Fan Faves and Blue Balls square off for divisional supremacy. This game was ugly from the beginning. The normally well disciplined Fan Faves found themselves on the wrong end of 5 first half penalties that backed them up continually leading to only one TD by Jay Davis. The Blue Balls were able to capitalize on the mistakes. Will Washington and Adam Gill both caught a pair of TD’s to seal the deal in a shortened game and shortened recap. Blue Balls win 28-7.
After watching the Fan Faves lose, the Scoregasm’s still held onto their shot for the bye in their division, however, they didn’t expect to meet up with an upset minded Battletoads squad. John Linnehan of the Scoregasm’s was first to light up the scoreboard in this one as he converted on a 4th and short in the endzone to give them a quick 7-0 lead. But the Battletoads answered quickly as John Groff was able to find the endzone to pull them within one. The first half was neck and neck until the Scoregasm’s were able to pull away via Dan Walkley. He caught the first of his two TD’s on the day and then added a pick 6 to his resume. But with 4 seconds left, the Toads tossed up a desperation hail mary which deflected off of two Scoregasm’s defenders and ended up in the hands of Matt Pulomena to pull them within 9 points to close the half. Unfortunately for the Toads, that was the closest this Battle would get. Dan Walkley was able to pick off two more passes and take another one to house to close it out. Scoregasm’s survive a tough one whose score is no way indicative of the closeness of the game, 40-27.
Two struggling teams matched up against each other in the next game at 1:30. Both teams were happy to welcome back their starting QB’s after missing previous games. The Rough Riders Mario Pena came out and didn’t miss a beat. He spread the ball around finding four different receivers in the endzone. Rough Riders also welcomed back their defensive leader Mike Hill, who made a big impact in this one. He was able to play the role of Darrelle Revis in coverage and the role of JJ Watt while rushing. The control freaks were however able to build off of this loss as they have found a lethal receiving combo in Jeff Brown and Dustin Frost who cut their way across the field all day but just weren’t able to punch it in in the redzone. The Rough Riders finally jump over 500 and win 32-14.
In the day’s finale, we saved the best game for last. A game where defense dominated the headlines. Catalina Wine Mixer left their cozy home on Catalina Island to travel all the way to Manchester to take on the Rage in a non conference matchup. Catalina was able to strike first when Jared Mercuri found el capitan Matt Austin on a TD and added the extra point to take a 7 nil lead. Defense shut everything down until the 4 minute marker when Rage QB Jimmy Sanford connected with Bill Savary to pull them within 1 at the half, 7-6. Coming out of the lockerroom, Sanford was able to find Savary again on their first drive to take their first lead of the day. Catalina struck right back with another TD to take a 2 point lead. And then once again, Sanford found Savary in the endzone to give the Rage a late 4 point lead. Then crunchtime, hands in the ground time, Rage needed a goal line stand. 1st down, 30 seconds on the clock, incomplete. 2nd down, 26 seconds, incomplete. Third down, 18 seconds, incomplete. Fourth down and 11 seconds on the clock…this is where heroes and memories are made. With the clock winding down, Catalina QB Jared Mercuri rolled out, waited..waited…waited, until he finally saw Pat Williams in the middle for the Touchdown to seal it. Catalina wins in dramatic fashion, 20-18.
One more week of regular season games before the playoffs start. Both division leaders hold their own fate in their hands. If the Goats can win at 8:30, they will clinch a first round bye in their division. However if the Scoregasm’s can win that game, they force the Blue Balls to win the 9:30 game to hold onto the bye in their division. The Rage can beat Flagnado and lock up a bye with a goats loss. The Lions can win their game and hope for the top two to lose, so they can bump up to the number 2 overall seed. Lots of combinations are possible in this week’s upcoming games, so be prepared cuz there are several teams ready to play spoiler.
Week Six of the Fall session is officially in the books. People are anxious to see what happens each week from here out because their playoffs hopes are starting to hang on other teams outcomes. A first round bye is up for grabs and going into this week, it could really be anybody in each division.
The BSM (Blitz Saturday Morning) game of the week was actually the last game of the day, when it saw the 4-1 Lions taking on the 4-1 Rage in a battle for divisional supremacy. This game was a struggle from the kickoff. Both defenses came out stout and were able to stop both highly potent offenses for most of the first half. It was until the 10 minute marker when things came unraveled a bit. Rage QB Jimmy Sanford was able to find Brian Bebyn to take a 6 nil lead. Codey Dalton and his Lions responded quickly, scoring two unanswered TD’s to take a brief lead. Rage then threw in two more TD’s and an extra point, and the Lions BIlly Dubois then ran one in to pull them within one 19-18 at the half. The second half was more like the first 10 minutes of the game, as defenses hankered down once again. The number one scoring offense in the league (Lions) was completely baffled by the Rage D in the second half. Lions were only able to manage one more TD to the Rage’s two. Rage hang on to win 34-24.
