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 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…

 

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