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And that’s all they wrote! The season is officially over and our victors have been crowned (actually they were given champagne which we feel is way more practical). I would like to start by thanking everyone for a superb season. Topper, Rameer and whomever else is involved in running this thing have done a wonderful job of coordinating schedules, handling the problems that inevitably arise each week and making sure everyone out there has a good time. We cannot thank you enough for allowing us to spend our Saturday’s playing football in the greatest league with the greatest people around. Thank you to all those who ref each week and try their best to make the games run smoothly. And lastly, thank you to all the players who show up every week, bring the right amount of fun and competitiveness and hang out at the bar later. Because of you all, this league is what we all know and love. But enough of that, let’s talk about what happened on Championship Saturday.

At 10:00, D1 and D2 got us started off with some tight, back and forth games. Eyes Downtown took on Gryffindor and ended the Cinderella story that could have been. Gryffindor didn’t get annihilated by Bobby and Co seemed to have a steady command of the game. Both team seemed to have the main core of their rosters in attendance. Amanda was back in the lineup which gave Joey another solid receiver. Burr tried his darnedest to be the playmaker he is known to be but bottom line was they just did not match up against the talent on a full ED roster. ED took the win 40-29 and waited to see who they would play in the Public Enemy/Tight Ends in Motion game.

Public Enemy also have had a season of attendance issues but everyone showed up when it mattered. Tight Ends were missing Lindsey but luckily for them they added Margo Pagano to their roster at the beginning of the year so they were able to bring her in. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite enough and they fell 34-32. Mike McKenrick has shown improvements all year and could one day lead this team to a championship but alas it was not this year. He made some costly errors but PE’s defense was a well-oiled machine that would give any QB troubles.  

The championship was what we all expected; Public Enemy vs Eyes Downtown. The fact that ED was the top seed no longer seemed to matter as these teams have played each other so much, what happens in the regular season is irrelevant. It was close at the half and I’m told the half time pep talk really ignited the spark that pushed PE to step up their game. Bobby made some ill-timed mistakes resulting in 3 turn overs but what really sealed the deal was the poor time management on the part of ED. They were in such a hurry to score they took no time off the clock and gave PE the ball with WAY too much time left. Cole demonstrated how to masterfully execute the 2 minute drive, resulting in them walking away with the Championship title. Lenny would be proud boys.

In the D2 semifinals everyone was expecting Hofbrauhaus Buffalo to smoke Bullet Club and Peachy Platoon to run circles around the Dilfs. Alas, the opposite was true. It wasn’t a smoking on the part of BC and the Dilfs have never run circles around anyone (well maybe the team formerly known as We Back) but both teams did manage to pull of wins. So what happened? Well the Dilfs were almost at full strength with Dubey in a QB and only missing Tommy Hughes. Josh Jablonski was in attendance as well. PP had their full squad as well, albeit some showed up a couple minutes late. Dubey took control of the offense and Rogo balled out. Dean and his receivers could not get on the same page and somehow were held to 1 offensive TD the entire game. The Dilfs held them off and came away with a 21-14 win.

Hofbrauhaus’ females showed up late and had trouble gaining the chemistry we have seen all season. Their defense was talked about all season as they started allowed 1-2 TDs per game. Everyone has off days and for this team it just happened at the worst possible time. Good Ricky showed up and Zach Newberry had an amazing day. BC took what they were given and played smart. Topper had a tough day at the office and BC’s defense capitalized. If these teams play each other 10 times, HB might win 9 but not this time. This was BC’s time and took it to the championships.

So in a match up that was expected by no one, the D2 finals came down to The Dilfs versus Bullet Club. Travis may have been conflicted in a match that pitted his former team against the team he left them for. BC maybe wanted some vengeance. These teams know each other well though with seasoned veterans on both rosters.  Ricky continued to play at top level making highlight reel passes both across the field and deep. Dubey and Co continued to battle and march down the field. Katie Keller played outstanding despite being covered by a guy most of the game. The Dilfs took the lead and were able to draw enough time off the clock to take the win and claim their D2 title. Stegs proceeded to spend the rest of the day into the evening sporting a WWE belt just to make sure everyone knew who got that win. Straight savage.

