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Championship Saturday Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 29 June 2021 12:59
Published: Tuesday, 29 June 2021 12:59
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 30

 

Well TSL, we made it through the season! Unlike this past Fall’s “COVID season” this one saw a return to normalcy, especially by the end of the season when it felt like a “real” football atmosphere again. Shout out to our fearless leader / reigning TSL Executive of the Year Topper and all of his Field Crew for all they did to make sure things ran smoothly this season. Championship weekend is always an exciting day and this year was no exception.

The day began with the Breakfast Club Finals on Field 1, and The Great White Clarkes wrapped up their undefeated season (the ONLY undefeated season in the TSL this year) by beating The EMigos.  This was a close contest at the half with Topper throwing a pair of touchdowns to both teams early, and the EMigos narrowly clinging to a lead thanks to an Emily Schilling safety.  But as all great teams do, the Great White Clarkes tightened their defense in the second half as Travis and Deak dominated the rest of the game and walked away with the Breakfast Club title.

D1 was not a division that produced too many great games in the regular season, but the playoffs were a different animal.  Public Enemy and Eyes Downtown was a back-and-forth battle, with neither team claiming a big advantage either way.  Greg Osika played great for Public Enemy with Paul Johnson hurt on the sidelines.  Jordan N was solid on offense for Eyes Downtown to make it a game, and both teams utilized their girls well, with Chris Cole and company stealing a last-minute win to move on the finals.

On the other end of the D1 bracket was Tight Ends in Motion vs Sticky Bandits, which was expected to be a blow-out by most of the League.  Sticky Nation nearly shocked the world though and turned in their best performance of the year (maybe ever?), running up a 12-point lead on the strength of Brian Stevens two interceptions and putting the fear of God in Dave Baker that he abandoned the wrong team.  Ultimately TEIM battled back grabbing a lead with a few minutes left as Eric Kleckler had a pair of second half touchdowns, and held on through questionable officiating (including a controversial “non-gender play” that took a game-winning sixth down opportunity away from Sticky Bandits on the goal line) as Tight Ends advanced to force a rematch of last year’s D1 Finals.

Tight Ends in Motion famously choked away a 20-point lead in last year’s Finals, but they weren’t about to let that happen again.  Bro Kleckler led his team to a 25 point lead this time around which proved enough to withstand Cole’s last gasp barrage of offense.  On the final play of the game Public Enemy needed a gender touchdown and Stoner Dave was able to bat away Cheryl Julicher’s final pass to lock up the win and official “passing of the torch” as the best team in the League.  Congrats to TEIM, and congrats to Public Enemy for their run of dominance at the top.  Whether they come back for another shot at the title, we’ll let the Godfather weigh in on.

D2 had many upsets in the first round of the playoffs with Mountain Dew Me, Peachy Platoon and A&A all falling to their lower seeded opponents, but the second round would stick more to the original script.  Losing Streak destroyed Bullet Club as predicted, and When Dove Cries crushed XTC (who were hampered by injuries to Kevin Zack and Anthony Battaglia).  The finals were a better matchup until Topper made some terrible decisions and threw picks to the Losing Streak defense, with Chris Nelson and Ralph Finney proving too much for the Commissioner to figure out.  Jordan Lawson played a solid game and used his girls efficiently for mistake free football in locking up the D2 title in their first season with the TSL.

If Breakfast Club, D1 and D2 haven’t entertained you with any surprise winners yet, you’re in luck with D3.  HEAVY favorites TopShot imploded in the Semi-finals and Dylan Jaloza couldn’t get the offense going against a suddenly rejuvenated All We Do is Quinn team who had been left for dead by many in the League after having an awful regular season.  Some late scores by TopShot couldn’t change the outcome and Quinn was on to their first finals since… well, it always feels like they’re in the Finals doesn’t it? 

Wolfpack destroyed Grey Hair – Don’t Care as one of the hottest teams in the League kept their streak going, and a number of sources pointed to Ward Blewitt’s relentless positivity as the reason for the turnaround throughout the season.  It wasn’t enough to take the D3 championship though, as All We Do is Quinn FINALLY broke through and won the title on the last play of the game against Wolfpack after having so many promising seasons slip away in the past.  Maybe they needed the adversity to build character?  Either way they are now champions of the (D3) world and it’ll be interesting to see if they stay together and try to slay the D2 beast together.

The D4 playoffs promised to be the most up-for-grabs in the League and it lived up to the billing with three exciting games.  Despite the usual fantastic play Laura Streeter and Rylee Moser, Itches and Ohs couldn’t keep up with Freeballers who sealed the win on the final play of the game to move on the Finals.  Jabronies took down Practice Squad on the other end of the bracket (I’m not sure if this counts as an upset?) to set up our Finals.  Sean Weisensal was his usual unstoppable self as he rolled through the competition on his way to a 33-25 Freeballers win and championship.  It was definitely the right move to keep George Lombardo at QB and Sean at receiver!

