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Well ladies and gentlemen of the TSL, we have officially passed the halfway point of the regular season. Week 4 is in the books and the playoff favorites, hopefuls, and dreamers are becoming more and more apparent. Only 4 of our teams haven’t won a game while 7 teams remain undefeated. Let’s take a look at who is, in fact, in midseason form.

D1

Public Enemy took the win over Losing Streak in a close, offensive battle. LS should be happy with their performance as there were a ton of big plays that proved they are where they should be. I do need to mention that PE was without most of their defensive powerhouse with the absence of Greg Oiska, Jake Maryniewski and Paulie Johnson. Chris Cole is a great QB, no one will argue that, but when you see him on defense, PE’s odds will go down. Nevertheless, their skeleton crew made enough stops to get the job done, mainly by continuing to score. Heather Cepuchowski played a big role in the win, gaining 10-15 yards to march her team down the field on several occasions.

Sticky Bandits lost to Slob Kabobs in a back and forth game. Adrian Cannon made his Sticky debut, balling out on defense and getting their first TD of the game. It looked like SB had control through the game but they weren’t able to maintain it. SKs displayed some crazy skill players; they may not be in the discussion for D1 champions but MVP nods may be heading their way. Andy Smigiera was a beast. I heard rumors about a possible NFL try-out so that’s cool, unless you have to play against him. Emily Gawlak, however, was the real star of the show. She was an absolute monster and could not be covered. Ben Stack had the game winning TD with a crazy, Stack-esque, back of the end zone at full speed catch.

I didn’t see the Tight Ends in Motion/Eyes Downtown game but it looked like it was a close one that TEs managed to take by 2 points. The Big 3 of D1 (PE, TEIM, ED) all sit in the top 3 of the division but with PE and ED only having 2 games under their belt a lot can happen in the second half of the season.

D2

When Doves Cry pulled off a win against Notorious BNB bright and early this week. BNB put in Alex Buchalis’s brother, who they pulled out of retirement, for the first half. George played in years past but he looked pretty rusty out there, completing maybe a handful of passes. Topper, on the hand, thrives at 9 am and picked apart the BNB defense, putting up 51 points.

Notorious BNB played again later in the day against Scared Hitless. SH continued their dominance in the division. BNB was missing Josh Schneider and Dave Baker tried to play in both this game and his TEIM game but that is stated as not allowed in the rule book so they lost him to D1. BNB scored early but then the wheels fell off. Kynan Vandenburgh was back for SH and had a nice TD to ring in his season. Brandon Farr returned a conversion and SH remains among the undefeated teams. Next week, they take on A&A so one less undefeated team will remain in D2.

XTC finally got a win against Bullet Club. I’m going to say it was criticism that lit the fire they needed to play to their potential. Having the majority of their roster there also helped. The female squad for XTC is probably one of the best in the division. It is rare to see a drop by any one of them. Scotty Dro looked miserable throughout the game but he did drop a dime to Anthony Deak on a deep route for a TD.

A&A held onto the TopSpot with a win over TopShot (see what I did there?). In a game with far too many male crop tops, both teams refused to stand down to the other and it was a battle for the full 50 minutes. Matty Ice and Dylan Jaloza played well rounded games, taking the yardage given, using the females and not hesitating to go deep when the situation called for it. Adrian Cannon and Mike Rawdin both had speed that no one on A&A could match but even without the newly added height, A&A found a way to come away with the win.

D3

Grey Hair Don’t Care took a tough loss to The Untouchaballs. Despite Cory and Molly Santo back in action for GH, they couldn’t match the speed UTB brought. Jeremy Burr keeps gaining chemistry with his receivers and the timing routes are increasing as a result. This game was the Matt Helm/Melanie Linsmair show so hopefully they have a game plan for when teams figure out how to shut them down.

It’s safe to say Show Me Dem TDs is not in the right division. They got a win over Super Freaks who are the only team below them in the division but not having a consistent QB is going to hurt, especially in the upper divisions. Cobblestone continues to shock the world by sitting in second place with an impressive Points For number. Garrett Beesing gets credit where it’s due as he threw for Cobblestone this week. Andrew Alessi and Chris Carr made Beesing look even better with some great route running and catches. Maddie Norton had an impressive pick after batting down a pass as well.

The Angels got a commanding win over Frodo Swaggins. Matty Ice was in true midseason form and the ladies seem to finally have figured out their defense. Not going to lie, Garret Beesing had a rough day at the office. There were a couple misfires I’m sure he would want back. But it wasn’t completely on Beesing; his receivers had a couple easy catches bounce off their chest or out of their hands, taking the wind out of everyone sails.

Freeballers took on Super Freaks and came away with the win. Dylan Jaloza had another solid performance. He and Matt Kieta had a great connection throughout the game with Kieta making some highlight reel worthy catches. Ralph Finney was back at QB for SFs but got little help from his WRs. They also had two females get injured during the game. SF utilized their females but only for 3-4 yards at a time. FBs had the edge top to bottom here so SFs should walk away happy that it was only a 10 point game.

