Team No Name Stun Mega Chargers in Lower Division Championship

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Team No Name Official Championship Photo. Picture by Sean Goodwin

WILLIAMSVILLE, NY- It was a matchup so similar to Super Bowl 42 (New England Patriots lose to the Giants for their only loss of the season) that you could not rule out a possible upset. Undefeated Mega Chargers brought their 10-0 record, and their almost 500 point differential into the lower division championship game against Team No Name (5-5).  We all know the story behind Mega Chargers, and how they ran through all their opponents this year due to them being in the lower division at the start of the season.  They had the league leader in touchdowns (Mike Scibilia), and the league leader in sacks (Tom) who both won those by a wide margin.  Their Quarterback Nick Scibilia had a fantastic season throwing for 50 touchdowns in just 10 games, and capturing the league MVP.  Team No Name, on the other hand, was looking for a miracle of some sorts due to the fact they could barely keep the score close in their two losses to Mega Chargers during the season.  Team No Name got some bad news at the start of the game when it was made official that team captain and QB Tito was not going to be able to make it to the championship game on time.  Braves QB Chris Lonzi was able to fill in for Tito, and what a game it would be for Lonzi and the team “without a name”.

The game got off to typical Mega Chargers fashion as in just two plays they scored their first touchdown. It was another terrific Scibilia brother connection, this time it was Joe Scibilia who hauled in a 57 yard pass from his brother Nick, and then converted the PAT for a 7-0 lead. Team No Name then had their first possession, and it did not take long for their great pass rushers to make an impact.  Tom had a very clever spin move rush on third and long, and finished it with a quick sack on Lonzi which gave the ball right back to the red-hot Chargers offense.  It was on No Name’s next drive where the referees started to get involved and the game took a turn in major way for Team No Name.  It was fourth down from about twenty yards out and Lonzi was engulfed in pressure from Tom and Tim Rosaci once again, and barely got the ball out of his hands before his flag was pulled.  A flag on the field led to an automatic first down and a golden chance for Team No Name to tie the score before the end of the half.  It was a roughing the passer call on Tom, who was not happy at all with the call along with the entirety of the Mega Chargers’ bench.  In just two plays, Team No Name capitalized on their golden opportunity when Michael Castro ran a perfect out route to find himself open for a Lonzi pass to the corner to put Team No Name on the board.  Following a great play on the PAT, Team No Name tied the game at 7 with only a couple minutes left on the clock for the first half.  The half ended with that same score, 7-7.

It was clear during halftime that this was not going to be any type of blowout game for Mega Chargers. Mike Scibilia was held out of the end zone in the first half for the first time all season by simple man coverage from Michael Castro.  The upset became more believable once the second half started, as on Team No Name’s second play from scrimmage Lonzi had one of his best runs of the season.  From 35 yards out, Lonzi had one of his best rushes all season as he avoided sure-tacklers Matt Cassick and Don Yavicoli to put Team No Name in the lead 13-7.  However, this game was far from over and Mega Chargers were able to grab a point on Team No Names PAT due to a Lonzi Interception.  Then, in typical Meg Chargers fashion, Nick Scibilia connected on a deep ball to a wide-open Dean Thompson to put Mega Chargers back ahead 15-13.  Sam Figueroa made a crucial mistake in letting Dean go past him when Figueroa had the deep third as part of Team No Name’s cover three defense.  Fortunately for Team No Name this turned out to be their final mistake of the game.  The defense held strong after a quick three and out gave the ball right back to Lonzi and Damon Powell with about eight minutes remaining on the clock. Lonzi completed a short pass to Dame on first down to reset the chains which milked some precious time off the clock for Mega Chargers.  It came down to a fourth down play from twelve yards out with only two minutes left on the clock.  Mohammed Saleh made his first big impact on the game from the offensive perspective and hauled in what would the championship-winning touchdown from another perfect throw from Lonzi.  With such little time on the clock it was looking very bleak for Mega Chargers, and with a four-point deficit they just could not move the ball at a fast pace. The game ended 19-15 in favor of the massive underdogs Team No Name.

The hardest part of this review is deciding who was the player of the game for Team No Name. The complete defensive effort is what allowed them to take down high-scoring Mega Chargers, especially finishing the game with only 19 points.   Anthony had the teams only sacks, and every starter on defense had at least one flag grab.  Lonzi fit in very well for Tito with a stat line of 16-20 for 188 yards and two touchdowns.  Lonzi also had 55 yards rushing and a touchdown in that department as well.  Damon Powell and Michael Castro both had four catches and Mo Saleh deserves immense praise for his game-winning score.  A fantastic finish to a season with ups and downs but of course that means nothing to the guys who were holding the trophy in the end. Congratulations to Team No Name on one of the biggest upsets in Epic Center history.

