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With week one in the books, everyone has anxiously been clicking and refreshing the Schedule and standings tabs to see where they stand. After the powerhouses played each other and the newbies all played each other, we found one thing…everyone is just as equal as everyone else.
This is Blitz Flag Football and things do change; people get hurt and teams sign Free Agents, but right now, it looks to be an action packed season full of surprises. Great opening weekend everybody.
After what some may say is the best game in league history, the Nashua Vikings survived against a top-notch Blue Balls Dynasty squad to capture their first title in franchise history. A congratulations goes out to a hard fought and well deserved Vikings team that won as a team. Not one player stood out amongst the others, everyone contributed in their own way. The Spring season was theirs to capture from opening kickoff. After a bitter loss last year in the playoffs, they rallied together as men to overcome the odds and defeat all opponents that tried to stand in their way. The Blue Balls Dynasty was by far their toughest battle in their path to greatness. The Vikings average margin of victory during their undefeated run was 24 points; Blue Balls took them into OT and lost on what will forever be known as “The Conversion.”
What a great season for not only the Vikings and the Blue Balls, but the other 14 teams involved. The league continues to grow not only in numbers, but in brotherhood as well. We have all embarked on a expedition of sizable proportions to which greatness can be achieved through football and also on the journey of life and growing as men. Football isn’t about winning or losing, it’s about how you play the game, and how you treat others. This, and this only, is how we will be judged as men at the of the day. The memories of the games and the plays will forever be cemented in our minds. Thank you to everyone this season, who watched, followed and played this session. It was well worth the price of admission. ~Bruce
In the first time in our history, the much celebrated and never duplicated, All-Star game took place before the playoffs. To steal a tagline from major league baseball, “this time it means something.” The winner of this game, gets home field advantage in the finals.
After a controversial coin flip, the South All-Stars took the field on offense against the puddles and the North All-Stars. It didn’t take long for the Blue Balls players to hookup in exhibition as they do in regular season. QB Dave Martel dropped back and found Jay Vance in the back of the endzone to take a 7 zip lead to start the game off. Just three plays later Vance struck again. While on defense, he jumped a route and the ball came right into his hands as he took it to the endzone for 6. League MVP, Bill Savary was feeling slightly left out, so Martel then threw it as far as he could and Savary bodied his way to the ball for his first TD of the game. With the score 19-0 at the half, the North side needed to rally big rally if they wanted the highly coveted homefield advantage. The North might have found just what they needed after watching the halftime show. Nashua born musicians, Mandy Moore and Ray LaMontagne performed a cover of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” that got the crowd going singing and moving in unison and also got momentum on the North’s side.
Dylan Berry came out of the lockerroom with a vengeance; he connected with Jerry Brown and Greg Cotreau on multiple passes until Billy Felt was able to spin into the endzone to pull them within 13 points. The momentum unfortunately didn’t last long. Jay Vance of the South, caught his second TD on the next drive, then picked off another pass to set up his third. Greg Cotreau of the North was able to keep the score respectable as he caught two TD catches to close out the game, too little, too late. The South earned themselves home field advantage, while Jay Vance of the Blue Balls Dynasty, earned himself All-Star game MVP honors. Final stat line of the day: 8 receptions, 123 yards, 3 TD’s, 2 INT’s and 1 defensive TD. Good game to watch, but an even better game to write about. South wins 37-18.
After what seems like a season that just flew by, we commenced our final week of the season. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place before the opening game ceremonies when the league honored it’s inaugural season Hall of Fame inductees (spoiler alert). “From when we played, things have changed so much; all for the better of course. If we had the knees and the cardiovascular health, we would still be out there to this day.” Now for those of you who don’t know, these guys played when tackling was practically allowed, when QB’s could run, when stiff arms drew blood and when players wouldn’t fight with referees. These old timers said they miss the tackling of the good old days, however, they’re not playing now because of it. “This is the most fun I’ve ever had watching any games,” said an unnamed member of the SkinPigs, “I’m sad I had to retire from such a great thing, that is bringing so much joy to so many people.”
