In the midst of a nor’easter, the brave men of the 2018 fall Blitz season stepped onto the field in classic mud bowl conditions. The rain was swirling and the grass was melting as the field went from pristine and crisp to post apocalyptic muddy conditions.
In conditions like these, who would’ve thunk that the BGOW , would’ve come on the first game of the day. The Battletoads were at home in their element of the swamp to take on the Goonies to kick the day off. On the first play of the game, Scott French picked off a Goonies pass and walked into the endzone for the quick six. Just three plays later, Ben Phelps sacrificed his body to intercept another Goonies pass to set the Toads up once again. French would connect on a little shovel pass to Ben Glassman to go up 12 in the first three minutes. The Goonies would then rally and finally get their heads on straight. QB Steve Tambouris dropped off a short dump off to Richie Ellis who bulldozed his way 60 yards downfield to cut the Toads lead in half. The Toads would respond with a Josh Briand TD in the corner to go back up six. Then with four minutes left, Will Washington found the endzone for the Goonies to pull within six once again. To close out the half, WR Garrett Nelson caught a Hail Mary as he was tiptoeing into the endzone for a definite touchdown. But not too fast avid readers; a flying Toad came from the air and swatted the ball away for the incompletion in a controversial no touchdown call heading into the locker room. There must’ve been some foreshadowing in the air because Tambouris would find a sliding Nelson in the endzone to start the second half for the Goonies and give them their first lead. On the ensuing Toads possession, Washington struck again. He picked off an floppy wet duck Toads pass and swiveled his way through defenders for a pick six. The Toads would battle back instantly. French marched his team downfield to eventually find Nick Kepka in the endzone on a broken cross body QB bootleg gone right. The Goonies now up by three looked to put the icing on the cake as they tried to eat the clock and march the ball down field. Devin Blaze ran a quick out from the one yard line for the score to put the Goonies up by nine with three minutes to play. In the Toads final offensive drive they turned the ball over on downs all but seal it for the Goonies. But wait! That’s not it of course as the Toads took a line from the Goonies and they refused to say die on this sloppy day. From their own one yard line, the Goonies ran a screen gone wrong resulting in a Nick Kepka interception and waltz into the endzone to pull within three points. The money ball was now in play and Toads were leaping at the chance. French dropped back an d lofted a bomb towards the endzone. On a different day perhaps, the ball would’ve made it to the endzone but with gusting wind and rain, then ball fell short and incomplete at the five yard line. The Goonies would add a garbage time TD as the clock expired. Goonies come back in a thriller for the ages, 40-31.
Perhaps another BGOW candidate was a game that at least elicited the most noise on the day when the Vinegar Strokes took on the Brawlers. The Strokes took awhile to get the ball moving but lucky for them, so did their opponent. The Brawlers jumped out to a commanding lead thanks to two passing TD’s by QB Brent Wahl. He connected with Zak Smith down the sideline and Adam Ledoux over the middle. Shane Caetus would add a rushing TD as the Brawlers scored all of their offense points in this one, in the first half. The second half was much more intriguing as Ledoux struck again for the home team picking off a Strokes pass and taking it to the house for six. Fast forward to the waning moments and the Strokes with possession down by six. QB Ben Durand’s legend is growing with every game played and this will definitely add to the fairy tale if this season amounts to a dep run for the Strokes. Durand dropped back, rolled out and fired a laser to a leaping Chad Crockett for the equalizer. Durand would then find his newest weapon, wide receiver Tyler Baker aka Clutchy VonCluthenstein for the extra point. The Strokes hand the Brawlers their first loss in dramatic fashion, 27-26.
The nine and a half hour featured the Dream Killers coming off their first win facing a depleted and dysfunctional Flagnado team. The dream Killers offense was strong as solid to start. Guy Pederzani matriculated his team down field with ease on their first two drives connecting with Matt Arpin for five and Andre Rioux for two yard touchdowns. Flagnado was just as consistent to start as they matched their opposition score for score thanks to a Jake Tinirella two yard shovel pass and Jeffrey Kuchar 35 yard bomb to tie it up with 30 seconds to play in the first half. Flagnado would then go for throat, Dylan Humphrey leapt into the sky to catch a ball at the ten yard line only to pitch it back before landing to find to a streaking Tinirella who spun his way into the endzone for the lead. The second half featured Jerry Brown’s first TD as a member of Flagnado as they never looked back. The rain put a damper on the end of this one, Dream Killer fall, 27-12.
The Athletes took on New Wave at ten and this was a game of the he ghosts of Christmas present versus the ghosts of Christmas future. The Athletes are a group of men who have played together for years upon years and know each other’s football acumen inside out. New Wave is similar except that they are not there yet. Once upon a time, the Athletes were young skinny kids too. Then they got married, had kids and became taxpayers. New Wave takes a look at these guys and sees their big brothers. They are on the same track if they stick with it. For the losers in this one, Harmel scorched the Athletes D for a big touchdown. Nathan Guillermo continued his hot streak on offense this season with his third TD, and JJ Lopez found the endzone for the first time this year. The Athletes were led by Melvin Bonilla’s pair of touchdown receptions, Matt Bailey’s pick six and four passing TD’s and lastly the defense’s four total INT’s. The Athletes continue to roll, 46-18.
