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Finals Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 11:33
Published: Wednesday, 28 October 2020 11:33
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 23

 

Well TSL, we made it through the season! No it was not the typical season for us but I for one still had an amazing time each and every week we played and I hope you all did too. Shout out to our fearless leader Topper for going to bat for us and making it happen when the odds were against us. Also props to the Field Crew for all they did to make sure things ran smoothly. Championship weekend is always an exciting day and this year was no exception.

Starting in D1, the start of the playoffs were moved back a week as an extra precaution which meant that aside from the top 2 of the division, all teams had 9am games and would need to win 3 in a row to be champions. Not an easy feat by any means. Marketing Mayors took on Why So Serious? in tight match up. Terrell Bolden has been solid at QB for his team and with another season under his belt, I could see him leading his team to greatness. They have the talent with Pete, Kedron and their females; I saw Pete make a highlight reel worthy catch deep in the endzone with the toe tap for a TD. Unfortunately Marketing Mayors still has Andy Smith who continues to be borderline uncoverable, especially on the deep routes. Cory Turner showed off some one-handed catching ability as well in their win to move on to the semis.

MM met up with Tight Ends in Motion who ended in 2nd place earning them a first round bye despite some big injuries/scheduling conflicts throughout the season. The replacement players stepped up big, most notably Bro Kleckler at QB and Robin Makula who was acquired through a trade. I’m going to be honest and it might offend people but hey, this is the media, that’s kind of our thing. Looking at MM and TEIM I would say MM has the edge talent-wise. Now I’m going to Tarentino this and tell you right off the bat that TEIM wins this game to move on to the championship. So what’s the deal? The deal is that TEIM plays within a system and that system seems to have MM’s number. MM could not stop Bro and Co on defense and could not figure out how to get passed Stoner Dave on offense. The result was a 37-22 win for TEIM.

Eyes Downtown might have been surprised to find themselves in a play-in game for the playoffs but let’s be honest, they haven’t had the best season to this point. Gryffindor has proved that persistence paid off. When they first moved up to D1 they weren’t in anyone’s mind come playoff time but Joey Batts and the crew have continued to battle and recruit. This is a classic tale for all those afraid to move up that it is possible and once you get to D1, you can add whomever you want to the roster. That said, Gryffindor found themselves down by 20 early in the game. Some may have thought that was all she wrote but think again. They battled back, taking the lead late in the game. Eyes Downtown wasn’t about to go down without a fight either though. In their last 2 possessions, Matty Mohr caught a bomb TD pass from the 50 yard line followed by Chris Franjoine getting by Anthony Battaglia on a streak to put them ahead. Gryffindor wasn’t able to come back again and ED moved on to face Public Enemy.

Public Enemy versus Eyes Downtown. We never get sick of seeing these two teams play each other. Bobby McConnell and Matty Mohr tend to bring their A game. Chris Cole and his team always want to win, but against them it’s at more of a personal level. It’s even better when both teams have all their horses in the race. Jeremy Burr was back after seemingly missing quite a few games this year. This game was close right up to the end. Unfortunately for ED, Burr sustained what looked like a pretty serious injury. We hope he is okay but he could not finish the game. It came down to the end when Cole sailed a pass over Mohr’s head to Mike Boccio who showed off his vertical, taking the win and advancing on to face TEIM in the championship.

The championship game was another nail biter. TEIM had an early lead when PE spent too much time celebrating their win over their rivals. Cole took several sacks and things were looking bleak for the defending champions. With 12 minutes left they were down 20. PE rallied, cutting the lead to 6 followed by 2 consecutive stops on defense. Heather Cepchowski sacked Bro on 6th down leading to a turnover on downs. With 15 seconds left, PE came down again and scored to tie it up then getting the conversion to go up by one. TEIM had one more shot with seconds remaining. Eric Kleckler got them passed midfield off a quick pass from Bro. With one last play, they threw it up for one last chance but Jon McGrath was there to knock it down and give PE their second consecutive championship.

Scared Hitless and Frodo Swaggins finished the season with matching records. Both have speed, height and talented females. Scotty Dro was late but made it in time to play offense for his team. Josh Schneider even showed up for the first time this season for FS. That was about the end of things going well for them though. SH shut them completely down on defense, allowing only 8 points against a QB claiming he wants a shot at D1. The tall guy they had rushing didn’t give Scott any time and even got a pick off the line. On offense, SH showed they were a force to be reckoned with. Cat Peters was a huge addition to this team and their QB Dylan Dayy has been climbing the Power Rankings all season.  Tristan Drescher had some big plays all season and added the right mix of speed and height to help his team to the win.

