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Welcome to Week 5 Ladies and Gentlemen! The contenders and the pretenders are coming into the light as all teams except Victorious Secret have at least 4 games under their belt. Four teams remain undefeated while 3 are still looking for their first win. With the second half of the season under way, teams are really starting to buckle down to prepare to play offs. Let’s take a look at what happened this week.

In D1, Sticky Bandits got their first win of the season over Losing Streak early in the morning. After running up a big lead with a Drew Colisimo pick early on, the Bandits took their foot off the gas and LS capitalized. SB tried to regain their momentum with a Hail Mary to end the half but the ultimate backfire occurred when Chris Nelson came down with it and ran it back for 6. Jordan Lawson and Joe Robison connected late to take the lead with seconds left. SBs methodically drove down and punched it in to tie the game up. Brian Stevenson found pay dirt on the conversion and Sticky Nation came away with the win.

Losing Streak then went on to play Slob Kabobs who are moving up the rankings and showing they are anything but what their name states. Another back and forth game, these teams were pretty evenly matched in terms of male receivers; both had plenty of speed and height. SK’s girl in the white shirt had a great game with at least 1 TD and 1 conversion. The teams traded picks for a while but it basically came down to LS’s kryptonite, defense. They could not figure out how to adjust fast enough and Seth Molisani made them pay for it.

Public Enemy took on Tight Ends in Motion in what could be a preview of this season’s final. This game was as tight as it gets with big names making big plays on both sides of the ball. Chris Cole is the quintessential veteran QB. He knows when to take what the defense is giving, when to go deep and trust his receivers, and when to go deep in their extensive playbook to throw in something no one’s ever seen before. On the opposite side of that, Bro isn’t exactly new, but his style of play perfectly contrasts Cole’s. Both teams played exceptional defense but Pete Nguyen must have been peeved by his Receiver Ranking because he was on fire for PE. A huge back-of-the-end zone threat, Pete knows how to find a hole and get lost. To top it off, he also had a big pick off Derek Bongiovanni’s hands after a deep ball from Bro.

Both PE and Eyes Downtown played each other in their second game of the day coming off wins (I missed Eyes Downtown game against Sticky). Public Enemy made short work of ED in what is usually a much tighter match up. Call it fatigue maybe, but Cole and Co. picked the ED defense apart. Eric Delecki had a rough game and PE went full Cobra Kai (google the slogan if you don’t know what that means).

In D2, Bullet Club ALMOST won their first game of the season against Notorious BNB. Scotty Dro found Todd Halas in the end zone for numerous TDs to give BC an early lead. They might have known the tides were turning though when Halas went out at the one after a deep catch on second down. They tried 5 times to get the gender TD but failed to do so and ended that drive with 0. Alex Buchilis was back full time and he led his team very well. Joy Thompson had a great game, helping her team march down the field and finishing drives in the end zone.

A&A remains undefeated after their win over Scared Hitless. It sounded like there was some hostility on both sides as this game went on but it was a close one. Margo Pagano and Val Bernal had big TDs for A&A while Cat Peters was back for SH. Jamie Warren had herself a day as the females of this game absolutely took over. Matty Ice and Dylan Day had phenomenal performances and both teams used their weapons well.

Scared Hitless went on to play TopShot (scheduling master did them no favors this week) immediately afterwards. I didn’t see much of it but I will definitely be tuning in when these two play each other again with both teams at 100%.

TopShot had a double header as well with Passed Our Prime up next. Despite the earlier game, TS came in guns blazing. Nikki Kendron missed their first game playing with The Angels but she feasted once she joined her squad. Dylan Jaloza has been the class of the division all session while Blasé DeLuca made some big plays on defense including a pick that his team really needed.

XTC was without Dubey again so Joey Battaglia went in at QB. When Doves Cry picked the XTC defense apart. With no male subs, XTC was gassed quick and Topper took full advantage. Batts struggled all day getting the ball to his receivers. Anthony Battaglia bailed him out a couple times but it wasn’t enough to even make it a close one.

In D3, Frodo Swaggins made sure everyone has not counted them out yet with a big win over Grey Hair Don’t Care. Garrett Beesing gets a little better each week at QB and his team has rallied around him. The females on FS had the edge on speed in this game and they used it well. Jake Creeley had the catch of the day on a deep ball despite perfect coverage.

The Angels made easy work of Super Freaks. John Langley started at QB then was replaced by Ralph Finney once Langley had to leave. Neither one could get into any sort of rhythm to break down The Angels’ defense. Offensively, Matty Ice spread the ball around and SFs could not keep up.

In the biggest upset of the day, Show Me Dem TDs had a huge statement win over 4th and Dong. If their play this week was any indication of how good they could be, this team is poised to make a playoff push no one saw coming. 4&D had their woes, mainly 2 drops by the usually sure-handed Katie Keller. Nicole Keller played well though and Scott Keller absolutely mossed a defender. It wasn’t enough to pull out the victory but this game really showed me that D3 is open to literally any team, except Super Freaks. 

