And here we are. Good ol’ week three. We have officially and successfully made it through two fifths of the season already. Time flies when your having fun.
Nightmare squared off against the Phantoms in the week’s first matchup. The Phantoms have guys coming from all over New Hampshire and Massachusetts, so the early 7:55 game is not their favorite; however like all warriors, they persevered and showed up and balled out early. John Freese was methodical and on point with his passes in the first half. On their second possession, he connected with Cory White on four receptions until they finally hooked up in the endzone. On fourth and goal from the ten, Freese dropped back and avoided pressure to loft up a floater to a spot where only White could catch it. Phantoms up six. Dropped passes and timely flag pulls kept the score low until 90 seconds left on the clock. Runner Giverly of the Nightmare, snatched a tipped ball and took it to the Phantoms ten yard line to set up his offense. There, Dillon LaPlante would plant his feet in the ground and fire a dart to Mike Kamysz in the back of the endzone for the tie. Freese and his Phantoms would work the ball all the way down to the opposing two yard line, until Kamysz picked off a jumpball as the clock expired to have this one go into the locker room tied at sixes. The Nightmare would score right off the jump. Kamysz began to make a name for himself. Despite an outstanding first half, he topped it with his second half performance. He climbled the ladder and hauled in his second TD of the game from the twenty to go up six. Cory White would respond once again with his second touchdown of the game to put the Phantoms up by a singular point. And just like that, Kamysz completed the hat trick. He soared up high one final time just four plays later to put his team up 18-13. The Phantoms biggest offseason signing, Chad Crockett then put his team up once again in this back and forth battle. He caught a slant over the middle from the seven yard line and snuck across the line to take the lead back by one point with just thirty seconds left. Nightmare QB LaPlante has seen this happen before. Having a lead and blowing it late; this time he wouldn’t let it happen again. He marched his offense down the field with the quickness. Martin Beccerril got loose and caught a TD streaking down the sideline with eleven ticks on the clock to take the lead for good. Nightmare come back, give it up, come back again, give it up again and finally come back to earn their first dub of the season, 24-19.
On paper, two of the most explosive offenses matched up at 8:40, the Scoregasms were at home to take on the Raiders. The Raiders had a chip on their shoulder after last weeks embarrassment and it was a shame for the Scoregasms that they had to feel their wrath. Mike Howe came out slinging. He connected with Brian Pacheco on a nasty double coverage leaping TD to kick the game off. Three plays later, Pacheco would pick off a Scoregasms pass to then eventually be converted to a David Baldwin one hand touchdown grab to go up 15 points out the gate. The Scoregasms are just too good to be beat down and destroyed, so they showed what they’re made of on their next drive. Derek Riley dumped a little shovel pass to Tyler Tripodi who spun his way into the endzone to cut the lead in half. Baldwin could not be stopped. After Patrick Nelson hauled in four receptions on the drive, Howe found Baldwin all alone in the back of the endzone to go up 23-8. If the cameras were out they would’ve loved to see two plays later. Baldwin made an outstanding one handed interception while yawning and eating a breakfast burrito in mid-air to retake possession. Next play, Howe found Christiano Reyes for his first TD of the season to increase the lead. In fall back and prevent mode, the Raiders lapsed right before the half allowing Riley to find Dan Walkley in the endzone with three ticks left on the clock. 29-16 at the half. Scoregasms “lineman” turned star wideout, Scott Daniliuk got the Raiders a tad bit nervous with his spectacular one handed TD grab to pull within seven. That was the closest the Scoregasms would get on this day though as the Raiders offense couldn’t be stopped. Britton Doyle scored a big boy hip spnning touchdown from the one followed by another Pacheco touchdown for 55 yards to go up 41-22. Travis Tripodi scored on a deep touchdown for the Scoregasms but it wasn’t enough, as Baldwin scored yet another touchdown to keep it out of reach as the time expired. Raiders get back on track, 47-29.