All We Do is Quinn and the Untouchaballs went into double OT, with both offenses refusing to back down. I didn’t see a whole lot of this game but I did see the end and that was plenty. AWDIQ had the lead early but made the age old mistake of looking ahead too soon, wondering how the Frodo Swaggins game was going. Untouchaballs stayed focused and battled back to send the game in into not one but 2 overtimes. AWDIQ had the ball and were driving. Vince Taverna played well all game but he almost made a fatal error throwing a pick on their final drive. Alas, the gods were on his side and the player was out of bounds so Vince got another chance. He capitalized on that chance by finding Troy Boller along the front goal line. Untouchaballs argued that he was short but everyone on the sidelines agreed with the refs call of a good TD and a win.

AWDIQ met up with SH for the D3 final. These teams did not play against each other during the season so no scouting report could be done unless a team watched their opponent play someone else. SH’s game plan was the deep routes against AWDIQ’s man defense. AWDIQ refused to make changes and the result stayed the same with SH taking the lead at half time. During half time, there were too many roosters in the hen house, with everyone arguing with each other. Quinn finally made adjustments and were able to execute some semblance of defense. Tori Ticco played outstanding for AWDIQ but SHs’ Dylan Dayy found Kynan Vandenburgh on another deep ball and took the D3 championship title.

The D5 semi-final was between Practice Squad and Zach Attack. After a whirlwind season last year, ZA was awfully quiet this time around. I saw another offensive shoot out with both QBs preferring the deep ball. Zach Elphick plays a smart game and utilizes his females well. B is not afraid to sling it downfield and let his receivers make a play. Andrew Piatek made some nice defensive stops for ZA but unfortunately for them they fell short and PS advanced to the D5 final.

Cobblestone met up with Mountain Dew Me and the result was what you would expect. Darryl Carr could not get his receivers away from the speedy defenders of MDM and no one could stop them on defense. Honestly that’s really all there was to it, but Darryl’s hair looked phenomenal.

So the final was Practice Squad versus Mountain Dew Me as it should be. ANOTHER double overtime! This game was obviously a close one. Both teams played very well and it could have gone either way. Jordan McGregor showcased his speed while Cody McGregor showed off his arm and route calling. B played a solid game, spreading the ball around to all his receivers. The game was theirs to take but B missed Renee Lantz wide open in the end zone and instead tried getting it to her brother, Kenny, who pulled up with an injury and MDM took the title.

The Dilfs and Slytherin That Endzone met up for the second time this season. The Dilfs won the first match up but that was when Slytherin did not have Newman and Taylor Pagano. This time around, all hands were on deck. The Dilfs were missing Dubey so Travis took over at QB. Slytherin started in a zone defense but switched to man right away. The Dilfs had some uncharacteristic drops which stalled out two of their drives. They were unable to stop Matt Newman’s deep ball. When drives stall out, you need to make a stop on defense, which the Dilfs were unable to do. Slytherin took the win and advanced to the finals.

Jabronies and Sticky Bandits went back and forth for the lead all game. These teams know each other well and had game plans set to capitalize on the others weaknesses. They stayed within a score throughout the game with the lead changing often. Both teams loved the deep ball all season and this game was no different. Close games often lead to emotions running high which was proven true again. Ricky Recckio and Ben Stack were at each other all second half. Recckio’s rushing threw Joe Miano for a loop as he is not used to size and speed coming at him. By the end, SB had a 2 score lead that Jabronies could not overcome.

The D2 championship came down to the 3rd and 4th seed of the division. Based on the last couple seasons, it seems the top spots in this division are not where you want to end up. But for Slytherin and Sticky, they definitely earned their right to be in the championship. And what a game it was. Back and forth action in the first half with the only defensive stop coming from a Ricky Recckio pick on the first play. Dave Baker had himself a game, adding a couple Tds to his stats including the play of the half when Mike Thomas throws it up to Recckio. The Slytherin defender made a play on the ball but Baker dove through the mess of bodies to make the catch. Newman answered back though and Slytherin went into the half up 3. In the second half both teams had some big drops but Recckio came through for his team again with a pick, finishing it off with a deep TD catch. SB utilized stall tactics to end the game and win their 2nd consecutive championship. Fun fact: I overheard players talking and apparently that was the 150th win for the Sticky Squad. 

In D4, the playoffs were off to a lame start when Uncle Rico’s forfeit at the last minute resulting in the Angels getting a fast pass to the championship. Bold strategy. The Buffalo Solar Solutions/Overcompensators game made up for it though. A high scoring affair with 2 elite QBs on either side resulted in an offensive battle, which is always fun to watch. Larry Chruscial looked like the Larry of old that we honestly hadn’t seen much of this season. Andy Clark showed us why they were the top seed in the division. Fast forward to the end of the game and OC had a substantial lead. A huge upset was in the air. But BSS remained poised and continued to come at the OC on offense. Caitlyn Mason is not a name you may hear a lot of but she’s honestly one of the best girls in the league, yes I said league and not division. She’s small, quick and does not drop the ball. Captain Dan Gonzalez helped lead his team to a come-from-behind victory that came down to the wire with Clark putting the team on his back and launching the ball down field. BSS moved on to face the Angels in the finals.