After the loss earlier in the day, the Brawlers looked to rebound against the Goonies in their second game of the day. Zak Smith got the scoring going first with a deep bomb from Brent Wahl. Shane Caetus would then take a shovel pass i
nto the endzone to go up 13 points. After putting themselves in a deeper hole, by taking a safety on their ensuing possession, the Goonies would strike. Garrett Nelson caught his first TD of the game to pull within nine at halftime. On the first play of the second half, QB Steve Tambouris went to his bread and butter in the form of Richie Ellis. He dumped off a little flip screen to Ellis who rumbled through defenders on way to a 60 yard touchdown to pull within two points. For the home team Goonies, that was as close as they would get. Zak Smith struck again on a seam down the sideline to put it out of reach. Luis Jimenez would add another touchdown for the Brawlers to spell Nelson’s for the Goonies in the waning moments. The Brawlers split their doubleheader and down the Goonies, 28-19.
Every time the Tigers and Rage match up, there seems to be some sort of inclimate weather. In the fall of 2016, there was a fresh layer of powder on the field. In Spring 2014, there was a torrential wind storm that caused the scores to be way down. And then there was the fall game of 2018. Evan Witkus go the Tigers on the board by way of soaring endzone grab. Then Danny Labrecque put his team up more with a TD of his own. The Rage would counter with a 60 yard track meet scamper from Anthony Williams. Brian Bebyn and Witkus would each contribute in the first half with TD’s of their own. Tigers lead 20-13 at the break. AJ Labrecque caught a pea from AJ Rotella in the Tigers second possession followed by Witkus’s third TD reception of the game to put the Tigers up big. With sloppy ground and slippery balls, Jimmy Sanford refused to quit. He connected with Rob Keddie deep over the top on a skinny post to pull within 13 points with 12 minutes left to play. In a strange strategic event, the Rage elected to use their money ball in an attempt to expedite their resurgence. Alas the money ball failed and so did the hopes of a second half slopfest comeback. The Tigers hang, 32-25.
So many good games this week, how can we describe all of them in the depth that they deserve? Well simple, we can’t. At noon Legion of Doom took their undefeated record on the road to square off against the Vikings coming off of their first loss of the calendar year. This game was beyond messy amidst the height of the nor’easter. Neither team could move the ball on offense and it resulted in a zero zero tie at the break. After a pair of Vinnie Frasco TD’s, LOD found themselves with a one point lead going into the final minute of the game. Jake Forsaith finally got his team moving in the right direction and then eventually hooked up with his center, Tyson Forsaith for the game winning score. The Vikings come back in miraculous fashion and end their losing streak at one, 19-14.
Across what is now the literal pond, the West Canaan Coyotes took America’s Children. Both team were a bit short handed in this one as the monsoon took full force. The Coyotes didn’t start this game off great but it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish. On the Coyotes first drive, John Mattera of America’s Children picked off a pass and slid his into the endzone for the score. Three drives later, the Coyotes would get it back. Derek Crawford took his offense down to the one yard line. He rolled to his right and slung a sidearm missile to the direction of RJ Gagnon. Gagnon swaddled the ball in the gut for the equalizer. The game was is now tied sixes at the half. The second half was more like the middle of the first half. Slipping and sliding everywhere. Muddy conditions led to dropped passes and arrid tosses. It was until 45 seconds left in the game when we saw our game-winner. AJ McKelvey caught a whirling dervish of a pass from Crawford from the nine yard line. The Coyotes win their second game of the season, 12-6.
The close out game of the day featured a pair of winless squads as Insanity took on Metrowest Boomin. The rain took a toll on this one as our on-field reporter was blown away and got trapped in a tree three miles down the road. Do not fear though, luckily he was stuck up in the oak with Mrs. Diaz’s cat, Mittens and the fire department was called to remove both of them from their dire situation. However, his notepad was left atop the crackling branches and his game notes were almost impossible to decipher. We can report that the Boomin jumped out to an 18 point lead at halftime thanks to Lou Monty’s first touchdown of the season in which he followed by back flipping his way into the locker room. If Insanity played the way they did in the first half that they did in the second, this game would’ve been a whole lot closer. Quarterback Garrett Barry led his team up and down the field almost perfectly connecting with Tyler Gagne to cut into the lead. Barry would then call his own number, getting the edge and rushing to the endzone for the score. Brandon Vaillancourt would pick off a Boomin pass and take it to the house to pull within three. Greg Lavoie’s second touchdown reception and scamper of the day, would seal the deal for Metrowest. The Boomin gets it’s first dub of the season to close out week four, 32-21.