The Scoregasms after that tough home loss then hopped on the bus and went on the road to square off against the new look Vikings. Quarterback Derek Riley surveyed the land to find who else but Dan Walkley for the first touchdown of the game on fourth down from the five yard line. On the Vikings possession, center turned quarterback for the day, Tyson Forsaith made a beautiful cross body throw to a wide open RJ Gagnon at the pylon to pull within a point. On the extra point try, the Scoregasms would pick it off and return it to go up by three. The three point lead didn’t last long as they extended it just five plays later thanks to spinning backwards corral by Tyler Tripodi to go up by ten. Then the game turned just like that. The Granfield lineage took over. John Granfield Sr. handed the ball off to son and MVP hopeful, Johnny who scurried up the sideline for an easy six before the half to begin the comeback rally. Granfield Jr. fresh out of the locker room, took a reverse and spun a hanging curve ball to new guy Adam Beard to take their first lead. The Scoregasms answered right away. Daniliuk hauled in a touchdown on a simple twelve yard crosser to put his team up by four points. That would be the last points of the day for the fatigued Scoregasms squad. The Granfield lineage took over from that point on. Johnny connected with Arpin for a 55 yard touchdown, then on the next drive Johnny would catch a TD from his pops to take the lead for good. RJ Gagnon extenuated the victory with a garbage time TD after a forced fumble to make it look worse than it was. Vikings get in the win column, 38-23.
Sometimes in life you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, in this day, Flagnado was the bug running into the windshield of Shake n’ Bake. Both teams started this game with four healthy players and by the time it was over, it was five versus three. Flagnado came out of the gate looking fresh with a one legged quarterback able to dissect the defense enough to find father time, Jerry Brown for his first touchdown of the season. After that it was all Shake n’ Bake. The addition of a man called “Moose” catapulted this offense to victory. After two big Moose receptions, J-Mac caught a missile from Dane Schindler from the thirteen yard line for the lead. Jason Grace would then find the endzone for Shake n’ Bake as he was left wide open over the middle with just two seconds left in the half. J-Mac struck again right out of the much needed halftime. Schindler made a pinpoint throw to the back corner of the endzone where J-Mac leapt, caught it and dragged the toes on his way to his second touchdown of the game. Flagnado got some luck going their way, when Charles Roaf was able to hone in on a tipped ball and secure it in the endzone to pull within eight points. On the very next play, J-Mac finished Flagnado off. He caught a quick hitch up the sideline, hit em with the stiffy and took off into the endzone. Shake n’ Bake keeps Flagnado winless, 27-13.
In what used to be a fun matchup between Legion of Doom and Battletoads, was not the case on this day; it turned into a bloody slugfest that had fans booing on the sidelines. LOD welcomed back Jay Smooth with open arms, as he instantly contributed on offense. He flung a pass to Jamaal Woods from the five yard line to take the lead right out of the tunnel. The Toads would fail on offense but would be able to recoup some of their points with a safety sack, thanks to a bad offensive play call that didn’t get the ball out of the endzone for LOD. Despite their best efforts on offense, the Toads struggled early. After a forced fumble by Teshaun Watson, Vinny Frasco caught an effortless touchdown to go up 12-2. Mike Rossi of the Battletoads doesn’t get to play offense often, but on this day he did and it payed off. He caught his first touchdown of the season right before the half to make it a ballgame, 12-8. Rusher Kevin MacDonald had himself a second half. To start the half he pulled a safety sack to give LOD a quick two points, the first of his two sacks on the day. Smooth would then take his offense down the field with ease, hurling a touchdown pass to a wide open Sean Marrero from the 25 yard line. Future Blitz hall of famer, Ben Phelps then snuck in under the radar for the Toads. After a few defensive penalties, QB Scott French lofted one to the sky where Phelps bounced up and hauled it in to pull within seven. He then added the two point conversion catch to make it a five point game just like that. Jay Smooth then took the game into his own hands and relied on his legs to finish the Toads off. He took a handoff, faked the pass and then darted into the endzone for the go-ahead nail in the coffin. Despite the chippiness, this game earned Blitz Game of the Week honors thanks to the “love you man” handshakes afterwards (I think/I hope). Legion of Doom wins at home, 27-16.