This was a rematch we all wanted to see. The last time these guys faced each other, BSS won fairly easily. They took advantage of the Angels’ weakness (which is height) and fed the tall guy on their team. Sorry your name still escapes me. Email the league with descriptions if it bothers you. I expected to see much of the same. Both teams came out hot. The Angels have not had the fire they used to but that could be because they were missing some of their big names every week. The spark was lit for this game though. Bobby McConnell figured out a way to get the ball to his females while Andy Clark struggled to make connections. He appeared to be injured as I noticed some limping after the play on several occasions and did not target the tall guy nearly as often as in their first meeting. Still, the Angels pulled out all stops. The game was close and a back and forth battle. Bobby had a huge pick that swung the momentum away from BSS and towards the Angels. From there, the Angels went to a systematic, take-what-they-are-giving-you offense and were able to come out with the D4 championship.

And last but not least in D6, TMA took on Graves Brothers in the semifinals. TMA kept the game close and probably could have pulled off a win if they were able to bring in some would-be interceptions. GB played a hurry up offense and sent the ball long often. TMA had Nick Smith back but were missing Drunk Meg’s Brother. Nonetheless the game was close. GB had all the momentum in their favor but that almost came crashing down when a player attempted a pitch that landed in the hands of Diana Bernal. Steve Miller made a defensive play to prevent the turnover that some considered excessive but resulted only in a loss of downs. GB went on to win and advance to the finals.

The Tater Tots took on The Bambs at the same time and admittedly I didn’t see much of this game. The Bambs looked to be running with a skeleton crew while the Tater Tots had their usual cast of characters. Dylan Jaloza played well unfortunately their defense could not get the stops they needed. The Bambs’ Derrick Sekuterski has been quietly balling out this whole season. They know how to use his height and I saw him sacrifice his body on several occasions. The females of this team are also not talked about a lot but I saw Marissa Padilla make some impressive catches for her team. The Tots’ usual run and gun offense was working effectively but as the old adage goes “defense {gets you to the} championship.” Or something like that.

So that left us with Graves Bros and The Bambs in the finals. I’ve heard it said there are few harder things than beating a team twice and more and more that’s proving true. Last time these guys played each other Graves Bros came out with the win in a high scoring affair. This time the scoring was there but both teams improved upon their defense. I can’t say I saw any real big, game changing plays but both teams put together a solid performance with the Bambs just showing they had the edge on football smarts and route running.

And that brings us to the close of the TSL 2020 season. Congratulations to all the champions as well as everyone else who made it through this chaotic 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 who was nominated for awards. I know a lot of nominations were being thrown around at the end of the season. We still aren’t sure how the awards will be announced but make sure you are around for when they are because it is always a good time. Until next session, I’ll be…resting my eyes.

Playoffs Round 1 Wrap up

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 19:01
Published: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 19:01
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 27

 The first round of playoffs are in the books! Last week I used the old adage anything can happen any given {Saturday}. Usually that means an underdog can overcome a higher seed or a favorite is taken down by a lesser known team. The divisional 1st round of playoffs however really stuck to the script. Besides Vaspian taking out En Fuego and Freeballers besting Cunning Stunts, every other game went according to plan. Untouchaballs did beat out Grey Hair-Don’t Care but since GHDC hasn’t had a win (excluding forfeits) since Sept 12, I can’t really say this is an upset. Even with no D1 games being played this week, there was plenty to watch on all fields.

 

Peachy Platoon looked like they were going to get the upset win over Jabronies when they came out with an 18-0 lead. Joe Miano and Co., however, kept their composure and rallied back to score 26 unanswered points, including with a deep TD to Ben Stack to end the first half.

Like I said, Freeballers got a win over Cunning Stunts for their 2nd win of the season so props to them. I don’t want to take anything away from them but I am going to. The Stunts didn’t have Joey, Jill, or Katie Keller so they were missing not only solid players but their QB who holds it all together. Cole filled in to throw which is great offensively but his left handed bullets are tough to adjust to and he’s less than an ideal defender. Nonetheless, Freeballers is finally looking like they are starting to get it all figured out. Unfortunately they came up against Uncle Ricos next and were not able to pull off the win. It was closer than many would have predicted (again I’m told UR was missing the Nelsons) but being able to run with the 3rd place team in a very competitive division shows me Freeballers just needs a little experience to make some waves in D4.