If the first round of D4 games thrilled the TSL audience, the first round of D5 games probably put them to sleep with two big massacres.  Zack Attack destroyed Interdimensional Lightning Falcons 43-8 with Dave Baker busy winning the D1 championship (Andrew Kicak stepped in and QBed for the Falcons, much to Zack Attack’s delight) and Wasted Potential beat Breast Friends 48-8.  Didn’t these guys do a whole bunch of losing at the end of the regular season?  To come out in the playoffs and knock off Puckett All-Stars and then Breast Friends is a real testament to their resiliency.  The D5 Finals was a much better game and the defensive stars of Zack Attack did what they do best, holding Coach Jay and company to only 19 points (they allowed only 27 across both games) to add a D5 Championship to their growing trophy case. 

The D6 playoffs also delivered all the action and excitement we expected with three great games.  Spinelli’s Plumbing got off to a slow start against Travis Henry’s Kids but once they got rolling, they were able to rattle off 51 points in a winning effort.  The game featured numerous picks for both teams so it wasn’t ALL offense as the final score would suggest.  John Langley was able to find one man highlight reel Pete Walbrandt for repeated big plays to keep up, but Nick Hawes and Co weren’t going to be denied on their path to the Finals. 

The other D6 semi-final saw TMA and Tater Tots both lose their best players in the first half when Nick Smith drove a guy to the ground and a bench clearing altercation occurred.  TMA kept trying to go man defense but couldn’t keep up with the Tots.  The game ultimately came down to the final minute with TMA down by 10 points.  They drove down and scored a gender TD off Diana’s hands to Val but on the two-point conversion to tie the game, Drunk Meg got the sack on Ryan Henry to end it and push the Tots into the Finals.  That would be the last of the Tots magic this season though, as ultimately they fell to Spinelli’s Plumbing in the Finals in the matchup (and outcome) most people expected this year.

Your top 5 Notables of Championship weekend were:

1.      Tight Ends in Motion – they’ve been dreaming of this moment since the infamous Public Enemy comeback of last Fall (and probably a lot longer than that too).  Congrats to Dave Baker and team for finally winning the big one!

2.      All We Do is Quinn – another team that has persevered for so long and looked like their championship window was finally closing, just to shock the world and win the title in the most unlikely season.  Never say die, kids

3.      New Teams – although everyone loves the story of teams like Tight Ends and AWDIQ who battled for years to achieve co-ed touch football glory, it’s new teams that keep the TSL fresh and interesting every year, and teams like Losing Streak, Travis Henry’s Kids and Passed Our Prime (who didn’t get to experience TSL playoffs unfortunately) came in and immediately made an impact.  A big thank you to these teams for coming in and making the TSL an even greater place.

4.      The Clarkes – Breakfast Club champions and D2 Champion runner-ups; is there anything they can’t do??

5.      The Entire League – it seems like a distant memory now, but we started this season in COVID protocols with strict check-in regulations, separate entrance/exit gates etc, and once again the entire League banded together to deal with these forced inconveniences to make football possible.  Special thanks as always to Topper and his merry band of helpers (Coach Jay, Emily Curry, Jeff Krol, Joe K, Travis Cleveanger and Val Bernal)

 

And that brings us to the close of the TSL Spring 2021 season. Congratulations to all the champions as well as everyone else who made it through this “return to normal” season with us. We are so grateful to you all for allowing us to be a part of the greatest co-ed football league in the area. Remember to continue to check back on the Facebook and Topper Sports League page to see announcements throughout the summer (wine tournament, Fall registration etc) and until next time… I’ll be watching.

Round 1 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 22 June 2021 14:34
Published: Tuesday, 22 June 2021 14:34
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 32

 

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Greatest Co-ed Sports League in the Nation, welcome to your Round 1 Playoff review. Playoffs are always a time to come out hard and that is precisely what went down this past Saturday. Early in the year, I talked about “mid-season form” but “playoff form” is altogether a whole new animal. Teams put it all out on the line; for some, that ended in victory, for others, a bitter reminder that sometimes your best isn’t good enough. But hey, that’s why we play the game. Without further ado, let’s get into the games.

First up was Public Enemy versus Why So Serious. It was no secret PE was going to be missing some key personnel. Coming off a loss the previous week to this same team at full strength, what would have been a no brainer became a “it could happen”. But alas, though WSS did have their full rank of capable athletes, overcoming the reigning champs twice in as many weeks was not in the cards. PE’s performance was not flawless, I saw some big drops and miscues on defense, but it was good enough to get them a 48-30 win and a ticket to the semis versus long time rival Eyes Downtown. PE was fortunate to get Jake M back from injury, an unexpected surprise. WSS had Greg Chadwick back for when it mattered so having another speedster in him and Pete Nguyen was huge. Terrell Bolden was throwing for WSS but he was having trouble finding his receivers. Maybe it was the great equalizer, the wind, but he threw several balls 5 yards short of the intended target or 5 yards over their heads. Whatever magic, chemistry or maybe just old fashioned luck WSS had last week, it ran out a little too early for them this week.