Raw Talent looked to stay unblemished at 11:40 taking on the Shotgunnaz. This game was a victim of blowout city from the jump. JJ Lopez scored on the first possession for Raw Talent and then Gabe Jeffers spun his way to paydirt for a quick thirteen point lead in two possessions. Raw Talent had a tiny tick in the armor on the ensuing defensive stand. Lopez dropped what would be a pick six that would eventually lead to a David Hamilton sixty yard touchdown to cut the lead in half. Snap back to reality, MVP chatterbug, Devon Collier tossed up a faux hail Mary to Ivan Quijano who soared like a rocket to snag the ball out of the sky for his first touchdown of the season. Raw Talent up 19-6 at the break. There wasn’t any looking back from that point out. Ivan would force his second fumble of the game that led to another Lopez touchdown. After a Shotgunnaz safety sack to get two more points on the board, Quijano put the dagger through the hearts of the Shotgunnaz with his third, yes third forced fumble of the day. He would later pick off an arrant pass and take it to the house as the fans stormed the field to end it. Raw Talent guarantees a winning season record with a 31-8 victory.
In what some historians will call “the Garrett Barry” game, the Spartans went on the road to play Take Over. The Spartans struck first and got Take Over on the ropes early. Rocco Froio picked off his first career pass on the first drive of the game. Aiden Hatt then set up his blockers and rumbled up the gut and bounced to the outside and down the sideline for his second rushing touchdown of the season to go up six. Take Over then took over. Quarterback Garrett Barry flung a slant pass to an open Captain America, Scott Nightingale for sixty yards to tie it up. The Spartans then came on the attack but were haulted by a safety sack by Garrett Barry. Rookie center/tight end, George Vasconcellos then caught a 35 yard pass from Barry that was set up by a 25 yard run by Jeremy Beland. Ben Stewart would then contribute with a safety sack of his own that would lead to a pair of Don Wright touchdown bombs by Barry to take a commanding lead into halftime, 27-6. Wright got his hat trick out of the way early in the second half, completing the feat on their first possession, a touchdown in which he was subsequently tackled following. Angry face, eye roll flag toss. Barry hit one last time for his sixth touchdown pass of the day, with a no-look crossbody fade away pass to Beland for 40. The Spartans disgruntled running back, Jamal later took a handoff up the middle in garbage time to add some points for the lemons. Take Over snaps their one game losing streak, 40-14.
The finale of week three was littered with Rookie of the Year nominees when the Tribe went on the road to take on America’s Children. The Tribe took a while to get moving against an organized and stingy Children defense. It wasn’t until eight minutes in, when Steven Polanco broke the zeroes with a short drag from the three yard line for the score. This game seemed a little more out of reach than it actually was in the first half. It ended with a Jordy Bolarinho slip and score from the two yard line with thirty ticks left to put the Tribe up twelve zip. The Tribe officially broke it open on the first play of the second half. Curtis Gentles took a handoff, slipped a tackle and sprinted down field for his first career touchdown to go up 18 points. America’s Children tried to make it a game on their next few possessions. After a few oopsies bull rush penalties, Tom Scalley was able to go up over the defense to put his team on the board. After yet another Bolarinho touchdown, this time via double knee dip city, rookie touchdown leader, Andy Geffard kept his pace alive. He leapt from the two yard line for a ball just out of his reach but luckily got a finger on it, to haul it in for his sixth TD of the season. America’s Children undefeated bid is ruined by another undefeated squad, Tribe wins going away 26-13.
With one more week of conference games before divisional games begin, we have seen a lot of learning curves and a lot of outstanding athleticism. Some records aren’t what they seem, while others are just exactly where they should be. The league is currently flipped upside down with B teams making the most noise and the A teams coming out flat. This season has been wild so far, and will only get more intense.