Once again, the Cinderella Story came to a quick ending as Vaspian faced Frodo Swaggins following their victory over En Fuego. Things looked good for Vaspian as Scotty Drosendahl decided the divisional first round of playoffs was not worth showing up to apparently. FS was left to play with 3 guys, 3 females and Garrett at QB. Luckily FS has solid females but the game did end in a tie which led us to overtime. Both teams were able to score gender TDs on their possessions however, Vaspian failed to convert the extra point while Nick Buczek pulled one in, sending FS on to the semis with or without Scotty.

The Overcompensators have been having anything but a great season. Their only 3 wins came from the 2 last place teams in the division (Stunts twice, Freeballers once). Family Feud and Some Dudes also had a rough go at it with only two wins. One of them was a big win over Uncle Ricos though so that’s got to count for something. These 4th versus 5th place match up is usually where anything can happen but OC turned on at exactly the right time and crushed FF. Their name finally made sense to me when I heard QB Steven, Laura and Riley are all siblings. To put it nicely, Steven lost his composure and Laura put him in his place. Not cool. The game ended early, hopefully for a family meeting including an airing of the grievances leading to conflict resolution.

There was only one game going on at 11:00 due to the D1 postponement so I was able to watch quite a bit of the TMA vs Blitzkreig game. It was a defensive battle that could have gone either way. Honestly, it seemed to me like TMA wanted it more. They came out buzzing in the first half and then after a drive full of drops, Blitzkreig came back to close the gap to 20-15. TMA was able to hold on and sealed the deal with a Ron Webber TD. After making an entrance running onto the field from her road trip to Oswego, Diana Bernal played an outstanding game, including a TD complete with celly. TMA’s defense had a great game but they will need to generate more offense and find their females in the endzone more often if they want to keep going next week.

Hofbrauhaus Buffalo faced the Dilfs who I heard were almost very short handed as Katie Keller, Travis and Val were all effected by the D1 postponement. Katie decided to be a nice person and sub for Gryffindor last week which got her put on the Can Not Play list. Travis also played in that game so he was out as well (and Val lives with him). Sources say Travis “didn’t want to let his team down” so he, Val and Diana Bernal found a rapid testing site in Oswego and got the clearance needed to play. Topper had a rough day finding and connecting with his receivers. He was able to use the height his team boasts but could not get a series of downs together to put up points. With Dubey making regular appearances this season, the Dilfs have looked like a top notch team (I’ve also seen them making a stand at the bar consistently as well). I want to take credit for lighting a fire under Kevin Zack as I heard he took my critique to heart last week. Remember Kevin, I can’t watch the whole game so I can only report on what I see. THIS week though, I saw Kevin making a stand on offense. Slants across the field seem to be his specialty but I saw a deep bomb with Aaron Balcerzak in coverage that Kevin was able to bring in with ease.

Sticky Bandits and Morning Wood had a bunch of big plays leading SB to a 7 point lead with under 2 minutes. The ball was in the hands of Aaron Ertel at the 12 yard line. Russ Santucci was wide open in the endzone. Ertel knows he can scramble all day. What happens? Andrew Kicak picks it off and runs it back down the field where a lateral to Laura Streeter ends the playoff dreams for MW. Ya hate to see it.

The Slytherin That End Zone/ Bullet Club game was another that could have gone either way. A defensive battle with two teams who are neck and neck for points against, this game seemed to be in the hands of Slytherin early on. A pick 6 and forced punt put them up early. Matt Newman capitalized with a gender TD to go up by 2 scores only to throw 2 picks after BC changed up their defense. JJ was all up in his face rushing, tipping 4 balls from the line. It looked like BC’s game from the half when they were up 16-15. Fortunately for Slytherin, Newman kept his cool and sent Taylor Pagano on a crossing route with 29 seconds left in the game. He rifled it at her, putting his team up 24-16 and advancing them to the semis.

Mountain Dew Me didn’t even so much as give TOX a hope or a prayer in staying with them. Not to say there aren’t athletes on TOX but they just did not match up against MDM’s speed. Jordan and Kyle are too fast for even the most athletic of defenders to run with and they play all out; diving to make a catch, ankle breaking cuts to deke defenders, etc. Add to that Cody’s ability to scramble and there’s just not much TOX could do to hold them out of the endzone. Topper’s rough day continued as he struggled avoiding their defenders and even when he was able to connect with his receivers, luck was not on his side ending in bobbled passes landing in MDMs hands.

Practice Squad showed they should have had a bye this week as they just demolished Intentional Pounding 40-0. B was clicking with all his receivers and spreading the ball around. He connected with Kenny Lantz, floating a deep ball where only he could get it. Both Kyle and Ashtin Fiegel contributed to the win as well with their shifty YAC. IP had some nice plays but are just not at the level PS has been. The latter proved they are contenders for the title despite their loss to MDM early in the season. 