Sticky Bandits and Sloppy Seconds was a little closer of a game, with both teams playing solid defense, making stops and trading picks back and forth. Brian Stevens had an early pick for SB to set the tone but after going almost full-field, Ben Stack answered with his own pick. SB took an early lead and held on until the half. SS made some adjustments and Amy Taylor had a phenomenal catch and run in traffic. Alex Buchalis rallied his team back to within a score but Mike Thomas was able to punch it in with time ticking away. The SB defense dropped back to defend the deep pass and SS were not able to get passed them, making an early exit with their 18-30 loss.

Losing Streak took out Slytherin That End Zone, much to no one’s surprise. I don’t know if the inconsistent QBs was the problem but looking at the cast they had, that’s really the only explanation for their fall from grace I can think of. On the other side of the ball, LS looked like they have had their eye on the championship since Week 4. This team is full of guys with speed, height and football IQ, a QB who can sling it and females who know the game and have solid hands. They are going to be a tough out for any team they come up against.

Speaking of a team they are coming up against, Bullet Club shocked the world by knocking out #1 seed Peachy Platoon. In probably the biggest upset of the day, BC squeaked into the playoffs after losing 7 straight games. Scotty Dro FINALLY showed up and showed off what we have all been waiting for him to do. He was able to hit his receivers perfectly and had 2 picks to boot. PP seemed to be sleeping on Gordon Kus and it cost them dearly. Rawdog was out but Todd Halas took over, catching everything thrown his way and some thrown a little out of his way. He had an extraordinary TD catch to put his team up 10 with under 2 minutes in the game. PP just had a bad day to have a bad day. Their usually sure-handed females had a few uncharacteristic drops and they didn’t have the magic they usually come with. I’ve heard rumors Mr Thompson tore it up in Breakfast Club; maybe he was the missing link there.

 

A&A also made an early exit for the playoffs, getting bounced by When Doves Cry. These teams played each other the week previous with a significantly different outcome. The difference? Topper’s team showed up this week. He had his ladies back as well as Drew and Devin Linder who were out when they faced off last time. Topper utilized his team average height of 6’5 to move down the field then found his females to punch it in for a gender score. A&A’s defense could not find an answer. Matty Ice found his kryptonite in the wind as well, with numerous deep attempts getting carried off or falling short of their targets. Some untimely drops and a 15 yard sack by Brittany Clark pretty much sealed the deal for A&A and their playoff hopes.

Yet another D2 upset was XTC taking out the younger, faster squad of Mountain Dew Me. Bottom line, MDM had a case of the drops. As much as it pains me to say it, Joey Battaglia is one of the best in the game when it comes to play calling. Yep, that tasted like vinegar and I didn’t even say it out loud. He will take those 10-15 yards every time. Unfortunately, when your team has drops like they did this week, your QB needs to try the deep ball now and then to make up some yards. That is where Chris Cole excels, but Joey falls short. Sans last year, Dubey is usually his most “on” during playoffs. He can hold his own in any division, and has leaps and bounds more football IQ then most anyone else on the field at any given time. And yet, it almost wasn’t enough. XTC tried to hit Eric Flynn on a slant but Joey made a play on the ball and MDM took over. But wait! Joey’s non-throwing shoulder is hurt on the play. He rallies to drive his team down the field and ties up the game. XTC had a chance to end it but a questionable play call results in OT. Dubey was able to find Flynn for a TD in the first drive but they did not get the conversion. MDM takes over at the 10. Joey finds Jill Battaglia in the endzone for what most think is the win but nope! Kelly Sabo gets in for the sack and 1 yard loss. XTC switches to a guy rushing, Joey looks for Jill again but Jill runs out of real estate and Sabo is right there to bat it down. MDM has one last chance but Joey throws it out of the back of the endzone and XTC moves on to next week.

Garrett Beesing arrived late for Frodo Swaggins after missing his Sloppy Seconds game completely. Apparently Friday night was a rager. He never seemed to be really comfortable whereas All We Do is Quinn finally had their full roster show up. Vince Taverna has been getting some heat from either not coming or not performing as well as we expect of him but he turned it on when he had to. Mike Gelz remained a solid target and Kacey Thur has been a top receiver for them all year. FS just could not find a rhythm and their championship aspirations died well before most thought they would.  On the bright side, Beesing met his goal for his sister’s MS fundraiser and made good on his promise to shave his head, which happened later on at the bar.

The Angels fell to WolfPack, who continue to impress us. The Angels got off to an early lead and tensions seemed to be mounting among the Pack. Matty Ice took advantage of the mismatches and both teams played solid defense. Ward Blewitt was able to use the height advantage his team has and Cindi Bell played outstanding on offense. Anthony Barnessi has become a top target for Blewitt and now that everyone seems to be getting the hang of the league and play calling, this team could be poised for another upset next week.

Freeballers took out the Cunning Stunts meaning neither the Angels or the Stunts will be around for semis, possibly for the first time since the teams were formed. The game was never really close as the Stunts had no answer for Sean Weisendel. The Stunts stuck it out but couldn’t overcome the FBs who apparently had no QB controversy as George Lombardo was given the rock. Typical media overexaggerating just for a story line.

