The final week of the season has come and gone and now we are all set for the B playoffs. The brackets are set, so let’s see how they got where they are.
To start the day off, the Raiders went on the road to take on Flagnado. The Raiders got the ball first and got on the board first. After a lengthy drive that ate up almost six minutes of clock, Mike Howe threw a six yard touchdown strike to Patrick Nelson. On their next drive, Howe shoveled the ball from the three yard line to a herculean Britton Doyle who dove over the goal line for six. Flagnado finally got in the endzone for the first time with just under two minutes to play. On fourth and five from their own 25, quarterback Timmy Michelini, launched a bomb in the direction of Jerry Brown. Brown sprinted to the ball, then nestled under it for the score to pull within 12 points. The usually reliable Flagnado defense was in fact, not reliable during the next four plays. Howe paraded his team down to the Flagnado 20 yard line in just three plays. Then to end it, he connected with Doyle again who caught the ball, threw a stiff arm and rumbled into the endzone to go up 24-6 at the half. Flagnado would instantly cut into the Raiders league right out of the locker room. Jerry Brown struck again, this time by way of a crosser over the middle. Rookie of the year hopeful, Brian Pacheco then scored his tenth touchdown of the season to put the Raiders up for good. Jason Michelini would add another Flagnado touchdown and lastly in desperation mode, a Hail Mary found it’s way into the hands of Jack Mahoney who intercepted the ball and flipped it to a trailing David Choate for a team efforting pick six. The Raiders end the season in the plus column, 37-19.
Up next, Rampage looked to finish the season undefeated as they took on the Scoregasms. Rampage right out of the gate set the tone for the game and didn’t look back. Junior Teixeira got the ball moving on the first drive right down to the two yard line. On fourth and goal, he rolled to the right and slung a dart to James Tanguay for the game’s first touchdown. That was officially the game winning touchdown as the Rampage D pitched a shut out for the remainder of the game. Andrew Duval would intercept three Scoregasm passes in the first half, which would lead to a pair of Tanguay touchdowns. Tanguay completed the touchdown hat trick in the first half and would be hungry for more in the second. After an eighteen point first half explosion, Tanguay found the endzone for a fourth and final time. This time after a controversial non-call offensive pass interference, in which it appeared as though Tanguay hand checked the defender to gain separation. This man drinks milk, whole milk, whole milk as he chanted on his way to the endzone. Rampage put the exclamation point on the game as they decided to use their money ball instead of losing it. The way the season has gone for the Scoregasms, it makes sense the way Rampage converted their money ball. On the ground instead of in the air. No defender could pull the flag as Junior darted 30 plus yards for the score. Rampage secures the number one overall seed, 32-0.
In one of the highest scoring games of the year, Shake n’ Bake was at home to take on the Battletoads. Dave Martel scored first for Shake n’ Bake with a two yard dump off touchdown from Dane Schindler. Martel found paydirt again on the next drive, when he slipped under the defense from the five. The Toads would score next after a long meticulous drive. Josh Briand caught a Scott French fastball from the two inch line, after three downs within the one yard line failed to get over. Shake n’ Bake responded two plays later. After a 20 yard reception by Matt Shannon, Schindler pump faked the defense leaving Dave Martel all alone 40 yards down the sideline for his third touchdown of the half. The Martel show would not deter the Toads from battling back. Pete Coats found the endzone with just 33 seconds left on the clock to pull within five points. But not so fast Toads, Shake n’ Bake had a final score up their sleeve. Schindler lateralled a pass to Jason Grace who then slung the ball 55 yards downfield to a streaking Matt Shannon for another score in the first half. On the Toads first possession they were able to work the ball deep into Shake n’ Bake territory with littler resistance, so they thought. Schindler intercepted a Toads pass, weaved to the 30 and pitched it to Shannon who caught it with one hand and turned on the jets for another touchdown. Pete Coats battled his Toads back a bit again with a dip on a little bubble screen then led to a 60 yard catch and sprint touchdown. Jason Grace would score on the ensuing Shake n’ Bake drive by soaring over the top of all the defenders to go up by 19. Coats tried one last time to get his team back with his third touchdown of the game turning on the juice in hot pursuit to pull within two scores. The Toads rally ended right where it began, in the L column. Chris Guillermo put the cherry on the top with a strong hands 50 yard touchdown in the closing minutes. Shake n’ Bake wins this shootout, 45-26.