After the three members received their Hall of Fame plaques, they sat and watched as the Vikings took on the Mean Machine. The Vikings were looking to finish off a perfect regular season as Mean Machine looked to play spoiler on the road. The scoring started off in an unconventional, yet becoming more regular way of scoring, when John Colon sacked Mean machine to give the Vikings a quick 2 point lead. After the Vikings stalled on offense, Mean Machines Jesse Fortier was able to use his size to body up a jump ball in the endzone to give them their first lead of the day. Both offenses stayed on the stagnant side until the Vikings final possession of the first half pitted them a Nate Forsaith TD with just 20 seconds left to play. Vikings took a slim 8-7 lead in the lockerroom. On the first play of the half, MVP nominee, Jake Forsaith dropped back from his own endzone and launched a bomb to his brother Nate for his second TD of the day. That score opened the floodgates for the Vikings as they then went on to score 22 unanswered points. Vikings close out the regular season perfect with a win at home, 37-13.
In a battle for the number one overall seed in the South conference, Flagnado looked to shock the world as they took on the Storm. Unfortunately, this one lacked the luster and excitement as your usual “showme” type game exudes.. Storm came out whirling. Bill Savary found the endzone on a perfectly placed ball by Jimmy Wilson to start the scoring. After Flagnado’s offense stalled at the 30, Savary caught a deep post in the back of the endzone to go up 13 nil. Jovany Santos played a big role for the Storm in this one once again. With time expiring in the second half, he caught the first of his two TD’s on the day to pull ahead 19-7 at the half. The Storm’s Jimmy Wilson could not miss against one of the top ranked pass defenses in the league. He found Santos again to start the second half, and then scampered and shifted his way into the endzone to put the nail in the coffin for Flagnado with just under 2 to play. Despite some highlight reel plays from Flagnado’s offense, they just couldn’t punch it in on several occasions. Storm make a statement, and take the division and the number one seed going into the playoffs, 36-13.
At 10:30, Catalina Wine Mixer went on the road to take on the red hot Monstars. Both teams came into this game with identical records and needed a win to avoid falling into the abyss of the conference seedings. Reigning MVP Codey Dalton showcased why he won the award last year, and probably earned himself some more in this one. He put on an aerial assault of which could not be stopped. The Monstars stomped and stampeded all over Catalina in the first half as they jumped to 40-6 lead at the break. Ivan Valcarel solidified his legacy becoming the fastest player in blitz history to score 25 TD’s in his career. He snagged 3 in the first half and then took a backseat in the second half, as the Monstars squash Catalina’s grapes 54-6.
Next on the docket was the Blue Balls Dynasty traveling to the Black hole of the Raiders. Raiders nation was unusually somber in the stands as the news of a fatal stabbing that lead to the demise of a Blue Balls fan in the parking lot right outside of the team bus. Playing with the memories of their fallen fan in their heads, Blue Balls Dynasty capitalized. Dave Martel was tossing bullets left and right to all of his receivers for score after score. Blue Balls Blitzer, Ryan Hamelin who had signed autographs for the fan in the parking lot just a week ago used the incident for inspiration. He was all over the Raiders QB’s, leading to QB pressures, picks and knockdowns. Hamelin ended the day with just one sack, but the flag from that sack he carried to stands and gave it to the family and friends of section B, row 22, seat number 7, where the victim would have been sitting. After the game, HeHateMe Langevin spoke of the incident, “I wouldn’t wanna play us either. I’d do everything in my power to make things happen so we don’t havta play us. Tonights incident just shows that nothing can stop us from achieving our ultimate goal.” Blue Balls leave town unscathed and clinch the number 2 seed in the conference, 28-0.
At 12:30, Ashley Shaeffer BMW played their last home game of the season as they took on the Pure Magic. Shaeffer hired some new guns as Kenny Powers signed his waiver and took some time off from his undaunted game of life to throw some footballs around the car dealership. Powers lived up to his title as closer, as he shut down all of the Magic’s effort to stop Shaeffers offense and defense. The Pure Magic might as well have stayed home to host a kid’s birthday party because their cards were falling out of their sleeves all day. Ashley Shaeffer BMW wiped the floors with Pure Magic as they earn themselves a 6 seed going into the playoffs, 28 zip.
In a much anticipated and heated rivalry that dates back 4 seasons, the Gate City Goats welcomed the Rough Riders. The Goats are coming off their first loss of the season and are out for blood as they want to prove to the world, that last week was just a fluke. On the other side, the Rough Riders have been looking to regain some momentum as they have lately been a shell of themselves since losing in last years championship. The Goats didn’t make it easy for them pressuring the O-line to change their game plan and deter anything over 5 yards. The Goats offense finally stepped up in a big way as well. Brendon Bernazzani picked apart the Rough Riders defense, finding somewhat small seams and threading the needles to pick up yardage. His main receiver on the day was former Goats QB converted receiver, Eric Rosario. Rosario led the team in total yards and picked up a pair of TD catches and an INT for the stat sheet. Erik Johnson continued to be a force as he picked up two more sacks, that broke his own single season record from a season ago, ending the season with an outstanding 15. Goats make cheese of the Rough Riders 37-6.