Freeballers went on to narrowly defeat Last Dance later in the day. Jordan Lawson subbed for LD as Ricky Austin seems to have left us. LD was shorthanded, leaving Lawson to play defense. LD had their chances to win but could not punch the ball in when it counted. Anthony Barnessi had 2 big drops that are uncharacteristic for him. They failed to score after getting the ball on the 2 yard line. Then Matt Kieta came up with a pick for FBs to end the game. Joe Zogaria was making plays whenever I looked.

 

D4

Titsburgh Feelers got smoked by Buffalo Vice in the second-biggest discrepancy of the day. In their defense, TF is a new team and they are playing a team that could probably hold their own in a higher division. TF QB Ciemny seemed to favor the deep ball and trust his receivers. He had the arm for it but the situation did not usually call for it. WR Ciemny (brothers I’m guessing?) had a nice contested catch to get his team down field and I saw him make a couple defensive break ups as well. He also had a great back of end zone catch which made up for a big drop earlier in the game. Buffalo Vice had Frank Pizza throwing in the absence of Seth Molisani. He doesn’t have the arm this team is used to but he did what he could to get the ball down field. Amy Denning had a nice catch and run for a TD that TF was in no way prepared for.

Breast Friends and GUCCI was a hyped up game that did not disappoint. BF scored on their first 2 drives. Kelly Kane opened their game with a deep corner route over all the BFs females heads. It was looking like a shootout. Kane led her team with big drives and had them up 16 points early in the second half. BFs took a page from the other gender teams and started looking for the female-female match ups and exploiting those. A couple picks late in the half sealed the deal and the win for BFs.

Practice Squad suffered a loss to Cunning Stunts who look also so to be in true midseason form. B had a poor showing but his WRs bailed him out on a couple plays. Unfortunately they couldn’t do it enough to come up with the win. Joey Batts had a flawless performance, just ask him. Jamy Stamel was back in action and Brandy Clark feasted.

D5

Come From Behind demolished TOX, who just cannot seem to right the ship without their fearless leader, Topper. I mentioned that Buffalo Vice had the second biggest differential, this game was first. Paul LoVullo and co put up 50 points with a full roster in attendance. TOX had Aaron Balcerzak back in action who gave their QB a nice target. The first couple throws were very Topper-esque as they were over his and everyone else’s head. Eventually Dave Walter came in and changed the game plan from relying on the deep ball to taking the short stuff. They just did not have the manpower to keep up and CFB ended the game with a 50-6 win.

Not So Sticky beat Lettuce Win, who insisted on playing shorthanded. LW started the game with 5 players and was left with 4 after the first 10 minutes when one player was exhausted on the sideline. The game was well out of hand by half time but LW took the forfeit. NSS had Ricky Recckio and Jeff Krol play for LW to scrimmage in the second half.

The WoodPeckers pulled out a win over 716, giving them their first loss on the season. 716 had a 20 point lead but somehow managed to blow it. WP played with 3 guys, 3 girls leaving Joe Buscaglia to rush. Somehow they pulled it all together and put up 37 points. The females on WoodPeckers showed some serious skill and if their attendance can be counted on, this team could be a sleeper in the playoffs.

WoodPeckers went on to play Spinelli’s Plumbing. Buscaglia struggled in his second game of the day and threw a pick 8 to start the game. Katie Swanson broke on the ball and easily trotted it in for 8. They found themselves down 28 early in the first half. Spinelli’s have been riding high since a loss to start their season. They look more and more in sync each time I see them and D5 is going to be must watch television come playoff time. WPs females again showed a lot of talent which will help them in a big way later in the season.

D6

TMA stays on top of the division with a win over Victorious Secret. The ladies of VS could not stop the big guns on TMA so Ryan Henry and Co ran away with it. There wasn’t much in the way of highlights in this game aside from a Ron Webber quadruple catch, while falling to get his team down to the 5. Lauren O’Brian was left wide open to finish that drive.

Topper got the nod for Lenny’s Ladies after another Joe K injury (or the same one, I don’t know). He must have still been riding high from his early morning success because he sliced and diced Graves Bros. No defense was apparently played either way. The game came down to the final minutes and Topper was able to get it done with a completion to Caitlyn Mason for the game winning conversion.

That’s all for this week. I would like to highlight some other teams who maybe don’t get as much pub but I will honestly say I watch some games for an entire half and nothing happens so if you want the press, you have to earn it. I will leave you with my Top 5 Notables for Week 4.

1. Caitlyn Mason- had one of the most impressive picks I’ve seen for Lenny’s Ladies, picking the ball at the 50 then deking around the entire team to the end zone.

2. Billy Gunn- Billy is back and all is right with the world again

3. Sarah Trifesto (WoodPeckers)- not necessarily one big play stood out but she had a solid day on both sides of the ball and is definitely one of the “May not be someone you have heard of but you should”.

4. Mike Rogowski (XTC)- despite being on the high end of average league age, Rogo plays 100% every time I’ve seen him play and can still get up to make a stop when he needs to

5. Matt Kieta (Freeballers)- he’s doing a great job keeping his cool on the field and reffing. Keep up the good work Matt.

Until next time, I’ll be watching….

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