Lenny’s Ladies featuring Jeff May lost to Tater Tots 39-16. The Tots have perfected their game against gender teams. Deep balls down field then out at the one finishing with a gender TD is the recipe they have used and succeeded with all season. Jeff had no answer for Nick Angelo despite his impressive passing and play calling. Where was Jeff Easton, you ask? Apparently, manager Joe K forgot to tell him the game time [face palm].

BiPolar Express was the 3rd of 4 gender teams to make an early exit in the playoffs, leaving only the Angels to represent Girl Power. Their game against Graves Bros was close all the way through. GB had some uncharacteristic drops and could not win a 50/50 toss up to save their lives. Things didn’t look like they were going to go their way until the 29 second mark when they were able to punch in a TD to take the lead. BE attempted a game winning Hail Mary but it fell inches short.

That brings us to the final week of the season. With the playoffs under way, I am hoping to see at least a couple upsets this week. The finals is when everyone usually brings their A game so we will see if that holds true when it matters most. Now more than ever, I’ll be watching…

 

Week 8 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Wednesday, 07 October 2020 21:41
Published: Wednesday, 07 October 2020 21:41
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 44

 

Welcome to this week’s segment of the Sentinel! There was plenty to watch this week and I want to get right into all the spectacular moments I was able to witness. Unfortunately, I also witnessed and heard about numerous injuries throughout the day. I’m hopeful none of them were season-ending in this last stretch to the playoffs. Most of them didn’t seem to be too serious so I’m hoping to see everyone back on their feet soon. Be careful out there people!

The first spotlight today is shining on Q from Why So Serious? I haven’t seen much of her before but she made her presence known this past week with a huge performance on offense. WWS seems to be changing up the QBs fairly regularly this season but whoever it was this past week may be a keeper. He demonstrated he can sling it the length of the field and is not afraid to spread the ball around to all his receivers. Q’s targets were generally always contested and on stride yet I did not see one drop all game. Add to that her height and this definitely qualifies as a female threat most teams probably haven’t heard of…yet. WSS started the day off with an upset win over Eyes Downtown (yes, I know ED was missing Bobby, but who cares? WSS earned this win).

The Bambs and Blitzkrieg had a couple stand out players this week in their match up at 9am. Bamb’s QB played well enough with the rock in his hand but at one point I saw him make a diving catch while rotating sideways through the air. The Catch of the Day in my opinion and even more impressive that it was brought to us by a QB. Fast forward later in the game and he had a pick 6 on defense to further pad his stats. Not to be outdone, the guy in the ADIDAS shirt also returned a conversion, leading to a Bambs victory, 38-24. Blitzkrieg had some bad luck with the loss of their QB at the end of the first half. It looked like he tried to make a come back but his body told him otherwise. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Allie was on fire during this game though and kept Blitzkrieg in it. She caught two touchdowns for her team and the guy with the blue and white hat returned a conversion. Regrettably for them, it was not enough to overcome.

The Tater Tots brought in Mark B for the first match up in their double header versus TMA. These two teams have some history so the pressure was on for Mark when he got the call. He was able to rise to the occasion and led the Tots to a narrow 15-14 victory. TMA rallied later in the day when they faced them again. The Tots had their QB back as well as Nick Angelo. TMA has some key drops and miscues between Ryan and his receivers. Of course, after I hype him up last week, Nick Smith does not play this week. Too much pressure for a repeat performance is my guess. Round 2 of the double header was another tight defensive battle, this one ending in a 12-12 tie. Ya hate to see it.

Marketing Mayors had a bad case of the dropsies in their game against Tight Ends in Motion. I counted at least 3 drops including the would-have-been-game-winner in the end zone. I don’t know how fragile Mark Dalfonzo’s #3 spot on the Power Rankings s, but I wanted to at least give him some back up that their early morning loss was not entirely on him. They were also missing players and brought in Eric Stegs to help fill in the ranks. TEIM lost QB Alex and brought in Bro to throw for them. Bro was a solid replacement and led his team to a 29-28 victory.

All We Do Is Quinn lost to Vaspian. You read that right, take a second and let it sink in. AWDIQ, who have beat Frodo Swaggins, Grey Hair Don’t Care, D4 powerhouse Buffalo Solar Solutions, lost to a then 1-4 Vaspian. What happened, you ask? Well Vince Taverna was not throwing them the ball. In his absence, Joe Schwab stepped in as QB but did not have the field awareness we see with Vince. Vaspian shut out, yes shut out, AWDIQ at the half. Drew and Co must have been firing on all cylinders to pull this one off. Rawdog gave it his all and tried to light a fire under his team but it was too little, too late and they were not able to overcome the deficit they got themselves into. Kasey was also placed on IR during the game in yet another early morning injury caused by a freak misstep. We hope it was nothing too serious and to be seeing her back in action soon.

