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The first round of the playoffs have come and gone. Were there upsets? Oh my yes there were. Every hour of the day ended with at least one MAJOR elimination that no one saw coming. For some, the ending to their season was anticipated, for others it was a relief, while for a decent number the abrupt conclusion still has them shaking their heads wondering what went wrong. The day was beautiful so there could be no blaming the weather (save that excuse for the fall session). Nope, the teams moving on to next week earned their spots and if this past week taught us anything it’s that it is anyone’s game.

In Breakfast Club, the semifinal rounds resulted in Schilling Em Softly taking the win over EmC Hammertime, 47-37. Ricky Austin was back for his team but could not connect with his receivers when it counted. Drew tried to put the team on his back but came up short. Colorado Mike was clearly under-utilized and could have made all the difference if his talents were recognized sooner. SES continued their run-and-gun strategy. Award-winning Tommy Hughes was back in the lineup and helped Matty Ice run the offense. Employing simple slants, outs, and post routes, SES was able to march down the field and into the championship next week.

Over on Field 2, Bern Them All suffered a close defeat to Hot TaMolly’s, 33-34. Garrett and Travis both played well, but BTA took too long making adjustments on defense. Garrett was able to recognize and exploit mismatches resulting in Boccio and Josh scoring numerous TDs on post routes and gos down the sideline. HT used their females well to move the ball down the field. BTA could not find an answer for the deep balls and were unable to punch it in at the end of the game.

Also at 9am, Come From Behind and Pink Pteratacos battled it out for a spot in the R3 finals. Paul LoVullo was back in action after missing the majority of this session.  They appeared to have their main cast of characters but could not stop PP on defense. Joe played a great game and his receivers made some phenomenal catches. As sad as we are to see CFB knocked out, PP is a team that’s easy to root for. They will also be a team to contend with as they are finally coming together in the last couple weeks.

Marketing Mayors just barely missed having the bye this week despite the same record as Eyes Downtown. They lost the head-to-head match up, however, and had to play 1 Todd Too Many for their shot in the semis. Fortunately for MM, they had 1T2M outmatched and took the win, 31,16. 1T2M had all their weapons but MM was able to exploit the weaknesses. Mark Dalfanso and Topper had their pick of skilled receivers to choose from. Any other QB watching this game was salivating over both of their options. Drew and Pete played well but they could not keep up with Delecki, Andy Smith and even Corey Turner, who had some impressive looks of his own. There was no shortage of female talent either; 1T2M has 3 solid females who look right at home in C1. Topper clearly has complete faith his girls as he spread the ball out to each of them. Carissa was back for MM, giving them arguably the best female tandem in the league between her and Julie. Next week will be a huge day for MM as rumors are swirling Bobby McConnell will not be in attendance. Their chance to finally get a win over ED has never looked so good.

Bullet Club destroyed Money Ball in a game that was over by half time. Travis played exceptionally well and his females all had amazing games. Tommy Nodler had a big game as well, scoring TDs and adding a couple picks to his stats. MB tried 3 QBs throughout the course of the game but none of them could get the job done. They continued to try to go deep every play aside from the 2 yard dump passes to their females. Team turmoil appeared to occur early in the game. Tim Dove pulled Scotty Pinto after he refused to follow his play calling, putting Rick in at QB. Rick had some early trouble when he threw 2 picks after leading a touchdown drive. Talk on the sideline was that Rick is colorblind and couldn’t see the difference in shirt color between his teams’ pink and Nodler’s blue. Tough break Rick. Up next, Radon went in at QB. He also tried for the long ball right away. The game was well over by this point though, and Bullet Club moves on the semis following their 46-18 win.

In perhaps the biggest upset of the week, End Game was eliminated from playoffs by none other than Puckett All Stars, who won 35-16. PAS, who were 3-6 at season’s end, lost to EG earlier this session but as history has shown us, it’s tough to beat a team twice. This is certainly an upset but PAS is a talented team. They had attendance issues all session but unfortunately for EG, everyone was there when it mattered. I noticed some impressive play calling, particularly in the red zone. At QB for PAS, T.J Ferguson utilized all his receivers and their female players stepped up to the occasion. Perhaps the outcome of this game shouldn’t come as too much of a shock as PAS were tied in 17th for one of the best offenses in the league. Granted EG was in 7th (thank you Power Rankings). EG picked the wrong day to have a bad game. They struggled to move the ball and Dave tried to force it deep when he had the short play wide open. Not saying the loss was completely on Dave, defensively this team was the best in the league, allowing only 18 points a game on average. This week, there were too many miscommunications and PAS capitalized on them. Let’s see if they can ride their momentum into next week.

The TMA/pAssless Chaps game was another upset not many people would have bet on. TMA had everyone except Rob but could not get anything going on offense. They had 3 dropped passes in the end zone that would have been gender touchdowns. But the loss wasn’t exclusively due to what TMA failed to do. pAssless Chaps played an outstanding game. Coach Jay played inspired, picking apart the defense and calling plays to get his receivers where they needed to be. There was one guy on their team who played out of his mind, helping to carry his team to their 47-14 victory.

