Wet. Slippery. And Muddy. Just how I like it when I’m in the sack. The sack full of presents you dirty birdies. Week two started off with quite the bang as the thunder and rain came down like buckets throughout the game (MC Blitzen back at it).
The first game was the winless Nightmare going on the road to take on the winless Raiders. The Raiders jumped out to a 28-6 lead at halftime thanks to TD’s by David Baldwin, Christian Reyes and George Notini. QB Sam Bonney-Liles sprinkled it around on offense and also found himself on the receiving end of a pick six in his favor. The Nightmare refused to go to sleep as the second half they surged. Jarrod Childs caught a 45 yard touchdown that got both squads a wee bit fired up. It was just the fire that the Nightmare needed as Mike Kamysz caught his second touchdown of the day and Nick Santana added one as well. They pulled within 8 points as the clock expired, just enough to make the game somewhat respectable. Not bad for a rookie squad facing off against the B champs of last season. Hey who knows, the Nightmare might be following in the footsteps of the team that just totally dismantled them in the first half of this one. Raiders get in the win column, 34-26.
The BGOW (Blitz game of the week) came when a pair of…err..champions squared off against each other. Rage of Doom was at home to take on the Nashua Vikings in their season debut. Eugene Sartin got the scoring started with a quick laser from Jimmy Sanford. The Vikings would then answer with an Anthony Williams TD to tie it up. Two drives later in the pouring rain, Sanford would connect with Michael Vinagro who would flip it back to a streaking Miguel Rodriguez in his Blitz debut for the rushing touchdown. And as soon as you think they’re gonna get going, they don’t, the Vikings answer immediately with a quick score to Williams again to tie it up at 14 at the break. Fresh out of a pep talk from the coaches in the locker room, Vinagro would find his stride once again. He scorched the Vikings defense for his third TD of the season to take the lead back. Add the extra point and ROD is up by 7. The Vikings as you would’ve predicted answered with an RJ Gagnon flipping TD grab to pull within just a point as the extra point broke sideways clanking off the crossbar. With four minutes left, Vinagro backed his butt into the endzone on a quick flip to take what seemed like a commanding lead 27-20 with just under four minutes to play. On their final drive and their final possession, the Vikings marched up the field thanks to who else, Anthony Williams. He recorded three catches on the drive and then logged his third and final TD of the game to pull within a point. Clock expired. Extra point looming. Go for the tie or go for two and win. “Let’s go for TWO yells the sideline.” They do. They get it. They win. Fans rejoice. Blah blah blah. Vikings happy, ROD sad. Vikings win their season opener in a thriller 28-27.
Fresh off a loss, ROD had to stiffen back up and take on Rampage. Funny what not having QB Jimmy Sanford playing defense does to a team, because the ROD’s defense shut down Rampage’s explosive aerial attack. Jay Smooth led the way ROD in this one with three touchdown grabs, as MVP front runner Mike Vinagro added a TD through the air and one on the ground. This one got the closest when ROD was up 26-12 at the break and first play Sanford threw a one yard screen right into the hands of Sam Gilot who reached up and snagged it with ease for the pick six. After Smooth’s third TD, Riley Cote caught yet another highlight reel TD for Rampage to pull within eight points. Jamaal Woods would put this one out of reach with a deep ball down the sideline to finish off Rampage. ROD rights the ship and splits the day, 40-25.
Just like the squad before, Rampage had to get going on that back to back game. Rampage drew the new look America’s Children in their first game of the season. It was a bit of a snooze fest as this one was over nine minutes in. Rampage got it done on the ground, totaling three rushing TD’s to start the game. Andrew Duvall kicked it off with a “rushing” td, followed by a Junior Teixiera ground touchdown only to be superseded by a Riley Cote ground and pound TD. The Children, after getting shut out in the first half sparked to life a bit when Joe Menafra and Jesse Fohtstay found the endzones whilst the Rampage D was caught napping. Cote called game with a pair of TD’s through the air to end it. Riley Cote gets player of the game honors for the winners, totaling three TD’s and over 150 yards. Rampage wins their first of the season, 38-13.
Hey we’ve heard this before; the losing team gets to play again. In the day of doubleheaders, America’s Children got theirs in on this week as well. The Children went on the road to face off against a white hot Shotgunnaz squad. With the full 53 man roster there, the Shotgunnaz jumped out to a 16-6 lead at the half thanks to a pair of David Hamilton TD’s. Cody Marchant initiated the comeback for ‘Murica in this one with his first career receiving touchdown to pull with four points. David Landry then caught his first career TD to give the Children their first lead of the season. It wasn’t until 59 seconds left on the clock when the Shotgunnaz found Allen Hamilton to take the lead back and what they thought was for good. Much to their dismay, the Children answered immediately. Tom Scalley caught a deep bomb down the sideline to set up a controversial Joe Menafra touchdown from the four yard line to take back the lead and secure the victory. America’s Children earns their first W the hard way, 25-22.
Ok, thankfully we’re done with the doubleheaders. Now we can get back to normal life. A battle of the winless and hopeless squared off at noon as the Phantoms took on Flagnado. It was a defensive battle in the first half as neither team was able to punch it in from the redzone on several occasions. In the second half, Dean Muzzy got the fan(toms) fired up in the cheap seats to go up six. Two drives later, Flagnado answered in Flagnado fashion. Rookie of the year front-runner, Tyler Humphrey caught a monster TD in the back of the endzone to tie it up. After a successful extra point conversion, Flagnado then shut down the Phantoms offense the rest of the game. Flagnado sends the Phantoms back to the grave, 7-6.
One pm saw the defending champs take on the Scoregasms. This game was not quite what Tigers onlookers wanted to see. Where was the MVP? Where were his turf tackling teammates? The T-Money Tigers were more like the C-Cent Cubbies in this one. Burner Dave Brown caught a deep bomb from playoff MVP AJ Rotella to get it started but that was the only glimpse of hope they had in this one. Nano caught yet another gut busting touchdown to tie up, followed by a safety sack by Tye Harold to gain control. Harold would then take the game over and put it completely out of reach for the champs. Harold shook his way past defenders into the endzone and then followed that up with a spectacular tippy tip pick six. Scoregasms breath easy and remain undefeated 28-6.
In the day’s finale, the Vinegar Strokes looked to stay unblemished on the road against Shake n’Bake. The home team didn’t want to start this season off winless so they brought in the big guns. With a full compliment of weapons, QB Dane Schindler got into his playoff type groove early. John McCarthy caught the game’s first TD only to be followed by a Strokes TD by Vinny Zenni. Shake n’Bake on their next drive from the 29, found McCarthy once again on fourth and one for a streaking touchdown to take a 14-6 lead at halftime. Chuckie Keenan added another touchdown to his season total to only to be outdone by a Schindler receiving TD from Rookie Sean Fitzgerald. Ryan Bradenise added a touchdown for the winners to seal the deal. Shake n’Bake wins, 27-13.
So that’s it. I dunno what it is this week, I’m just not mean anymore. I want to be cuz that’s kind of my job as the angry reindeer mascot. Has the pandemic done something to my hard antler like exterior? Does having being locked up in the North Pole with those pesky little elves, getting to me? Hmph. Not sure. I’m sure I’ll get back into it eventually. Hope you enjoyed the game summaries.
Til next week. Rest up out deer and stay safe. G’luck and Godspeed to all and to all a week two.