Last but not least was the game of the day. I honestly meant to get over to the Interdimensional Lightning Falcons/Pteratacos game but I was captivated by the match up between Slytherin That Endzone and Peachy Platoon. Last year, if you asked my opinion on this game I would say PP in a landslide. But how different things may look in just a year. Slytherin started off hot but has since cooled off a bit in recent weeks. PP is always a crowd favorite but has experienced serious attendance issues all season. So these two coming together for the 4:00 game on a brisk Saturday afternoon didn’t seem like it would be anything more or less than expected. Wrong! This game was back and forth action. Dean Thompson was back to throw for PP and Slytherin had everyone except Taylor Pagano (I would have loved to see how this game played out with her there). It was an offensive shoot out. Neither Newman nor Dean were afraid to go deep and they did it early and often. Both teams spread the ball around to all their receivers. It came down to the last minute when Slytherin scored the go ahead TD with 28 seconds left. PP had the ball and should have scored on the first play but it was dropped (several cases of the dropsies were seen in this game). Not to worry though because Dean came back to the same play and it was successful the next time. Now there is 6 seconds left. Matt Newman was in familiar territory. Flashback to the 3:00 game just prior when Slytherin and Sticky Bandits went at it. It came down to a final Hail Mary but Newman didn’t have the distance to let his receivers make a play. He was not going to repeat that fate. Newman launched the ball in a high arch perfectly in the endzone where it made it through the hands of 3 Peachy defenders and into the chest of a Slytherin receiver for the win. I believe it was Dawson who made the catch but I could be wrong. Frankly I was too caught up in the hype. Slytherin came away with the win 48-42 and proved to the world they are still very much a D2 playoff contender.

I did get wind of a couple possible wagers in the coming weeks. There was talk of a Cole/Boccio versus Blasé/Kieta 2 on 2 drill; three downs to score from your own 5 yard line. A bar tab may be on the line. Sounds like great entertainment boys and in lieu of Costume Bowl this year, I am all for it. Sticky Bandits and the Dilfs had some chattering going on in the Telegram app regarding their upcoming rematch. It looks like this one is a go with the winners getting some fries, shots and a bucket. For those of you new to the league, this used to happen all the time and should be brought back.

That’s all for this week. Next week is pretty much all match up games so make sure you check the website for your game times (looking at you Mark). It’s your last week to get any kinks out before the playoffs and it’s supposed to be a beautiful day. Make sure you warm up and stretch properly. I don’t want to hear at the end of October that “we would have won it but {fill in injury excuse}.” This week should be a glimpse into what the finals will look like in some divisions but we all know that any given Saturday anything can happen. Remember, I’ll be watching…

Week 9 Review

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Tuesday, 13 October 2020 18:49
Published: Tuesday, 13 October 2020 18:49
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 38

Welcome to the last regular season segment of the Sentinel! Early in the season I sent out the message to impress me and so many of you have answered the call. I can’t tell you how many times I look around the fields or play in games and think to myself “This really is the greatest football league around”. And I’m not even talking about the camaraderie that goes on before and after games up at the bar. I’m just talking about the sheer talent that shows up in droves every Saturday. From D1 to D6 I have seen highlight reel catches, defensive shut downs, and precision passes that could be described as nothing less than extraordinary. You have answered the call and we all see you. That said, there are still those that stand out among the rest.

The first stand out performance I saw this past week was from Bro Kleckler. The fate of Tight Ends in Motion looked perilous with the loss of QB Alex Buchlis. I’m not sure if Bro as a backup was predetermined but it has worked out exceedingly well for TEs. Added to that, Emily Curry’s injury and that I haven’t seen Maggie or Lindsay at the fields in recent weeks. Given all that information, if you told me they would be sitting in 2nd place in D1 right now, I’d have told you to take a hike. Not only is Bro leading his team to victories, he’s putting up some big numbers. I can’t wait to see how this plays out when it counts.

Bro isn’t doing it all on his own though. This week, I saw an all star performance from Stoner Dave on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. The play calling on TEs has always been on point but Dave surpasses just your average route running and getting open. I saw more contested catches to Dave in their game against Why So Serious? than any other single player all day.  Defensively, Dave proved he  was not afraid to throw himself around to break up a play. TEs went 2-0 on the day and seem to have hit their stride exactly at the right time.

The Untouchaballs also went 2-0 on Saturday with 2 early morning games despite, as the poll question says, Greg in attendance. I jest, although I did see Greg drop a pass in the endzone but that’s just one play right?  They had some trouble getting it together in their 9am game. After a pick on the 10 yard line, they brought in 4 girls to get the gender TD and could not punch it in, settling for a male TD on 5th down. Vaspian was missing Drew but Trevor Leach made an impressive deep TD, sacrificing his body then rolling off the field to recover. The TD still counted though and it looked good even with the roll.