Show Me Dem TDs had a season to forget and their loss to Breast Friends means they can now start forgetting. The score indicates this game was closer than it was but BF were up 42-0 at the half. SMDTDs played with 3 females and tried out 4 different QBs, all of whom threw at least 1 pick. Tim Zielinski (who we heard is recently engaged, Congratulations Tim!) tried to rush Travis Cleavenger to cut down on scrambling time but that didn’t do the trick. I will hand it to them for not giving up and making it closer than the beginning would have predicted.

Spinelli’s Plumbing trounced Lenny’s Ladies 44-0. I wish I caught the name of the girl making serious play for SP but all is know is it was not Katie Swanson. She had picks and huge catches all over the game. Nick Hawes has been playing well all season. Robin Makula was an absolute weapon for LL but Joe K and Co could not finish a drive. SP takes on Travis Henry’s Kids next week, who they had no trouble with in their first meeting.

Last but certainly not least was the First Ever Eggplant Bowl! For those of you new to the league, the story is simple this: Once upon a time there was a team loved by all named 3rd and Schlong. Started by the man, the myth, the legend, Scott Keller Sr and populated by his family, everyone in the land knew 3rd and Schlong and they even had their own line of merchandise with their recognizable eggplant logo (if you don’t get why they use an eggplant, google “eggplant emoji meaning”). One day, an evil villain named 40 Year Plan Guy, who was disgruntled by his lack of game both on and off the field, decided he was no longer happy playing on the happiest team in the league and defected. This resulted in the end of the 3rd and Schlong era and dark days in the TSL. Now fortunately, the Keller’s stayed in the league, albeit dispersed and forced to play under new banners. Then, along came a new team. Enter Not So Sticky. Due to a team quitting late after the schedule was set, the powers that be needed a replacement. Jeff Krol took up the challenge, bringing together familiar faces but playing them in unfamiliar positions. Not a problem in and of itself but then we see the bright yellow jersey have a very distinctive logo on the pocket. To add insult to injury, the eggplant is crossed out! The disrespect was almost too much to bear. In his final attempt to get back into the good graces of the Kellers (or seeing his opportunity to name a new villain), Evil 40 Year Plan Guy teamed up with Mr Keller and issued a challenge. B’s Brothers dropped the gauntlet saying the former 3rd and Schlong team will play for the rights of the eggplant logo (and shots because that’s always part of a bet here). Not So Sticky accepted the challenge, I was there to witness it:

Because I know you all are wondering, the first TD in Eggplant Bowl history was scored by none other than Jeff Krol, the mastermind of the imposing team himself. The conversion was successful putting Not So Sticky up 7-0. 3&S scored on their drive but failed to convert. After that, both teams started to lose some of the adrenaline they had going into the game. NSS rallied on the last drive of the half to go up 15-6. In the second half, things got interesting. Paul Scinta made a couple of his signature catches, Katie Keller caught everything, even when “accidentally” hit in the face by the defender, and Scott Keller Jr threw a deep TD pass to Austin Weber over the head of Ricky Recckio. Plenty of excitement, but it came down to the last few minutes. 3&S trailed by 9 with mere minutes on the clock. They need a gender TD, they get a gender TD. Of course, they go for the win…they make the 2-point conversion! 3&S take a one point lead with time winding down. But NSS will not go silently into the night! They march down the field and Recckio finds a wide open Mike Thomas with 26 seconds left. Time out 3&S. The Kellers regroup, they have one play to become legends. The pass is made…NSS gets the stop and becomes the first ever Eggplant Bowl Champs! It was a game for the ages.

There is nothing else that could top that excitement so I will leave you with your Playoff Top 5 Notables and let you all mentally prepare for the big dance next week.

1. Scotty Dro, Bullet Club- finally played up to his potential and secured a spot in the semis for his previously 0-7 team

2. Practice Squad Defense- It’s not easy holding Buffalo Vice to 12 points when they average 40 a game but PS brought their A game when it counted most

3. Breast Friends- the only remaining gender team going into semis next week

4. Eric Pochylski, Wasted Potential- had a pick and TD for his team in their upset victory over Puckett All Stars

5. Rylee Moser, Itches and Ohs- I said last week she doesn’t get enough cred so here I will give her her due. I didn’t see enough of the game to report on it but I saw some plays and TOX had no answer for Rylee.

Until next time, I’ll be watching….

Week 7 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 08 June 2021 18:18
Published: Tuesday, 08 June 2021 18:18
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 53

 

Well TSL, we have made it to the last week of the regular season. I took a look at the standings as they are now to see if there were any “sure things” for the upcoming playoffs and, honestly, I’m going to say no. Sure, TopShot is the odds on favorite in D3 but that’s easy to do when you stack a team and insist on playing in a lower division. Every other division can go a number of ways. D1 has had some shake ups to make things interesting but it’s ultimately still down to the Big 3. D2 could see any of the Top 5 making a playoff run and I’m not counting out XTC despite a sub .500 record. Itches and Ohs took over the number one spot in D4 after handing Cunning Stunts their first loss of the season. It’s hard to count anyone out that makes the playoffs in this division. Everyone makes the playoffs in D5 but Zack Attack looks to be the talk of the town. Breast Friends sit at second but they have 2 forfeit wins and rumors around the water cooler are that they will be getting another one this week. In my eyes, D5 is open to (almost) anyone. Spinelli’s Plumbing came out of no where to become a D6 power house this year. Tater Tots, Travis Henry’s Kids and TMA are all right in it, but Spinelli and Co have the momentum. Lenny and Rameer Day was a roaring success both on and off the fields. Let’s take a look at what happened.

