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Ladies and gentlemen of the TSL, another week of football has come and gone. This week, the kinks we saw on Opening Day were flushed out and things were smooth sailing from my perspective. Sure, it felt like we were playing on the surface of the sun, but that’s football. Come late October, we will be bellyaching that it’s too cold I’m sure. But despite the likely sunburn and possible heat stroke many of us are still suffering from, the week was a glorious. More so for some than others, so let’s get into it.

In D1 there was only one game played as Slob Kabobs forfeited their rematch against Public Enemy. Losing Streak came away with their first D1 win against reigning champions Tight Ends in Motion. I wrote that sentence strictly to give them the satisfaction of reading it but now I must report that TE was definitely not at full strength. Most notably, Bro Klecker was MIA (he had a good excuse as he was getting married). They had their ladies and a solid male receiving core but Garrett Beesing subbed in at QB and just threw too many balls to the wrong team. So, while I would say the result may have been a little different had TE had their full squad, LS proved they can run in D1. I did hear Ralph Finney was injured during the game though so hopefully that’s not serious as it takes more than just a Chris Nelson to compete at the top level. 

In D2, When Dove Cries took on A&A. Most notable in this game was WDC missing all their females. Steph Czaja and Emily Schilling subbed in, giving Topper solid targets but the Clarkes’ ability to adjust to Topper waiter-esque throwing style is tough to make up for. The deep ball plagued A&A’s defense as usual. Matty Ice was able to use his females effectively to march down the field. Their newly added height is going to be tough to defend for many teams this season.

A&A went on to beat XTC later in the day. XTC was missing Dubey so Joey Batts stepped in at QB. This was a back and forth battle with as much side talk as you’d expect from these two teams. Kelly Mazur had a great game for XTC while Glenn Bird came through big for A&A when it counted.

Notorious BNB got their first win over Passed Our Prime in a controversial ending. After a tight, high scoring shoot out, Kyle Conniff had hands on the would-be game winner but Alex Baker played some solid defense and Conniff was not able to hold on. It was ruled “no catch” and BNB walked away with the 42-39 win.

In D3, Grey Hair Don’t Care continued to assert their dominance over The Angels in another close match up. A surprisingly low-scoring game, The Angels looked like they found a rhythm on defense but Matty Ice and Co could not punch it in when it counted. Dave and Beata Eickhoff utilized their chemistry perfectly to score the gender TDs when they needed it. Jackie Ufland Pienkow also had a solid game for GHDC. These two teams could not have a game without drama so Rawdog provided that with a fast count that any Angel would be happy to tell you all about.

Last Dance finds themselves at the top of the division and the early D3 favorites after their dominant win over Cobblestone. Matt Newman took the rock for LD and put on an absolute clinic. He looked like he added some arm strength in the off season and showed perfect touch and placement. Possible QB controversy already??? Cobblestone has solid athletes but could not keep up with the agility and speed LD brings to the table.

Darryl Carr and Co redeemed themselves later in the day, beating Untouchaballs 30-6. An early injury resulted in George Lombardo subbing in to give Untouchaballs a full squad. The aforementioned athletes of CB lived up to their usual level of performance while Darryl put the team and his back and carried them into the sunset.

Lastly in D3, it was brought to my attention that I misspoke (mistyped) in my previous article. Scotty Dro did not abandon Bullet Club as their primary QB for Frodo Swaggins. Rather, he joined the Kellers on 4th and Dong, keeping BC as his secondary team. 4th and Dong was able to snag their first win this week, beating Super Freaks, 38-30. Now everyone relax.

In D4, Buffalo Vice and Zack Attack battled in out on defense. BV did not have Seth Molisano in at QB so had to go with their back up. Dan “Deep Ball” Gonzalez did what he does best. Caitlyn Mason shook the ZA defense out of their socks on multiple occasions. ZA was renowned for their defense last year, but Zack Elphick and his team need to find a way to put more points on the board if they are going to survive this division.

