This is week four. The final week of the conference matchups. Since points don’t matter, the conference records mean a lot and these were the final games to help your record for those tiebreakers. Remember, divisional record, then conference record, then head-to-head.
Week four kicked off with a matchup of former champions battling it out as the Scoregasms took on Legion of Doom bright and early. Though this was a clash of powerhouses, both clubs were without key members and rolled deep in the game fatigued and desiccated. The first half was the most exciting part of this eventual blowout. LOD got the scoring kicked off as Melvin Bonilla took a pitch from his quarterback and danced his way over the goal line for six. The Scoregasms then answered on their ensuing drive. LOD sent a corner blitz leaving rookie, Dan Daniliuk wide open in the endzone for the touchdown. A touchdown only to be followed up by a Dan Walkley extra point conversion for the lead. A lead that didn’t last long as LOD riced back in an instant. Quarterback Jay Smooth faked the reverse to one side to then throw a dart to Jamaal Woods on a quick bubble screen that gave him enough daylight from the eight yard line. Kevin MacDonald who caught the extra point for LOD, ended the first half with a sack to halt a promising Scoregasms drive that could’ve resulted in points. The first score of the second half came way of QB Jay Smooth and Bonilla. Smooth took the snap, rolled out and pitched it back to Bonilla who rolled right, and threw it off balance to a streaking Smooth who caught it down the sideline, spun off a defender and walked into the endzone to go up twelve. The Scoregasms defense did their best to help out their struggling offense, thanks to a Travis Tripodi forced fumble in their own end to stop LOD from increasing their lead. It was then that Derek Riley aired one out to Dan Walkley for 55 yards for their final touchdown of the day. Bonilla snagged a pick six, Jamaal Woods caught a touchdown and Smooth flipped a pitch to Bonilla for another touchdown to close it out. Smooth and Bonilla set a record for most laterals to one another in a single game and win this one, 34-14.
The Shake n’ Bake Raiders game that took place next was a tale of two different halves. Shake n’ Bake jumped out to an unanswered nineteen point lead in the first half. Matt Shannon on Shake n’ Bakes first possession, scored by way of a 33 yard post. Jason Grace then picked off a desperation Raiders pass and hotfooted his way to paydirt for his first pick six of the season. Finally, Moose Lancer, rookie Ironman candidate ended the half with a dump off from the three yard line. Raiders, not happy go into the locker room boiling. The boil was just the fire that they needed to turn this game around. QB Mike Howe fired a missile to the back pylon where Rookie Ricky caught it and dragged his toe for six. As the sun got hotter, the turnovers began. Both offenses got stuck on four straight possessions, until the Raiders unleashed their secret weapon. At the two minute warning, Center Britton Doyle corralled five of five targets on the drive for a total of 43 yards including a touchdown from the three inch line to pull within six points. Shake n’ Bake woke up right then. Jason Grace struck one more time for the dagger. He scored his second touchdown of the day (this time on offense) with 48 seconds left to finish off the Raiders. George Notini scored a touchdown with time expiring to make the loss hurt a little more for the away team. Shake n’ Bake survives a second half lapse and hangs on, 26-20.
Up next at 9:25 was winless Flagnado and undefeated Rampage. Don’t let Flagnado’s winless record fool ya; yes they’ve lost every game thus far, but only by a touchdown in each of it’s contests. Despite, the previous statement, Rampage scored on just the second play of the game. After Joe Small picked up seven yards on the first play, Junior Teixeira aired one out down the sideline for James Tanguay who secured the pass and scored the touchdown with ease and celebration. Timmy Michelini then led Flagnado down the field connecting with Jerry Brown on an unbelievable over the shoulder, Willy Mays type touchdown grab in the back of the endzone. Teixeira, two possessions later on a reverse from the eight yard line, slung a dart to Michael Vinagro who activated the iron spear stiff-arm to plow down would-be defenders on his way to the endzone. Rampage captures the lead back 12-7 at the break. On their first possession, Rampage repeated their previous just minus a yard. Vinagro triggered his iron spear one final time, plowed down two defenders at the seven yard line and marched in for the score. Very next play, Jason Michelini does his own trademark thing. He catches a slip pass from Timmy, ducks and tucks and then turns on the jets towards the endzone. Flagnado pulls within five. And that’s exactly where it would stay for the next fourteen minutes of gameplay. The high potent Rampage offense takes a backseat to their sneaky good defense to remain unbeaten, 18-13.
The fourth game of the day featured the New England Nightmare at home taking on Take Over. This game was technically finished by the second possession. Once Nightmare started it off by getting a Trevor Lessard handoff for 55 yards up the gut, it spelled doom for Take Over. Tyler McDaniels picked off an arrant Take Over pass to set up a Mike Kamysz touchdown to go up thirteen points in the first two minutes of the game. Three plays later, Lessard got himself his first career interception for Nightmare. He was the benefactor of a tipped and bobbled ball, that led to him catching the INT and rumbling down to the eleven yard line. Next play, it was McDaneils who caught his first TD of the season. And just like that, McDaniels intercepted his second pass of the half, and that set up Mike Kamysz’s second touchdown of the half to go up by 26. Take Over got a touchdown in right at the end of the first by Garrett Barry to temporarily stop the bleeding. The second half was a balanced attack by both teams as each managed to find the endzone three times. Jeremy Beland racked up 100+ all purpose yards and a touchdown, while Don Wright led his team in receiving with a touchdown for Take Over. This game belonged to Mike Kamysz and Tyler McDaniels. Kamysz finished his day with four receptions for four touchdowns to go along with five tackles. McDaniels ended his stat line with four receptions, one touchdown, six tackles and a pair of INTs. The Nightmare get their first franchise winning streak, 39-20.