Puckett All Stars took on Wasted Potential early in the day. I missed the first half but was told it was quiet. WP took an early lead while the cast of PAS took their time getting to the fields. PAS’s Kyle Printup had some big defensive plays while both TJ Ferguson and Jay Jaskier played solid at QB, not hesitating to throw the deep ball. PAS has been on since week 4, putting up 30+ points a game, makes you wonder why Ferguson is not on the Power Rankings?? It came right down to the end when a PI called gave WP the ball at the 3. A potential game winning gender TD pass is dropped in the endzone but Jaskier is able to find a guy to bring them within 1. WP goes for the win but Printup breaks up the pass and PAS holds on to take the win, 34-33.

Wolfpack pulled off an upset over All We Do is Quinn, 31-20. Ward Blewitt has made leaps and bounds improvements since his debut this season. He is reading the field, spreading looks around and trusting his receivers to come down with the ball. “Jay” had a couple deep contested catches over a defender and was real good at getting lost behind the defense. AWDIQ had plenty of big plays on defense and offense but Vince Taverna is not playing up to his usual standard. Joe Schwab and Bryan Quinn both had some highlight reel catches, including a pick by Schwab that was pitched to Max Wittig for 2 points on the conversion. Wittig also had a couple big defensive plays but Jake Dunne’s rushing must have threw Taverna for a loop as they could not punch it in the endzone.

I mostly watched the aforementioned game so I didn’t see a lot of Bullet Club versus Peachy Platoon but it looked like Peachy had control throughout the game. I did see Marissa Thompson make a phenomenal catch from across the back line of the endzone for a gender TD. Barring their shaky start to the season, PP has been the class of D2 while Bullet Club has been underwhelming considering their free agent signings in the off season. BC currently holds the 8th spot for playoffs but unless they can pull off a win against Mountain Dew Me, their fate rests in the hands of A&A beating Scared Hitless this coming Saturday.

The Sticky Bandits/Why So Serious game was not great television to be honest. Chadwick started at QB and proceeded to throw 2 picks. Terrell Bolden went back in but continued to have difficulty finding his females. Pete Nyugen put himself at QB for the rest of the game. WSS looked like anything but a cohesive unit. SB had a rough first half on offense but were able to right the ship. Defensively, they came up with a pick on pretty much every drive and walked away with a 51-16 win.

I said in my intro that D5 is the hands of Zack Attack but open to almost anyone. I don’t know if you picked up on it but the “almost” was referring to Show Me Dem TDs and University Wealth Management as neither team has shown me they can run in this division. BUT WAIT! UWM pummeled ZA, 37-8.  This is why we play the game, ladies and gentlemen. Because any given Saturday an 0-7 team can absolutely embarrass the 7-0 juggernaut. Sure, ZA looked off at pretty much every position but guess what, come playoff time, all that matters is the scoreboard. UWM’s QB played his heart out, putting up big points against a historically stingy defense while his defense shut down Zack Elphick and Co’s offense.

In my perusal of the standings, I had to double check that I read it right when I saw Buffalo Vice sitting in 6th place. Seasons passed, at this point, we are usually talking about them, The Angels and Cunning Stunts fighting it out for the number one spot, with maybe one other team lurking in the shadows. They slipped following a loss to Jabronies this week, 32-23. Jabronies is on the upward trend of late, but finishing the season against Freeballers and Cunning Stunts will be a nice glimpse of where they belong. Also with a double header in the last week, BV is going to need to go 2-0 if they want to prove to the rest of us that they deserve a look in the playoffs. 

BiPolar Express versus Lenny’s Ladies is always a fun game to report on with Gordon Kus going against Joe K, especially when they are neck and neck in the standings. Despite BPX coming off a hard-fought loss against Travis Henry’s Kids, they had enough left in the tank to take the win in the gender team match up, 19-16. It was a close game that came down to the wire and ended with some controversy. LL were up 16-10, BPX has 6-0 with the ball on the 10. Elisha Reimers of LL rushes in on Gordon, we hear a whistle blow, game over, right? Wrong. The whistle was from the next field over. Gordon starts arguing that he did not get sacked, the ref states he did not, in fact, blow the whistle so BPX gets another shot at it that they capitalize on. LL gets the ball with enough time to march down and steal the win back. Joe K throws a pass to Katie Swanson but doesn’t put enough on it to slice through the gale force winds and BPX’s Emily Belfield gets the pick to end the game. Ya hate/love to see (dependent on if you are Team Joe K or Team Gordon because you can’t be both).