Next up, Untouchaballs went against Frodo Swaggins, who appeared to be missing some players. Most notably, Garrett Beesing was absent for their 9am game against En Fuego then decided to grace us with his presence for the 10am match up against Untouchaballs. As fate would have it, FS won against En Fuego then lost against Untouchaballs. If I were Garrett, I would be concerned about my position as WR1 with those kind of results. The FS/Untouchaballs game was a defensive battle but Scotty Dro and Co came out on top 15-6.

The Dilfs/Sticky Bandits game was plenty hyped up by the media and proved to be just what everyone thought it would be. Mike Thomas was in for the Bandits while the Dilfs had a surprisingly-present-this-season Dubey. With that solid of a QB line up, you know it was going to be a good game. The game stayed close despite mental errors by both teams. Brian Stevens is probably one of the best players you’ve never heard of based on his route running and speed. Even Kevin Zack had some trouble keeping up with him. Both teams stuck to what they do best and what works ending with the Dilfs on top 39-31.

Tater Tots came out with a big win against Lenny’s Ladies, who struggled to get any offense going. The Tots came out firing, taking every advantage they could and making big plays when they needed them. QB Dylan gave a solid performance, spreading the ball around the field to receivers besides Nick Angelo and keeping away from Dave Baker. The females also performed well against the gender team. Jeff Easton had A LOT of difficulty connecting with his receivers, resulting in several picks and 0 touchdowns. Hopefully the Ladies figure out a new game plan as they face Tater Tots again the first week of semis.

Speaking of gender teams, it was not a good day for ANY of them last week. Yes, that’s right, even the Angels suffered their second loss of the season against none other than the Freeballers. What? FBs were back in action after their two week quarantine and scheduled to play against the Angels in the divisional match up game. Bobby McConnell was back for the Angels and all bets were on the ladies for this one. FBs started off early and often with the long deep passes to tall receivers and the Angels did not have an answer. “Snoop” put on a show on offense for FBs and had a pick in the endzone that was returned for a female TD. It went downhill from there for the Angels. Uncharacteristic drops, miscommunications, and an overall disconnect seemed to plague the Angels all game and the FBs took their first win of the season 34-24.

Bullet Club finally showed some life and ended the regular season at .500 following 2 wins in a double header against Morning Wood. I did overhear some chit chat that Morning Wood was in a dander after the second game due to roster issues. But aside from that, both teams had their ups and downs. Jeff Easton redeemed himself from earlier with an elite performance at QB. They played their first game with only 3 guys on defense. This isn’t a huge disadvantage for this team as their females are about as solid as they come. JJ had a great catch for a conversion at the front cone using just her fingertips to bring in the pass. Conflicts aside both teams played great games and have tough competition coming their way for this week.

That’s all for this week. Next week means the start of playoffs with the semifinal rounds starting promptly at 9am. Make sure you are on time and ready to go at your game time. Also, I was informed the Orange Shirt Brigade will have the official rosters in hand so make sure you are not using anyone not on your roster. Remember that doing so will result in a forfeit which was absolutely suck as a way to end your season. Saturday begins the final push on your journey to football immortality. We don’t know if there is going to be a banquet yet but I suggest playing as if there will be and visualizing yourself holding that championship and MVP trophy. Bring your A game, and know that I’ll be watching…

Week 6 wrap up

Category: The Sentinel
Created: Thursday, 01 October 2020 12:11
Published: Thursday, 01 October 2020 12:11
Written by Patrick McGovern
Hits: 46

 

Well ladies and gentlemen, here we are post-Week 7 following another beautiful day for some football. Who would have thought I would get sunburned in late September but here we are. Only 2 weeks of the regular season remain until it’s time to prove your true worth. It was pretty quiet at the fields this week due to some extra precautions the powers at be chose to take to protect our league. Nonetheless, there was enough excitement going around to keep me busy. I saw quite a bit of veteran leadership proving that experience still counts for something in several games across all divisions.

Slytherin That Endzone (STEZ, fight me Godfather), had a make up against Morning Wood first thing in the morning. Despite last minute roster issues, they managed to pull off the win with a rookie QB making his debut. Newman’s absence was expected so Rookie, I didn’t catch his name, had time to prepare. Could be a factor in putting up 45 points. Probably more importantly, Taylor Pagano was out leaving STEZ in need of a female. I’m not sure who they brought in but she made some pretty solid catches on offense. MW was also without QB1 and their replacement seemed to be having trouble connecting with his receivers. Rachel Parker did have a phenomenal deep catch but MW could not get a stop on defense.

