3/7: By NFL standards, it would have made for a long list of offensive legends (and a long unemployment line for defenders).
By college football standards, it was the kind of game that both sides’ fans would have torn down the goalpost over, for opposite reasons.
By high school standards, officials might have invoked a mercy rule.
But by recent SOFA standards, it was actually pretty close.
Crazy Invincible Alliance (Chad, Tyree, Joe, Dustin, Jerome, Caleb) got the best of Fair But Inferior (Ian, Brandon, Joel, Greg, Kenny, Toy, later Kendrick), beating them 95-71 on a gorgeous, open-the-windows Sunday afternoon.
FBI would seem to have the advantage, having one more player than its rival. But Bethany aggravated a muscle in her leg very early in the game, leaving the teams with the same number of players. And that, friends, was really unfair. The week before, Bethany’s deep catches and pounding runs were an asset to her squad. Oh, how she was missed, sitting on the sidelines. So close, yet so far away.
CIA’s combination of speed, size, experience and outright loose-cannon-ness served them well from the outset. Caleb stormed out of the gate, as he and his Peyton Manning jersey scrambled their way to several critical scores.
One of those scores came after Brandon connected with Ian for a diving touchdown in the dry, dusty end zone, a catch that removed several square feet of skin from Ian’s right shin. However, the catch was ruled null after Caleb claimed he ripped the quarterback’s flag, something nobody apparently saw but was upheld nevertheless. CIA held on, then ran the field in the subsequent possession, culminating in a Caleb touchdown.
With Chad at quarterback, CIA employed a variety of pitch and play-action schemes that the FBI defense struggled to contain. But isn’t that the story of every defense in SOFA? I mean, giving up 71 points doesn’t exactly speak well of the winners either! Yeah.
FBI did benefit from employing a trio new to SOFA, but not to each other: Brandon, Joel and Greg. Despite several jitter-related incompletions (hey, it happened to Drew Brees too), Brandon found his friends early and often for key gains and scores. Toy and Kenny turned in their typically masterful performances, and Ian added an interception and a few plays at quarterback that were less of a disaster than they could have been.
But ultimately, CIA triumphed on the strength of Tyree. I mean, its team. Joe and Dustin always know how to find daylight, and Jerome jukes with the best of them (and by them, I mean people better than us).
What a game! And if a goalpost is missing from Kickapoo High School’s practice field next Sunday night, you’ll know yet another great SOFA match has taken place. And that some punk kids stole the goalpost after we left. Different punk kids.
Shoeless Whoa: First-timer Kendrick joined in the game in the second half after driving by. He was wearing flip-flops, so he played barefoot (Ian’s extra shoes were too small, as they so often are). Ian asked Kendrick if playing barefoot wouldn’t hurt, but Kendrick said he’d be all right. And was he ever! Speedy tackles, offensive catches and at least one interception led FBI to speculate what could have been, if only he had been size 9...and arrived earlier...
Streetfaced: Tyree didn’t do much of note in this game. Well, for him, anyway. He had a solid outing on offense, with numerous “WTF” touchdowns. He had several interceptions, including one intended for an Ian touchdown, and a pick-six, which he says extends his streak, though a past recap probably refutes that (or that could just be me bitter over giving him like 39 of those). One thing’s clear: when Tyree isn’t out to play, he doesn’t notch more than one or two pick-sixes, max.
See you Sunday!