That’s all for this week. Can’t believe we are already approaching the last week of the regular season. Where does the time go? Seems like a good number of double headers for this week and based on the early weather reports, it’s going to be another beautiful day. Good luck to all of you in the hunt! I’ll leave you with my Top 5 Notables for Week 7:

1. University Wealth Management- I try to save the Top 5 for people who didn’t get a shout out in the article but to have your first win be that decisive and against the 1st place team deserves double recognition.

2. Kacey Thur- saw her catch a TD for AWDIQ but what got her on this list is being bribed $100 to go in the dunk tank then donating the money to support Garrett Beesing’s MS fundraiser. Great job Kacey!

3. Sean Weisansal- took over for George Lombardo at QB this week and put up 36 points on TOX. Not a bad day at the office.

4. Cookie Monster and Elmo (and the other celebrity guest appearances this week)- finally got to see them back out shaking hands and kissing babies (figuratively of course) and the wheel came back! It occurred to me the Godfather nonchalantly said he would be in town this week and there were a good amount of notable alumnus at the fields…interesting…

5. Angry Buffalo- I haven’t acknowledged the bar recently for allowing us to spend 12+ hours with them and not throwing us out. This week, they let us have a dunk tank which was awesome too!

Honorable Mention: everyone who went in the dunk tank. Honestly I was going to just make that my list this week but 1) there were more than 5 and 2) I was drinking and don’t remember/know everyone who did. So here’s a shout out to all I did see/remember: Topper, Dave Walters, Hearn, Travis Cleavenger, Drunk Meg, Ricky Recckio, Kacey Thur, Megan Mallon, Cookie, and Topper’s niece Quinn.

And remember, I’ll be watching…

Week 8 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Monday, 14 June 2021 18:48
Published: Monday, 14 June 2021 18:48
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 35

 

Well my friends, we have made it through the regular season. No rainouts, “anonymous” calls or even Covid this season which I think we all would say, is a win. On the contrary, we had beautiful weather, minimal drama and our relationship with the bar has never been better. Week 8 had the playoff vibe already in the air with many teams facing off against potential playoff opponents. We had our fair share of upsets this week so let’s take a look at how things ended.

Slytherin That End Zone has had one of their most disappointing seasons to date. They dropped a close one to Peachy Platoon, 32-34. Miscues, drops, missed passes and a couple calls not going their way ended their season in 7th place. Peachy was short so called in Joe K to take over the TE role while Dean Thompson did his usual scramble around for 5 minutes then launch it to any WR. Peachy is the current D2 favorite but I wouldn’t be surprised to see an upset out of SITE if they can get some heart and early momentum this week.

Frodo Swaggins put on a show against Top Shot this week, giving them their first loss and proving to the universe they are mortal. TS was missing Blasé DaLuca but they had Chris Nelson, Adrian Cannon and QB Dylan Jaloza so attendance could not be blamed for their loss. Frodo Swaggins played an all-around great game. Nick Buczek and Josh Schneider put on great performances while Derek Pew had a couple big catches to put up 48 points against a defense known for being stingy. Finishing in the Top 2, both these teams should have a fairly easy go of it in the first round of the playoffs so it’s highly likely we see a repeat of this game in the championship.

Possibly the upset of the day, Why So Serious put up 48 points as well to take the win over Public Enemy. It took until Week 8 but we finally got to see what WSS could do when they have everyone in attendance. Terrell Bolden was back at QB and he had most of their receiving core to throw to. Public Enemy was missing Paulie Johnson and Jake M but based on their dominance in seasons’ passed, that shouldn’t equate to a loss to a previously defeated team. But like I said last week, any given Saturday, any one can pull off a win or blow it. Chris Cole played a solid game and put up a respectable 43 points. These teams face off again next week when word around the water bucket is PE will be missing some key players. If WSS can pull off another win, I would love to see momentum carry them to the championship. That said, regardless of missing personnel, I can’t see the veterans of PE dropping 2 in a row to the same team.

Losing Streak took it to XTC, 62-14. I did hear this game ended early so it could have been much more painful than even that.  Ralph Finney had an All-Star performance, I’ve even heard mentions of a possible D2 MVP candidate. Joe Robison had a big contested TD catch, pulling out all sorts of athleticism to prove he maybe should have been getting some more pub this season. Jordan Lawson has had his share of publicity this season, but Rylee Moser most certainly has not. I saw Lawson thread the needle to rocket a pass to her through 3 defenders that she stuck, no problem. Solid hands and great field awareness are things hard to teach and Rylee’s got them in spades. On the other side of things, XTC was missing Brandt Dubey. Instead of getting a QB off the sublist, they gave the reigns to Eric Flynn. It’s safe to say that little experiment did not work. Honestly there was little to even report on aside from the multiple pick 6/8s that XTC had no chance of coming back from. That loss dropped them down into 6th place meaning they take on the Swedish Speed Demons, Mountain Dew Me next week.