The D5 play in game went on as scheduled at 10:00. Cobblestone was not able to make magic happen twice and they fell to En Fuego who kept their playoff hopes alive with a 37-12 win. With that result, they went on to play Hung Buffalo while Overcompensators took on Practice Squad. Blasé brought the jorts back out for playoffs so it very well could have been this which motivated his team to hold on in a close game. I didn’t see much of this game but from what I did see EF looked to be just a little bit more athletic from top to bottom. HB had no answer for Matt Kieta, Frank and Derek’s speed. They used this to take the win 25-21.

The Practice Squad/Overcompensators game was not so close. Larry and his team came out fires blazing. Practice Squad was just standing in their way to the ship. Now, don’t get me wrong, PS has talent. QB Brian missed some of his opportunities and they had no answers on defense. Given time and consistency, PS will be top contenders but today was all about OC. OC had a short roster with their men going iron man and only 1 female sub. Sometime this works for the better as everyone can establish chemistry. Larry played smart and his team stepped up to dominate this game and give them motivation to face their rivals in the finals.

While a good number of people were rooting for Cobblestone, that scenario did not play out so we got En Fuego vs Overcompensators in the championship game. All things considered these were the top teams throughout the season and this is what we all really expected anyway. Added to that, these teams have done nothing but talk shit to each other all year so I think the most fitting way to end all that talk is to go at it when it matters most. And I have to hand it to both teams, go at it they did. This game definitely got heated at times, with more trash talking happening during the game as well as some arguing with their own teammates and the refs. The passion was real. In the final minutes of the game EF took a 5 point lead. OC got the ball back with under 2 minutes and scored a gender TD, giving EF 40 seconds to make a game winning drive. EF completed 3 quick passes to get down to the 10 yard line. With the championship on the line the play is called, Blasé sees Matt Kieta on the backline, he throws the ball…and Matt fails to make the catch. You hate to see it happen but there it was. OC walked away with the title and the last word.

In D3 Frodo Swaggins took on Puckett All Stars and got thrashed! PAS was in true playoff form and easily scored on drive after drive. FS could not find a way to get a stop. Offensively, FS had way too many drops and failed to make the big plays when they needed them most. Scotty Dro did not play his best game and WR1 Garrett could not get open. An early injury may have slowed him down and the absence of Josh Schneider really hurt Scotty’s options. Props to the defenders of PAS who looked like they watched film on this team and shut them down. On offense they chopped up the field to get them into scoring position every drive and as a result they came away with a 38-22 win and a shot at the title.

Simultaneously we had Sticky Bandits taking on End Game over on Field 2. The Bandits had their full team as well as numerous fans parading the side lines. End Game appeared to be loaded up on players as well so fatigue was not going to play a part in this game. This was another close game in which both teams played smart football. Dave Eickhoff finally seemed to be seeing the field better and finding his open receivers. Brandon Farr lived up to his D3 MVP nomination by continuing to demonstrate solid hands on offense and smart defensive playmaking. Mike Thomas was back in at QB for SB with an arsenal of talent surrounding him. Brian made some huge plays on offense while Ricky Recckio had some big defensive stops. Laura on SB gets my vote for Most Underrated in this division as she was shutting it down on defense. EG had some unfortunate bounces while SB had the brain power of Jeff Krol and Rags on the side lines resulting in Sticky Nation reigning supreme and holding the D3 title at the end of the day.

Over in D4, Matty’s Angels took on Buffalo Solar Solutions in what some were toting as a likely upset for the day. BSS had won against the Angel’s during the regular season and they finally seemed to have their full roster back in the line up. The first play of the game seemed to put a halt to that prediction when Andy Clark threw a pick directly to Matty Ice. The Angels were able to score off that play then get another stop on defense. BSS was playing catch up from then on. They did come back to make it a close game by the end of the first half. Unfortunately for them, the Angels turned on the jets and the second half was all about the female team. Katie Salsibury had an outstanding game making deep catching and soul-crushing picks and Lindsey Stoddard showed up big on offense for the Angels. Due to a delay on the other field, the Angels were able to watch some of the other D4 going on while they waited to see who they would face.