Zack Attack was able to get a win in the books later against Puckett All Stars. Another low-scoring game, both these teams are riding on the adage “defense wins championships”. Bold strategy, but let’s see if it pays off for them. 

On the other side of the spectrum, Itches and Ohs put up 87 points over the course of their double header this week while allowing 73 points on defense. I did not see much of either game as the heat stroke started to sink in by the time they played. Looking at the standings though, I&Os sits at the top of the division with 4 games already under their belt. In the +/- column though, they stand almost dead even so maybe Zack Elphick and Steven Moser can give each other some tips to round out each other’s game.

Iches & Ohs, Practice Squad and Breast Friends all had double headers against each other which is just a fun scheduling thing I noticed. Breast Friends did not fair well as they were the only team to lose both. Kelly Sabo had an incredible catch in the back of the endzone to go up on I&Os in the final minutes of their game. BF were not able to maintain their lead and I&Os came away with the win, 36-35. Travis Cleavenger looked gassed, from what I could see from the bar (again, these were late games and I don’t do above 85 degrees). Afterwards, I heard BF were short handed and had to play iron man. Regardless, Emily Wyse is not a name I hear often but she was making a name for herself among the dominant females on Practice Squad with some solid catch and runs this week.

In D5, most teams have only played 1 game besides 716. They beat TOX this week who debuted a new QB in place of Topper. New guy can certainly sling it but it looked like TOX ran out of gas late in the game. James Celatto is questionably overqualified to be playing in D5 but I guess we will have to see how the rest of the division shapes up once everyone plays a couple games.

Wasted Potential took on Not So Sticky in a very close match up. NSS had the lead but WP was able to tie it up in the final minute. “Rags” Nagarajan was leading NSS throughout the game and on the last drive he found Ricky Recckio in the endzone for the game winner. NSS’s females had a solid game on both sides of the ball.

Come From Behind is back and all is good in the world. For those new to the league, CFB is a vet-savvy team made up of some players who have been playing longer than some have been alive (I won’t say who). TSL legend Paul LoVullo is back and his connection with Jen Stachura hasn’t missed a beat. Lettuce Win is a “new” team but there were some familiar faces that have definitely played before under other identities. Both these teams seemed evenly matched both offense and defensively. Neither was afraid to go deep and defenders were not against going up to make a play. Both QBs utilized their females well and marched down the field systematically. Lettuce Win seemed to have just a little more gas in the tank though and came away with the win, 28-16.

Lastly in D6, TMA beat Blitzkrieg and took over the #1 spot in the division. Rob Rummings and Nick Smith were back which greatly added to TMA’s overall ratings. Val Testa came up big with a sack on 5-0, giving her team great field position. Johnny Dio was back in action slinging for TMA. Blitzkrieg has speed abounds and used it well against TMA. Blitzkrieg continued to play with a new QB while their starter remains on IR. I don’t know his name yet but he was not afraid to send his receivers on a go route and toss it up to him. His no look passes successfully drew away the defenders, allowing his receivers to walk it in. In the closing minutes of the game, Johnny Dio found Rummings to put TMA on top. Blitzkrieg tried to go hurry up but Nick Smith got an interception to put it away.

That’s all for this week! Hopefully by next week things will cool off a little so we can’t all use that as an excuse for our fitness level. I will leave you with my Top 5 notables of Week 2.

1. Cobblestone- everyone questioned why they moved up but they currently sit at 2nd in the division. Never doubt Darryl!

2. Jenna Blachura- had 5 sacks for Not So Sticky, putting the team on her back to come up with the win

3. Jordan Lawson- got his first D1 win so he deserves some special credit.

4. Tammy Buzcek- saved Joey Batts from throwing a would-have-been pick by fighting off the defender then sacrificing her head to make an incredible catch for Cunning Stunts

5. Peter Walbrandt (Travis Henry’s Kids)- early candidate for the Chris Nelson Best Player Playing in a Division Too Low for Them award

Until next time, I’ll be watching…

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