Prior to this game we saw another heavyweight divisional matchup as the hot and cold Vikings traveled to take on the red hot Scoregasm’s. The Vikings Jake Forsaith was able to find Tyson Forsaith and Nate Forsaith on first half TD’s for the VIkings to give them a 15-12 lead at the break. Are you noticing a trend at all? The Forsaith trio took control of this game from the start. Nate Ended the day with 3 receiving TD’s as Jake slinged the ball all over the often superb Scoregasm’s D. Derek Riley and Leon Lackiram hooked up on 4 TD’s together for the day as they were able to give the Scoregasm’s a late charge in the second half. Scoregasm’s held a lead with just 2 minutes left. However turnovers were the story of the day for the Scoregasm’s. A Keith Lebreque pick 6 at their own goalline for the Vikings gave them the lead for good. Vikings win 38-26.
The matinee of the day was the lone out of division matchup. Pure Magic stayed at home to take on the Battletoads. Even though the Battletoads started the day short handed, John Groff set the tone early. Groff picked off a pass on the first drive and then one more later in the first half to give the Toads a commanding 24-12 lead heading into the lockerroom. Pure Magic’s MVP, Joe Medeiros kept them in the game. He contributed with a pair of receiving TD’s in the second half and three sacks to halt the Battletoads offense. At the end of the day though, it was Groff who again picked off another pass and took it to the house the seal the deal. Battletoads win 43-31.
At 11:30 the Control Freaks hosted the Goats in a possible first round playoff preview. The Control Freaks, though they haven’t been scoring many TD’s as of late, they are definitely improving as a team. Every week, they hang around longer and longer with solid defense and smart offense. Their only problem has been fulfillment and follow through. In a couple weeks , the Control Freaks might be a team that could dance like Cinderella in the playoffs. In the meantime…they are still struggling. The Goats offense and defense came out strong in this one. Chris Morgan started the scoring off with a TD reception in the back of the endzone, the first of his two on the day. Then Jerry Brown took a carry up the gut for 6 and then caught one later in the game. Jordan Micko may have found somewhat of a home under center for the Control Freaks. He was able to avoid defensive player of the year for most of the day and was able to toss a pair of TD’s. At the end of the day, the Goats were just too tough as they keep pace in the division 47-12.
The 10:30 game saw the Fan Faves take on the Agency. The agency was short handed as usual and the Fan Faves took full advantage. Leslie Traeger set and tied records for defense on the day. He tied a record with 5 Interceptions on the day. He also set a new record for most Return TD’s with 4 on the day. Fan Faves defense leads the way with 6 defensive TD’s and win easily 53-0.
The second game of the day saw the up and coming but slumping Flagnado travel to take on the also slumping Rough Riders. The Rough Riders took control of this game early. Ramon Pena was able to scramble his way in and out of the pocket to pick apart the normally stout Flagnado defense. Tai Ahmad of the Rough Riders caught 3 first half TD’s to give them a commanding 21-6 lead at the half. The second half was a different story for both teams. Flagnado’s D came back to life and their offense was reenergized. Nick Sapienza led the way for the offense catching 8 balls and 2 of them for TD’s to tie the game up with just over a minute to play. Flagnado had the ball and control of the game, when a fumbled snap led to a safety to turn the ball over and give the Rough Riders the lead for good. Rough Riders tossed in a TD with a few seconds left to play to clinch it and hang on 35-27.
In the first game of the day, Blue Balls Dynasty and Catalina Wine Mixer were looking to take control of their division. Each of which, with a win, will take soul control of the division. Catalina got on the scoreboard first in this one with a safety. The lead didn’t last long because Dave Martel led his Blue Balls right down the field connecting with Adam GIll and Danny Connolly multiple times to give them a comfortable 33-8 lead at the break. Coming out of the lockerroom, Catalina made some tweaks in their offensive scheme and was able to matriculate their way into the endzone 4 times in the second half. Pat Williams led the way with a pair of TD catches and pick. Blue Balls was just too much at the end getting contributions from everyone on the field. Blue Balls win 57-33 and are in a tie for first in the division until next week when they take on the Fan Faves. WInner will hold the tiebreaker and sole possession of the division with one week left.
Enclosing, now there are only 2 games left before the postseason, it’s time to start jockeying for positioning and seeding in the playoffs. Another important topic of debate is the games played issue. EVERYONE must play in atleast TWO regular season games in order to participate in the playoffs. So this is the time to bring in that ringer or contact that teammate who has been frequently absent from game days. TIl next week gentlemen, g’luck and godspeed.