Uncle Rico’s Time Traveller’s took on Cunning Stunts for the who-knows-how-many timeth. They could not find a way to cover the females and the Stunts were pretty much able to score every drive. URs played a WAY too soft zone, giving up 8-10 yards per play. Jamy Stammel will feast on a soft zone and feast she did. Even after getting a pick in the second half, UR could not punch it in and the Stunts used the momentum from that stop to propel them through the rest of the game. QB Tim was making the throws he needed to but in their hurry to keep up with the scoring of the females they forgot you can’t keep scoring male TDs and win a game against a gender team. The Stunts ran circles around their defense and headed over the championship game.

If there was ever a crowd worth talking about at a co-ed touch football game, it was the one watching the 2 gender teams get the rematch we were all hoping for. These teams know each other better than probably any other teams in the league. They’ve all played against each other, some earlier in the day. Some of them even play together on their coed teams. So there were no surprises to be had by either side. Joey was missing Jill and it was rumored that Katie Keller suffered a head injury in her game earlier in the day and may not have been feeling 100%. Both teams were ready to go and the crowd was ready for a show. The Angels got off to a fast start and were able to consistently drive down the field and score. The Stunts struggled on defense and were not able to produce the offense we have seem from them all year. The looks of defeat were prevalent across the team and the Angels cruised to the win and another championship.

In D6, Zack Attack was trotted at the #1 seed with the least potential to win a championship so they had some grudges going into the semis. First up they went against Bipolar Express who were missing Gordon as well as all of their females from TMA. Bipolar did have a solid roster of females however and they were able to keep the game somewhat close. Unfortunately, they could not match the speed or height of ZA. The score was kept low due to some untimely drops on the part of both teams but Zack Attack was able to edge out Bipolar 26-17.

TMA was hyped as having one of the greatest shots at winning it all but they came up severely short against the pAssless Chaps. Their offense could not get anything going and QB Ryan struggled to see the field. They made the rookie mistake of going into panic mode and continuously trying to take the long shot instead of marching down the field. PC stuck to their usual game plan and executed it well. They were able to basically shut TMA down on defense and played solid offensively. I saw Mackenzie make some nice catches while I was checking out this game. Overall, the Chaps hands game has improved tenfold and it showed in this game.

In the finals, we saw Zack Attack and pAssless Chaps going at it. Both teams seemed intent on taking the short plays given to them with the occasional long ball thrown in for good measure. Zack Elphick was reading the field well and using his females wisely. Coach Jay also played smart football. Jill Dibble had a great game, gaining her team copious yardage running slants and outs. It turned out Zack Attack was as good as the regular season showed and they walked out with the D6 title.

And that’s a wrap on the Fall 2019 season. It had its highs and lows for sure. We had the favorites win their share of games. The underdogs won (quite often actually). We made it through an entire season with no real drama with the bar. Overall I will call it a success. The weather is my MVP as this is the first Fall season I remember actually wanting to play in the championships game instead of going inside. Hanging out outside the bar was even an option. So while the season is officially over be sure to stay tuned (via Telegram most likely) for TSL events in the offseason. Most importantly mark your calendars for the banquet on January 3rd that will be held somewhere downtown. If you have been to one you know how much of a blast it is, if you haven’t no time like the present to find out. I guarantee you won’t regret it. I want to thank all of you for reading my article each week, even if you only skimmed it to read what I said about your team (I don’t fault you for this, that’s why I bold the team names). I enjoyed watching the games all season and can’t wait to see what next year brings. My eyes; however, need a rest so I won’t leave you all with my usual sign off line. Instead I will just say, see you next time.

~ courtesy of...The Sentinel

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