Grey Hair Don’t Care took on The Angels for the 3rd time this season due to some weird scheduling match ups apparently. Dave Eickhof and Co took another win, though looking at the standings, the point differential get smaller and smaller each time. Matty Ice was back under center for The Angels and brought back the spark we are so used to seeing from these ladies. Emily Curry was missing due to some poor planning for her bachelorette party but the Angels had a solid cast there along with their fearless leader. It seemed like the game was back and forth throughout with no one taking a major lead at any point. Both teams seemed to know each other well as they each played their style of play and did not let the opponent influence them. The Angels had a chance to secure the victory with minimal time on the clock and 6th down on the 10. Matty Ice found Val Bernal in the back of the endzone, but she dropped the pass. Eickhof found Jon Von deep and GHDC were able to come away with the win and moved up to 3rd place.

Speaking of Matty Ice, his 3rd game of the day was for A&A against Scared Hitless, who had nothing on the line but pride. SH were missing their QB and Brandon Farr; A&A were missing Delano and had no one else on the side line so I’m guessing some others were missing as well. A&A got off to an early lead then all hell broke loose. I saw 3 different QBs for SH, the last of which actually played a solid game. A&A could not get their defense organized and failed to score a point in the second half. They finished in 4th place but don’t look like they have any momentum whatsoever going into playoffs. SH on the other hand, probably could have used this win to push them towards an upset, unfortunately there are 10 teams in D2 so their season ends this week. I must commend them though on moving up, not having a great season but maintaining sportsmanship and poise throughout. Looking at their matches this year, all but 2 losses were within a score so they might not have been a success story right away but I would love to see what they can do next season with some upper-tier experience under their belt.

Buffalo Vice seemed to turn it up this week with a win over WoodPeckers and Freeballers. The Peckers actually had one of their better games of the season, showing a boatload of improvement since Week 2. Sharrone aka really tall guy that isn’t Dan Farinucci, no-showed so Joe Buscaglia played defense which didn’t help their cause but also wasn’t detrimental. Andy Clark was just on his game, looking more like the player we are used to seeing. Unfortunately for the WoodPeckers, their season came to an end. More devastating was Dan Farinucci was hurt while subbing later in the day. We wish this Rookie of the Year nominee a speedy recovery. The Freeballers game got heated from within according to the rumor mill. Word on the street is Sean Weisansal’s performance impressed his teammates enough to take the QB1 spot from George Lombardo. So far, it’s all speculation so if someone from Freeballers wants to weigh in, be sure to let the Godfather know the 411 before his article comes out.

The last game I will talk about for Week 8 is University Wealth Management versus Show Me Dem TDs. UWM got themselves their second win of the season, pulling ahead of their opponent in the rankings. Scott Keller Sr was back to throw for his squad so of course they were able to ride that high to a victory. SMDTDs had QB Tim Zielinski get called away on urgent business just before game time so they put Jackee Thompson in charge. She had a rough go at it for her first start at QB, resulting in several picks. All around, SMDTDs did not have the personnel to run with any team and UWM took the win, 29-6.

That’s all for the regular season. If you don’t think you, your team or someone on your team has been highlighted enough this year, well, do something amazing. I declined the opportunity for an email address because this is all about what I see. Sure, I don’t see everything but hey, the more cool shit you do, the more likely it is I’ll see some of it. That’s just basic probability there. I know playoffs are upon us now so everyone will turn it up. Can’t wait to see who’s been holding back and what everyone has left in the tank. I’ll leave you with my Top 5 Notables for Week 8:

1. Katie Swanson- Lenny’s Ladies suffered a loss to TMA but Swanson took over at QB to make the game stay fun for everyone

2. Heather Simano- did a great job filling the shoes of all the females missing for When Doves Cry, scoring 2 TDS against A&A

3. Jeremy Olson- probably wasn’t in the original game plan but he has played D often this season and was solid this passed week

4.  Dave Eickhoff- I talked about his game versus the Angels which was an impressive performance but Dave has led his team back from a rocky start to the season to a 3rd place finish and ready to make a playoff run

5. Dave Walter- really the epitome of what this league is about, Dave is there every week with a smile and a drink for anyone who gets too close

Week 6 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 01 June 2021 12:28
Published: Tuesday, 01 June 2021 12:28
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 46

 

 

Week 6 has come and gone if you can believe it. I personally feel like this season is flying by. Only 2 weeks remain in the regular season yet there are teams with only 5 games under their belts. Smells like double headers in the coming weeks. This past weekend was a bit chillier than we’ve been getting accustomed to but luckily we missed out on the torrential downpours Friday night and were able to enjoy some dry, albeit softer, fields for our Memorial Day weekend games. Let’s take a look at what went down this week.

At 9:00, Sticky Bandits took on Public Enemy in a rescheduled game that was scheduled for next week. In their second meeting against the reigning champs, SB showed they may not be 100% ready for D1 just yet but once they know their opponents, they have what it takes to make it a fight. PE had Chris Cole back and SB had the unfortunate luck of catching them after their subpar performance the week before. SB scored early but it went back and forth until the half. Kevin Zack got a pick and which he converted to a  gender TD. The scoreboard continued to sway back and forth with each team taking then losing the lead. It came down to the final minutes when PE came up with a stop then proceeded to march down the field as they do so well and put the game away, 43-34.