America’s Children looked to continue their hot streak against the Shotgunnaz at 10:55. This one was a nail biter all the way to the finish. Early on, Shotgunnaz rookie, Jake Nardone soared up high and caught his first career interception on a Children desperation heave. This INT set up David Hamilton for his third touchdown of the season to go up six. Dave Landry answered the call for the Children as he caught a ball in traffic for 38 yards to put his team up by a point. Fast Forward to the two minute warning where America’s Children was driving once again. Patrick O’Donnell spread the ball around to his plethora of receivers until he eventually connected with his go-to guy, Andy Geffard at the pylon to go up 14-6 at the break. The Shotgunnaz would come roaring back thanks to Allen Hamilton. The younger Hamilton brother caught two balls in their first possession that led to a Jordan Martin touchdown bomb to pull within two. The Children were then driving. They marched the ball all the way down to the fifteen yard line into scoring position. It was then, Allen struck once more. He picked a pass off and returned it to midfield. Three plays later, in glorious fashion, Allen caught a back endzone bullet from Bernazzani for the win with just over a minute to play. But wait… there’s more. They have appeared to have left too much time on the clock. The Children were down by two and had two timeouts in their pocket with one minute left to play. O’Donnell once again took his offense down the field with ease and precision. They got all the way to the two yard line with the quickness, when Landry sealed the deal and secured his second TD of the game, this time, the actual game winner. America’s Children sends the Shotgunnaz home with an L, 21-20.
The Phantoms next travelled on the road to take on the Spartans. Despite the closeness of the first half, this game was all but over after the coin toss. The Phantoms ate the clock on their first possession, taking the ball down the field methodically, using the playclock to it’s max and picking up exactly what they needed to each down. Chad Crockett ended the drive with a quick slant from the five yard line for a score. The Spartans battled right back right after responding with a touchdown pass from Aiden Hatt to Rashad who went up high above and over everyone for the score. Rookie slot speedster, Ryan Barry caught a drag over the goalline for the two point conversion and the Spartans held their first lead of the season. A lead that didn’t last long as the Dakota Lurvey show began. Lurvey found the seam on a 51 yard slip pass that set up a Cory White touchdown from the four yard line. The Phantoms went up by four at the half and there was no looking back from that point on. Lurvey scored three straight touchdowns to secure the bag for their first win of the season. Phantoms win 46-8.
The finale of the day was the Blitz Game of the Week by far. The fans stayed in the stands to sit and watch this just knowing it would be an epic matchup of “B division” juggernauts (B in quotes because both of these teams can give any team in the league a run for it’s money). This one started with a few Curtis Gentles handoffs that took the Tribe into Raw Talent territory. On third and goal from the eleven, Quarterback Jake Fitzgerald lofted a pass in the direction of Pat Bradenise who reached his arm out to captivate the crowd for the games first score. Tribe up 7 zip. After each team exchanged fourth down turnovers, Raw Talent found themselves knocking on the door to score. On fourth and short from their own 29 yard ilne, Devon Collier dropped back and under heavy pressure slung one to Nkongolo Harmel over the middle. Harmel caught it over an overzealous defender looking for a pick and then sprinted into the endzone. Raw Talent pulls within one. It wasn’t until a minute and forty seconds left in the half, that Bradenise struck again. This time he silenced the Raw Talent defense with a “stop talking” big boy touchdown over everyone to increase their lead back to seven. Both teams struggled mightily out of the lockers as each offense was stopped short thanks to timely and athletic flag pulls on both sides. Finally with nine minutes left, Raw Talent broke loose. Collier heaved a laser to a leaping Nate Guillermo who just barley out reached a gambling DJ Ramos to catch it. After both landed, it was clear sailing for Guillermo as he waltzed into the endzone untouched to pull within a point. The Tribe would not let Raw Talent gain the momentum for the game that easily. On the very next play after the failed extra point, Gentles took a handoff from Fitzgerald at their own goalline. He sat and waited like Le’veon Bell in his prime, he saw the hole he liked and darted towards it. Gentles sprinted by everyone for his second rushing TD of the season to put his team up by seven once again. On the brink of losing their perfect season, Raw Talent responded two drives later. Collier threw a short little hitch to JJ Lopez who dipped and spun by four defenders, all who missed his flag before getting over the goalline to pull within a point… again. Three minutes left and the all important extra point was looming. Raw Talent broke the huddle and called a play that found Harmel sitting all alone in the middle of the endzone to knot this game up at 19 a piece. The Tribe failed to convert a fourth and long in their final possession. Then Raw Talent marched down the field only to get picked off by Bradenise as the clock expired to send this into overtime. With the new overtime format, Collier won the coin toss and elected to get the ball and try for a one point conversion. Collier scrambled out of heavy pursuit to eventually find Guillermo by the pylon for the conversion. Raw Talent up one point. The Tribe said “it’s time to win this. No more games,” so they elected to go for a two point try. Fitzgerald dropped back and under heavy duress threw one in the direction of Gentles who got a hand on the ball, but unfortunately for them, Raw Talent did too. The ball was batted to the ground and Raw Talent prevailed victorious. The Tribe’s quest for an unblemished year ends, 20-19 in overtime.