At the 10’s, LOD looked to keep their win streak alive against the Vikings. Legion of Doom fresh off the coin toss, quickly got to work. Celebrity fill-in quarterback, Jordan Miranda came out slinging dimes. His biggest completion was a 40 yard bomb to Vinny Frasco to set up a five yard touchdown toss to Kiel Canada. Defense would dominate the rest of the first half until the Vikings found the endzone. John Granield Sr. connected with RJ Gagnon from the ten to pull within a point with over a minute to play in the first. Just when the Vikings thought they had the comeback train moving, Canada soared way up in the back of the endzone to haul in his second touchdown of the half to lead it by seven at the break. In the past when the Vikings would get close and need a touchdown, they would throw a jump ball to big man, Matt Arpin. On their first drive out of the lockers, they pulled the Arpin play out of their playbook. They advanced the ball down to the seven yard line when Granfield lofted one up towards the endzone. Arpin reached up above all the defenders for his third touchdown of the season. AJ Labrecque caught the extra point for the Vikings and this game was tied up at 13’s. Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched as literally the very next play, Miranda aired a pass to Canada again who hauled it in for a 60 yard touchdown for the go-ahead. Legion of Doom would add yet another Kiel Canada touchdown after the two minute warning to officially put it out of reach. In the last game of the year and a simple extra point essentially meaning nothing, LOD decided to use their Money Ball. Canada would drop back and scramble away from defenders to sling a rocket to Frasco who would catch it and bring it down for six extra points to close it out. The Vikings rally but fall short as LOD clinches their division, 32-13.
In a surprise and intense battle, the Phantoms went on the road to take on Raw Talent. Each teams traded turnovers on their first couple of drives making defense the biggest highlight of the first half. We fast forward to four minutes left when Raw Talent Quarterback, Devon Collier got his team on the board. After his drop back, he didn’t like what he saw downfield so he took off on his own from the Phantoms 29 yard line. He met defenders and spun off of several before he finally hit the front pylon while reaching his flags over for the score. A score that would be met with another score by the Phantoms on their very next possession. John Freese connected with Chad Crockett and Cory White to bring the ball into Raw Talent territory. Freese sailed up a floater to Dean Muzzy, who has found a new career in using his massive frame to outjump and dominate puny defenders who stand beneath him. Muzzy catapulted towards the ball and came down with it to tie the game up at sixes going into the half. Raw Talent won the coin toss at the beginning of the game and elected to defer for the reason to get the ball to start the second half. They made the right choice in this one, as Nate Guillermo caught three passes on the opening drive and a touchdown to put his squad up six right away. Guillermo would later prove that he’s “too strong” by tip toeing the sidelines on a quick out that he would eventually turn into his second TD of the game. The Phantoms final drive ended in Chad Crockett coming down with a slant over the middle for a score to bring it within six with 45 seconds to play. Out of money balls and out of time, the Phantoms saw this one slip away as Devon Collier took a knee to close it out. Raw Talent sweeps the B division in impressive fashion, 18-12.