In D4, Seth Molisani was back for Buffalo Vice in their match up against Today’s Feast. This game was basically a story of 2 teams who both could be in a different division. BV hasn’t been scoring as much as we are used to seeing but they also have had a different QB each week. Caitlyn Mason has been getting a ton of pub lately, and for good reason. No one could match her agility and speed leading to several catch and runs for both yards and gender TDs. TF is struggling to figure this game out but they have the raw talent so I hope they will keep at it to show us what they can really do.

Vaspian had a double header with Practice Squad and Breast Friends. Brian Orzechowski was back at QB for Vaspian and they ended up with 2 wins on the day. Tawan Crosby had some great catches for Vaspian in their game against PS. B’s struggles continue as his team is riddled with injuries. Their defense lets them down each week so let’s hope they can fix it in time to cling to that last playoff position. The Breast Friends game was closer. BF had the lead going into the half. Orzechowski was heavily reliant on the deep ball which is usually a smart play against gender teams but Travis Cleavenger can get under anything that’s not exactly on a line. Heather Cepuchowski had a great catch and run after a defender tried to go for the pick and missed. Misfortune got the better of BFs though after Cleavenger threw 2 picks on back to back possessions in the second half. Amber Hayes had a TD taken away after the ref deemed she stepped out during the play. Vaspian was able to punch in the game-winner with an incredible catch that the ladies had no chance to defend.

Itches & Ohs came away with a win over Puckett All Stars. Both teams traded picks in the first half. The Puckett-Quinn merger does not seem to be going well. Chemistry is not something this team looks to have despite talented players. I&Os used their female advantage as per their usual game plan. Laura Streeter and Riley Moser carried their team and always seemed to find a way to get open in the end zone.

In D5, Come From Behind got a win over 716 without Paul LoVullo in attendance. Ryan Richardson took over as their backup QB and continues to improve each time he gets the nod. Leslie Cook had a solid TD after which the sidelines informed me it was her birthday so Happy Birthday Leslie. 716 has had a roller coaster of a season so far. They started strong with a win over Spinellis Plumbing but their performance this week has me questioning just how real they are. Meriah Dishaw had some nice catch and run plays that could be utilized more often but it seemed to me this is yet another team getting beat by attendance.

Not So Sticky lost to WoodPeckers late in the day. Raghavan Nagarajan had a tough day in the office, throwing a couple picks that gave WPs a short field to work with. Joe Buscaglia capitalized on those while Mark Buscaglia helped him team out defensively with a pick. Paul Scinta had a nice catch and run for NSS that could have been a TD but he selflessly knelt it at the one. It came down to the end but NSS failed to convert on the last play and WP came away with the win.

In D6, Graves Bros got their 2nd win of the season over Blitzkrieg. Defense has been the Achilles heel of GBs this season, averaging 41.5 points allowed per game as of last week. Fortunately for them, Blitzkrieg has struggled on offense, averaging 26 points per game. Steve Miller found his targets when he needed to and came away with the win.

Graves Bros went on to play TMA. Two GB receivers had to leave for work so that put them at a disadvantage right off the bat. Regardless, GBs took an early lead. TMA had to fight back with a no huddle offense that GBs had no answer for. TMA’s females played great, with Val Testa giving Miller no time to find his receivers. He found Cam Sroda on multiple occasions and TMA did not have an answer to cover him. Ryan Henry got his team to the line fast to answer back and his receivers found the holes while Ron Webber held court in the middle, giving Henry a solid outlet. TMA came away with the win, 32-31.

TMA went on to play Lenny’s Ladies featuring Topper next. It was another close one that went back and forth. Joe K was out again with an injury so Topper got the call. He found Jaime Warren on multiple instances and TMA saw just how good her route running can be. TMA stuck to their game plan and their females continued to play great. They had Molly McDermid subbing as well who is always a solid addition. The game could have gone either way but an unfortunate pop up off Steph Czaja’s hands led to a Brent McKenzie pick which put the game away.

That’s all for today. Coming up is our last week before we start getting into some ladder matches. The weather’s going to start cooling off which I’m hoping means everyone won’t be as drained to give 110% and hang out at the bar after! Although, I did hear about a gigantic flip cup game that broke out this week so that’s exciting. I’ll leave you with my Top 5 Notables for Week 5:

1.      Brent McKenize (TMA): in case you missed the write up above, I repeat, Brent had the game winning pick!

2.      Diana Bernal (TMA): I try to avoid 2 players from the same team but TMA has been killing it and Bernal had a lot to do with that. She brought in multiple TDS for her team this week

3.      Dylan Jaloza (TopShot): went 2-0 on the day, played great in both games AND steps up to ref

4.      Garrett Beesing (Frodo Swaggins/Notorious BNB): went 2-0 on the day, playing outstanding in both games

5.      Zack Attack: after a rough start to the season, they are decisively righting the ship with a huge win over Cunning Stunts AND they had the best (and latest) showing at the bar

Until next time, I’ll be watching…

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