Slytherin that End Zone narrowly beat Morning Wood, 34-32 after double overtime. Newman was on point as he led his team to victory. Dawson had a great game, using his hands and blazing speed to keep his team in the game. Their girls have played well all season and Newman showed complete trust by firing the game-winning touchdown to Kelsey on 2nd down. It should be noted that last week, Mo Saleh was overheard to say that MW was walking into the playoffs and going undefeated now that they had JJ back. Well Dave Wilbern and Mo were MIA this game. JJ did everything he could to put the team on his back, putting on a show with their QB but it clearly wasn’t enough. SITE took an early lead but then had trouble down the stretch. MW was able to tie it up but was stopped on the conversion that would have won them the game. SITE started with the ball in OT but could not punch it in. MW took over and they too could not finish. As per our OT rules, MW got the ball again and scored a guy TD but once again could not complete the conversion. That gave SITE the ball and, as mentioned, Kelsey came through huge for her team and they will advance to the semis.

Tight Ends in Motion knocked XTC out of the playoffs with a 36-28 win. This game was back and forth for the duration. Sooch played well but it was ultimately XTC’s defense that let them down. Seth was in at QB for Tight Ends but XTC played as if Alex was back behind the line. Defenders lost their receivers in the back field resulting in several deep catches. TE scored at least 4 deep tds, which leads me to wonder how the game would have played out if Alex had indeed been in attendance. 

GLBS (#2) was the favorite in their game against Indecent Exposure (#7) but as I’ve heard said, anything can happen any given Saturday. Glenn talked a big game about being 2-0 at QB for his team following the injury to Josh Hochadel, despite averaging a pick a game. Playoffs, however, are a different game. The windows get smaller, the defense gets tighter and the pressure increases tenfold. Glenn was feeling that pressure as he threw 4 interceptions and missed several open receivers. IE came to play on defense, making big plays when they needed to. Coming into playoffs as the 16th worst defense in the league, they picked the right time to turn it up. While they were not scoring at will, they managed to put up 27 points and hold GLBS to 21, moving them on to the semis while GLBS will have all of August to think about what went wrong.

The Godfather predicted the outcome of the Energy Buff/Title Shot game based on who would show up for both teams. Well, EB was able to field pretty much all of their impressive roster. Unfortunately, for the 7th week in a row, TS was unable to get their team to show up so they rolled with Dubey, Rogo, Garbacz, one other guy, Jill and Devon. EB’s biggest issue this session is their inability to utilize their female players. This week they were able to change that. Kate and Nicole had great games and these ladies could be a big threat if EB continues with the same strategy next week. As luck would have it, I heard rumors that EB will have attendance troubles once again next week with some players going away on vacation. While, to be completely honest, I wouldn’t bet on this team going all the way with all their players, it would have been interesting to see how they fared. 

Sadly, after a less than desirable session, this week saw the downfall of 3rd & Schlong following a 46-16 loss to Peachy Platoon. The Keller’s, 40 Year Plan Guy and Co will hopefully be watching from the sideline after this spring session was not kind to them. They had a couple big wins but more memorable was the blowout loss to Frodo Swaggins the week prior. Scott Keller, Sr threw 3 picks during this game as well and his team was just did not match up on defense. Rumors were swirling at the after party that 3&S may be disbanding as certain members were scouting players for a new team. Peachy Platoon came to town and put an end to 3&S’s championship hopes and dreams. Their girls played phenomenal and their guys demonstrated unstoppable athleticism. Now I wonder if teams will finally make adjustments to combat Dean’s playing style. PP has beaten every team moving on to next week but as I’ve mentioned, beating a team twice is no easy feat.

Speaking of Frodo Swaggins, here’s another huge upset that probably could have been predicted but no one was betting on. During the session, Scotty D lived and died by the long ball but that came back to bite him this week. They were not able to move the ball down the field with the short passes and 2 picks in the second half turned the tide of the game. Sticky Bandits went back and forth with Frodo all game, making big defensive stops. They reached a new level once Dave Baker showed up at half time. Jeff Krol and Alex were not there in person as they were attending Raj’s wedding but thanks to Stoner Dave, they were able to watch and contribute to the game via FaceTime. SB moves on with the 45-30 win.

The final score may not reflect it but the Matty’s Angels vs Five Star Generals game was closer than you might have thought, at least at halftime. The Angels got off to a slow start with some uncharacteristic drops. FSG were playing tough defense but then Gronk started to talk shit and well, the rest is history. Matty Ice hit the accelerator with the help of Taylor Pagano balling out. If there’s one thing teams should know it’s that the best way for Matty Ice to go from having a bad game to a great game is by making him mad. Angels ran away with the W, 45-22.

Top 3 of the Week:

1. Puckett All Stars- most people would have counted them out so have to give it to them for pulling out the win and advancing to the semis

2. Pink Pteratacos- after a shaky end of the season, PP picked the right time to turn it around and move on to the next round

3. Bullet Club- despite attendance issues, they continue to win with whomever shows up and their strong female presence could steal them a win this week

That concludes the semi-final game reviews. The after party at Lockhouse Distillery was equally as exciting boasting a great turn out for a good cause. There was much intermingling resulting in the possibility of new teams consisting of some big name players. Plenty of alcohol was involved but every one stayed cool. A new league legend could have been born if he is able to live up to his own hype. Cole’s balls were brought up on more than one occasion. Overall our night away from the Rose Garden was a success; I wouldn’t be against regularly reconvening at other local watering holes. On to next week…If your team is still in the running congratulations and we wish you luck in the finals. If not, why not come by anyway to hang out and watch some football? I’ll be watching…

~ courtesy of...The Sentinel

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