Up next was the upstart super team that’s come to life lately; Take Over taking on America’s Children in the BGOW of week seven. When this season started, Take Over looked totally different with different players and jerseys everywhere. Since their last loss in week four, they have dominated the game and beaten teams down with simple execution, sportsmanship and with smiles on their faces. America’s Children is no slouch, and they came out slinging the same way Take Over did to keep this one close for most of the contest. The Children took Take Over by surprise when on their first drive, Pat O’Donnell led his offense down the field with ease and maturity. Tom Scalley caught a 40 yard reception, while Cory Allen finished it off catching a pylon knocking touchdown from the five. Very next play… yes the next play, QB Tommy Pelkey twisted the key in the back of Jeremy Beland and watched him go. He shot a cannonball down the right sideline where Beland just ran past everyone and got underneath it for his ninth touchdown of his rookie campaign. America’s Children got the ball back and worked the clock on their drive. Thanks to a bull rush penalty by the defense, the Children got a reset of downs which would lead to another Cory Allen touchdown. This time he was left alone in the back of the endzone for the score. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before; on the very next play, Pelkey threw a simple outside hitch to Jesse Diaz. Diaz stiff armed a defender and snuck to the sideline where he then outran everyone for six. Just like that, it was tied up again. Next drive, the first half magic dissipated for the Children as they failed to find the endzone after getting inside of the hot zone. After the fourth down fail by America’s Children, Take Over took over from their own one yard line. On the first play, yes, the first play, Pelkey cocked his arm back and fired yet another 60 yard bomb to Beland for a touchdown. To this point, the Take Over offense has ran three plays on offense and scored 18 points and covered 180 yards of field. Beland would catch the two point conversion and Take Over went into the break up by seven. The second wasn’t quite as entertaining for the home team and their fans as Take Over opened it up three plays into the half. Pelkey scrambled towards the sideline and followed his blockers right into the endzone for his first career rushing touchdown. Terry Quan Lovett would score on a 35 yard skinny post for Take Over. Finally Dave Landry of the Children got into the endzone in impressive fashion. He pulled in a reception with his finger tips and was able to hold on as he got shoved into the pylon for the score. Pelkey would end the game by throwing a pass to Don Wright who turned around and hit a sea of defenders. Wright, instead of getting his flag pulled, lateraled the ball back to a trailed Pekley who bowled his way into the endzone to end it. Take Over wins this one going away, 44-20.
The high noon game between the Nightmare and Tribe went down in forgettable fashion. The Tribe defense was a lot like the original Tribe welcoming the pilgrims to America. They were slaughtered and beaten down throughout the duration of the game. It was a Nightmare covering the Nightmare receivers. They ditched the Mayflower, kissed Plymouth rock and loaded up their rifles. Dillon LaPlante threw three touchdowns in the first half to Mike Kamysz twice and Nick Santana once. Tyler McDaniels kept his interception streak going at three games strong and Martin Beccerril roasted the Tribe’s turkeys with his blazing fast runs from out of the backfield. The Nightmare with this victory, overtake the Tribe and win the division. Nightmare wins 28-0.
Believe it or not, the finale of the regular season was a nominee for Blitz Game of the Week. The Shotgunnaz took on the upstart but winless Spartans at home in a nail bitter. After flip flopping possessions to open the game, the Spartans broke the zeroes first. The offense surely but slowly, got the ball moving and worked it all the way down to the nine yard line. After getting a flag pulled at the six inch marker, QB Aiden Hatt connected with Zach Wilson(?) for a touchdown over the middle. The Shotgunnaz would finally get off their coolers and respond. Brendan Bernazzani hooked up with Jordan Martin from the 15 in the back of the endzone for the equalizer. After a missed extra point opportunity, it didn’t take long for the Shotgunnaz to get more on the board. On the Spartans first down, D-Lineman, Sean McGrath swam by the line and sacked a scrambling quarterback in the endzone for a safety sack to go up by two. The Gunnaz then regained possession. After a short completion and two incompletions, Spartans corner Shawn Lopes intercepted an arrant pass, shook three defenders and danced his way over the goal line for his first career pick six. The defensive TD put the Spartans up 12-8 with two minutes left in the first half. On their final possession of the half, the Shotgunnaz got their lead back. Chris Lucas and Steven Riley pitched in with short chain moving receptions, but it was Dre Rioux who caught the points. He slanted over the middle and caught a spiraling pass from the 18 to go up by two points at the break. The Spartans hung in there in the second half for the first time this season. After a big defensive pass interference penalty on the Gunnaz, the Spartan’s Ryan Barry found his fountain of youth for the score. He caught a short pass near the sideline, then juked a defender and turned on the jets all the way into the endzone. Spartans up four. The rest of the half was filled with sloppy offense and/or dominating defenses for both sides. It wasn’t until the game’s final possession, when the Shotgunnaz finally made their comeback. Bernazzani threw a nail in the coffin to the hopes of the Spartans first victory with a toss to Jordan Martin with seven seconds left on the clock. The only chance the Spartans had, was to return the extra point in hopes for a tie. The Shotgunnaz knew that and would not give them the chance as they ran backwards to run the clock out and end the game. Spartans valiant effort falls short and the Shotgunnaz survive a stunner, 20-18.