The 2:30 game pitted against two division rivals who have yet to be rivals. The Scoregasms came into this weeks’ game against the Battletoads locked into the 4 seed, whereas the Battletoads came in currently as the 7 and with a win could jump up to the 5 seed. The Battletoads, since getting in the win column have found a little consistency to their game. QB Scott French was able to sling the ball around to his top two receivers, John Groff and Nick Kepka Calvetti. Both Groff and Kepka Calvetti combined for 14 catches and 187 yards through the air. French had a career day with a total QBR of 79.3. Battletoads win effortlessly 24-0, and jump up to the five seed. Both teams will now meet each other in a rematch in the first round of the playoffs.
In the days conclusion, we saw our highest scoring output of the season, as the Untouchables took on the Rage. Surprisingly, both teams brought their A game as both were looking to catch lightning in a bottle for the upcoming playoff weeks. The Untouchables got on the board first when Josh Stratton caught the first of his 4 TD’s on the day. The Rage quickly countered with two straight TD’s from Brian (insert illegible last name). The Untouchables welcomed back wideout Evans Desire, who got in next on the action to pull them within a score. After more Brian TD’s, the Rage went into the break with a 36-20 lead. From out of the lockerroom, Rage QB Jimmy Sanford was unconscious. He led his team down the field on every possession for eventual TD’s. Though the Untouchables were able to counter on several, via more Josh Stratton TD’s, they couldn’t get the stop they needed to get it close. The Rage win in convincing fashion 63-44.
As we head into the All-Star break, we look at two straight bye weeks. This gives everyone a time to rest up and heal those wounds. Possibly go over extra game tape and breakdown your matchups. Although, there are a few powerhouses out there; there are a few teams that can surprise you and steal a win here and there. So think about this going forward…do you want to win? Do you think you can win? Do you want to play next season or future seasons? If the answer to any of those questions are yes, then make sure your team/players have paid their entry fees. It’d be a dang shame if everyone gets out there and the game can’t go on or a player can’t play when his team needs him most. Playoffs!? Ya kidding me!? Playoffs!?
With six weeks in the books, we all took the field for the pivotal week seven. The week where teams start to make a push for the playoffs and start to think about their seeding. Lots of big games this week that meant a lot to a lot of teams.
The day started off with the Raiders traveling to the home confines of the Scoregasms. The Raiders have been on a solid decline week in and week out from week one, where they started out looking like a force to be reckoned with, whereas the Scoregasms have been the total opposite. They have been getting better and healthier every single week. The Scoregasms got the scoring started on their first drive when Derek Riley threw the ball off the Raiders fingertips, right into the hands of Travis Tripodi. The first play for the Raiders didn’t bode as well. The pressure of Adam Hirbour led to a Travis Tripodi pick 6, and the Scoregasms were off and rolling. The Tripodi brothers shined throughout the entirety of this game. Both Tyler and Travis combined for 4 interceptions and three defensive touchdowns. The Raiders bright spot, Jared Carmire, logged 8 receptions, 3 of which went for TD’s. The Scoregasms exploded offensively and beat their divisional foe, 55-26.
In the NBC game of the week, two teams looked to renew their 5 season rivalry. The undefeated Gate City Goats went on the road to face the also undefeated, Flagnado. This one was all Goats early as their top ranked defense smothered and suppressed any kind of momentum Flagnado tried to gain. The Goats on offense were able to take their first drive of the day meticulously down the field for a Brendon Bernazzani TD to knock down the pylon and give them a quick 6 point lead. Reigning defensive player of the year, Erik Johnson was the story in this one. His constant QB pressures and three first half sacks disrupted the Flagnado offense. The Goats stifled Flagnado in the first half, not allowing a singular first down as they led 13-0 at the half. On the first possession of the second half, Flagnado was only able to muster up 2 yards on 4 downs while the Goats D remained relentless. Flagnado’s D locked it down in the second half as well. They shut down the explosive Goats offense for the rest of the half. Throughout the season, Flagnado has prided themselves all season on making second half adjustments, and after two drives, they did just that. They were finally able to matriculate down the field, slowly but surely to pull within one score. After more defensive stops by both sides, Flagnado got the ball with 4 minutes left to play. This one became as cinematic as it could get in the final minutes. Flagnado stayed sharp as Erik Johnson was finally able to be held in check. Each member of the offense was contributing with catch after catch and YAC after YAC. It wasn’t until Shawn Morin, was able to wheel out of the backfield for a quick 2 yard shovel pass to tie the game at 13 apiece. Flagnado then converted on their extra point to take a slim 1 point lead. The Goats offense showed frustration and panic as they were shut down once again and weren’t able to punch one in on their final drive. Flagnado comes back and knocks off the Goats, 14-13.