The Dilfs started their back-to-back double header against a Peachy Platoon team with a much-depleted roster. Derrick was back at QB but PP could only scrounge up 2 other guys to play in the game. While it is possible to win playing with 3 guys/3 ladies (I’ve seen it happen) it was not the case today. Not saying that the females held them back though. Moriah Williamson, who I have noticed before, continued to show off her speed and hands. Sam played WR for this game and also had some impressive catches, even pulled down a one-handed grab. Unfortunately for PP, the Dilfs seem to be getting into a rhythm at the right time. Dubey played spot on, throwing the deep ball when it’s there and taking the yards defense gives him.

STEZ and Dilfs met up immediately following both their 9:00 games. What I noticed most in this game was that both QBs spread the ball around to all their receivers. Both teams had some big offensive weapons and both the youthful rookie and savvy vet used them all well. Val Bernal had a big game for the Dilfs with some nice sideline catches and TDs. Sal Gondolfo showed off his speed and height both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. This was a close match up with 2 teams I wouldn’t be surprised to see make it far come playoff time.

Topper won a game!!! I repeat, Topper won a game!!! Despite being short handed in the female department, Topper looked Jeff May in the eye as he was walking over to take the reins for Hofbrauhaus and said “I got this”. Okay, so that may not be exactly what happened but it should have been. Peachy Platoon came back after the earlier loss and remained short handed as well. Marissa Thompson was in attendance for this game which helped PP by giving them another steadfast target and a rest. HB had the opposite problem; they had a strong cast of guys but no females. Topper was able to use Aaron’s height, Drew’s speed and Salvati’s smarts to pull out their first win on the season.

D1 was upset city it seemed and not for the attendance issues we saw in the lower divisions. There were a number of cancelations due to the safety measures being implemented but the games that did happen were both exciting and somewhat unexpected. Marketing Mayors did beat Gryffindor which isn’t totally surprising. Joey Batts has been having some trouble in the female attendance department all season and this week was no exception. This week, he brought in an unknown female who looked pretty solid but missing Jill definitely was a struggle. He did have his guys there, albeit some showed up late. MM have been having a season of ups and downs. Late games seem to be very problematic for fielding a team but this week’s early double header proved favorable. Not only did they put up a solid 49 points on Gryffindor and hold them to 15, they also went on to beat Public Enemy. Yes, you read that right. I don’t know what the win streak was but it has come to an end at the hands of Corey Turner and Co. An anonymous source reported that PE just “couldn’t get their offense going”. Dalfonso must really be making a last end-of-the-season push to climb that Top 10 chart and this is certainly the day he needed to make it out of that #3 spot he has been stuck in for so long.

Gryffindor did get a win later in the day against Tight Ends in Motion. I believe it was Ray, one of the new youthful receivers Joey brought on, who put on a dazzling display of athleticism.  Joey also had Travis Clev playing in this game who had a big game defensively. Unfortunately for TEIM, Alex Bucalis was hurt during the game and had to be driven off the field. I haven’t heard official word of the extent of his injury but our thoughts are with him for a speedy recovery. Despite losing Alex, TEIM hung in there and kept the game close. Gryffindor ended up stealing the win by scoring a TD with under a minute left. TIEM tried for the Hail Mary to tie it back up but the attempt failed and Gryffindor moved into 3rd place in the division. 

I have to take this moment to highlight someone who I find to be highly underrated. When you hear TMA, you generally think of Ferger, Ron Webber or Prim. Rarely is Nick Smith recognized and given the credit I believe he is due. For those who don’t know him, Nick is approximately 7 feet tall (not really, but he’s up there). This in and of itself should be exploited every game. I’m going to piggy back on my accolades for Nick and give props to QB Ryan who seems to be understanding more and more how this game is played and taking the advantages given to him. He is using Nick how he should be used: jump ball in the end zone. I saw this happen on two occasions and it was executed perfectly both times.

Last but certainly not least I want to call out B for answering the call and stepping off the sidelines to take the rock for Practice Squad. An underutilized QB on the Universal Sub list, B stepped in when he was needed and showed the world he’s still got it. The TOX defense couldn’t stop him and the rest of PS. B put up 45 points, more than PS has scored so far this season.

That’s all for this week. I want to remind everyone that with cold and flu season coming to be extra cautious both at the fields and off. There’s only 4 more weeks left of the season and we want to be able to finish strong and find out who among us are true champions. Remember to keep your masks on in the playing area up until your game is starting. Also to keep them on at the bar any time you are not seated. You all have been great so far and we are all appreciative of how seriously everyone is taking these precautions. A lot of seeding games are happening for the last 2 weeks of the regular season so I’m excited how teams are matching up against so far. I’ll be watching…

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