All We Do is Quinn pulled out a win against Untouchaballs, 30-24. Joe Schwab had fire in his eyes as he made plays both on offense and defense while Mike Gelz utilized his height efficiently to put points on the board for his team. The Untouchaballs were without their usual QB and had Scott Keller Jr subbing as receiver. Their back up played decent but they definitely missed him as a receiver where he really thrives. With playoffs looming and all D3 teams getting a ticket, Untouchaballs needs to get some momentum going and fast if they want to be the Cinderella story of this season.

Freeballers spanked Itches and Ohs, 51-0. And they did it in less than the allotted 50 minutes of regular play. After a dismal first half, I&Os QB threw a handful more picks to start the second and the game was called with approximately 16 minutes left. Freeballers did put on a good show for their fans though. George Lombardo played well at QB, with Sean Weisansal taking a few pitches as well to show-off his duel-threat status. Steve Moser was complaining about something or other but after a while it just becomes old news.

Frodo Swaggins narrowly defeated Vaspian, 27-23. Garrett Beesing played a solid game at QB and in my humble opinion, should be moving up that Power Ranking. All the big names on FS played well. Vaspian did not have Drew again but they honestly didn’t need him (yes, obviously I know they lost and he could have been the difference-maker but Vaspian looks like they are really coming together and stars are being born not named Drew). Brian Orzechowski is coming into his own as QB. The speedy guy who wears the black headband is also making a name for himself (once I learn his name). If Vaspian could pull ahead of Untouchaballs and get a rematch against FS in the playoffs, things could get interesting.

Public Enemy played again against Sloppy Seconds at 11:00. The game got heated as words were slung back and forth between plays. I was really impressed with the ladies of SS as most of the team’s TDs were gender scores. Emily Gawlick found the end zone twice for her team while Amy Taylor and Sarah Kapenek each tallied one of their own. PE’s offense kept coming, scoring with 1 minute left on the clock. Mike Thomas tried to find one of his females deep but Greg Osika was able to come up with the pick and PE took a narrow 44-43 victory.

I didn’t see a lot of the Peachy Platoon/Scared Hitless game but Marissa Thompson had an incredible deep catch for a TD on a broken play. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, part of what makes PP so dangerous is Dean Thompson is not afraid to use his ladies no matter where they are on the field.

TOX took on WoodPeckers, who rested Joe Buscaglia at QB and put in back-up Andy Fagan. Andy played well and took on the leadership role this team seems to need. Dan Farinacci is quickly catching notice aside from the fact that you literally cannot miss him (he’s got to be at least 6’6). Not only is he physically a specimen of a human being, he also possess that rare trait called being humble that we don’t see very often in these parts. In the absence of Topper, TOX had Jeff May in at QB who was able to pull out the win 28-21.

XTC had their climb to the top come to a quick pause after a 17-20 loss to Slytherin that End Zone. Dubey had a rough game while his receivers recorded some big drops. Seth Molisani was in at QB for SITE so XTC answered by rushing a guy. Ashley Bower is a newcomer to the league and has shown solid hands and field awareness on defense. The play that sticks out to me though was at the end of the game. Molisani tossed the ball up to let his receivers go get it. Eric Flynn of XTC was right there. The ball went through his gloves, into the hands of Sal Gandolfo for the TD. Overall, it was just not XTC’s day and they slipped to 7th in the highly competitive D2.

Travis Henry’s Kids took on TMA in another back and forth action game. Both teams played solid defense, particularly in the red zone. John Langley caught my eye again as he continues to be a catalyst for the wins this team has earned so far. His arm has to be among the strongest in the league. THK got their first win against one of the tougher teams in the division by punching in a TD with under 30 seconds in regulation time to put them up by a score.

Itches & Ohs came back later in the day to take on WoodPeckers and were much more in sync than earlier in the morning.  WP put Joe Bucsaglia back in at QB. Their defense; however, could not stop I&Os. Jeremy Parsons is another newcomer to the league. He recorded at least 2 touchdowns and a pick on the day. WPs were missing Melissa Walters, which is a big loss for them. I&Os came out with the win 34-28.

I will leave you with my Top 5 Notables for Week 5. Remember to make whatever arrangements are necessary to hang out this coming week as it will be Lenny and Rameer Day! Topper has some great entertainment planned. You won’t want to miss it!

1.      Kevin Zack- every week, this guy puts his body on the line making diving catches and pass break ups. This week, he had the aforementioned pick 8 AND a safety. 

2.      Dan Gonzalez- took over for Buffalo Vice in their game against Not So Sticky with full field TDs. NSS had no answer for him.

3.      Andrew Alessi- played exceptionally well for both Frodo Swaggins and Cobblestone. Doesn’t get a lot of hype but is another of those with that rare mixture of talent and modesty.

4.      Joe K, Jeff Krol and Travis Cleavenger- While our fearless leader was out gallivanting elsewhere, these 3 stepped up and made sure everything from field assignments, refs, unruly players, and whatever else there is that needs monitoring, ran smoothly. 

5.      In honor of Memorial Day, we at Topper Sports would like to thank and remember the service members and their families who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. 

Until next time, I’ll be watching….

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