After the epic championship quality game before it, the Monstars and Mean Machine’s exhilaration fell just short. The Monstars welcomed back the tortilla to their spicy bean burrito Billy Dubois, who seems to hold the team together. However, Mean Machine’s D2D (Dylan to Dylan) connection was strong in the first half in this one as they connected on two first half TD’s. It wasn’t until Dubois started to light up the stat sheet, that the Monstars started to run away with it. Dubois was able to find the endzone two times in the first half to give them a narrow 18-12 lead at the break. On the Mean Machine’s first possession of the second, Dubois picked off a pass and then weaved and X buttoned his way to the endzone to put this one out of reach early. Monstars stomp all over Mean Machine, 36-12.
At 11:30 the ever improving Ashley Shaeffer BMW took on the also ever improving Catalina Wine Mixer. Shaeffer started out hot. For the first time this season, they were able to get on the scoreboard first when QB Jamal Slozek hooked up with Pierre Noel in the back of the endzone. Catalina responded when Jake Tinirella took a rush 60 yards up the sideline to tie it up. Shaeffer’s Eric Despres, finally hauled in his first TD of the season, followed by another Noel TD to give BMW a 3 point lead at the half. The muffler’s then fell off and the engine’s didn’t quite start back up in the second half as Catalina took control. Mitch McCarthy grabbed his first TD of the season to snag a 3 point lead. After several turnovers of both sides, Catalina’s Chris Connolly, sealed the deal, skying up in traffic for 6. Catalina survives a scare and wins their third straight, 28-18.
At high noon, the Untouchables minus Sean Connery and Kevin Costner took on the Nashua Vikings. The Vikings have been rolling all season, while the Untouchables have been losing by just a couple plays going the other way each week. The journalists for Reader’s Digest decided to show up and write the recap in this one. As per Reader’s Digest: The Vikings took the field against the Untouchables. They scored several touchdowns via the assist. The Untouchables, Josh Stratton continued his solid season with a pick six. The only score that they would get on the day. Vikings QB Jake Forsaith spread the ball around, throwing TD’s to 5 different receivers. Kyle Twiss contributed big on offense and defense. He caught two TD’s and had an interception and defensive TD on the day. Vikings win 61-7.
Up next on the docket was the Manchester Rage against the Blue Balls Dynasty. The game lacked the usual drama found in a Rage v Blue Balls game and instead turned into a laugher. Blue Balls celebrity QB fill in, Clark Kent took the game over from the onset. He was able to spread the ball around all over the field to a plethora of talented receivers. Offensive player of the year candidate, Kiel Canada pitched in with 3 more TD catches while Jay Vance and Mark Boulanger were able to get in on the action. Kevin Langevin kept his interception streak alive with 2 more on the day to put him into double digits on the season. The Blue Balls had their way on offense all day. The Blue Balls receivers were so wide open, it seemed as though there weren’t even any Rage defenders on the field. Blue Balls let out the Rage and pitch a shutout 28-0.
Closing the day saw a matchup of winless teams when the Battletoads stayed at home to take on the Pure Magic. Both teams were shells of themselves in this one as both grabbed guys from their practice squad to compete. Battletoads, John Groff was the standout in this one. He grabbed a pair of interceptions, one of which he took all the way to the 2 yard line before a phantom Pure Magical wizard popped his flag as he strolled into the endzone. Pure Magic kept it competitive for awhile with a pair of safeties in the first half for an odd 4 on the scoreboard. Battletoad, Nick Kepka Calvetti had his breakout game of the season with a pair of picks and pair of TD catches on the day. The practice squads fulfilled their duties for both teams but on this day, the Toads were slightly better. Battletoads win their first game of the season 35-16.
One more week to go before the playoffs start. This season is by far the most intense yet. What records will be broken? What teams will go into the playoffs undefeated? What teams will not have marquee players playing in the playoffs because they have yet to pay their entry fee? Who will get upset early? And what team will be dancing come July 26th? Week eight has an awful lot of possible outcomes that could drastically change the landscape of the playoff bracket. Stay tuned, because the drama is yet to unfold…