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Castronova leads Hellagoods to their fourth straight title

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Hellagoods Championship Team pictured: Back row (left to right) Sam Castronova, Adam Huard, Eric Flynn, Derek Mcgee, Alex Seifert, Noah Huard, Mike Austin.   Front Row (left to right) Kyle Roy, Dean Thompson, Robert Malave, Leseaon Washington.

The matchup was set, the trophy was polished and the top teams in our flag football top division were ready to duke it out for the title. It was three-time defending champs Hellagoods (#2) against Dynamite (#1) in a game that was way too close to call. Both teams had a 9-2 record, but it was Dynamite who had beaten Hellagoods twice out of their three meetings in the regular season. The matchup was even closer when you looked at the quarterback comparison. League MVP Bobby McConnell, had a terrific semifinal game against No Fly Zone. Dynamite’s number one seed record was largely due to Bobby’s clutch play down the stretch of games with two walk off wins on the season. MVP runner up Sam Castronova (very narrow runner up at that) was terrific in every game he played for Hellagoods in his debut season at Epic Center. The only negative aspect of Castronova’s season was his inability to be at all their games. Hellagoods only losses on the season were in games where Castronova was not present.

 

Castronova was able to make this game, and Dynamite knew this was bad news for their defense. Sam looked sharp on his first drive, but a very poor drop from Derek McGee on fourth down gave the b-ball to Dynamite in great field position. Dynamite could not do anything with that field as it was a quick four and out for Bobby’s offense to start their night. Hellagoods took over and Sam hit his first big play of the night. On second and long Castronova avoided a rush in his face from Stanley and threw a perfect ball off his back foot to wide open Dean Thompson. Dean made no mistake in securing the catch and the game’s first points. Castronova was unable to avoid the rush on their PAT and the score was 6-0 midway through the first half. Dynamite’s poor start continued with an interception thrown to Derek McGee on their next drive. However, Dynamites defense played very well on four straight plays and gave the ball right back Bobby with plenty of time on the clock. A conventional four play drive then ended with a Bobby to Bobby connection from four yards out to tie the game at 6. The half ended with a predictable tie score line of 6-6.

 

Dynamite looked to be in the drivers seat with the ball to start the half, and their offense grabbing all the momentum to close out the first half. But after just two plays, the momentum completely shifted in the snap of a finger. Bobby tried to run a screen play to Josh Salada, but a very poor throw from Bobby put the ball right into Eric Flynn’s hand who had nothing but ten yards between himself and a pick-six. Flynn made no mistake and took the INT to the house and gave Hellagoods a lead they would not relinquish. The points kept coming for Hellagoods defense as on the next drive an errant snap from center Bobby, ended in a safety for Hellagoods. The worst part of the safety was not the two points given up, but the immediate give of the ball back to the red-hot Hellagoods QB Sam Castronova. On the second play of their next drive, Sam hit team captain Noah Huard over the middle for a short gain. Noah was then able to take that 5-yard slant pass, make one move and then bolt to the end zone for a 60-yard touchdown. Dynamite was able to answer back quickly, but with the short flag football clock it was already too little too late. The final score was 34-14 and Hellagoods had secured their unprecedented fourth straight Epic Center flag football title.

 

Hellagoods had producers across their entire team that could have been selected for player of the game. Sam played another solid game going 15-23 for 286 yards and four touchdown passes.  Dean Thompson had the best receiving numbers with three catches for ninety-one yards and two scores.  Eric Flynn had two total touchdowns with a pick six and a short touchdown on his only catch on offense.  Mike Austin also had one of his best games of the season finishing with a game-high four flag grabs.  Hellagoods has officially committed to next flag football, and to possibly grab a fifth straight championship.  Dynamite will not return until next years winter session, but I am sure they will be ready for another title run.

PLAYOFF PREVIEW (Lower Division)

#1 Mega Chargers (10-0)

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Mega Chargers (black) set up a screen play against the Braves. Picture by Sean Goodwin

One of the most dominating teams I have witnessed here at Epic Center, Mega Chargers steam rolled through every opponent they faced this session. With wins as large as 90-0, and 65-0 it was clear early on that this team belonged in the upper division. The team had such an embarrassment of riches, that their best option at quarterback did not even play quarterback for the team.  Joe Scibilia was a former high school quarterback who decided during the first game that he would let his brother Nicholas Scibilia play the position.  Honestly they could have fooled me as to who was the star quarterback in high school.  Nicholas put up terrific QB numbers every week and it started week one against Southside where he went 15-17 for 404 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions.  The other Scibilia brother Mike, was easily the most unstoppable option at receiver I have ever seen for flag football.  Mike finished with an outstanding 20 touchdowns in just 10 games played.  The true reason this team was so dominant was their consistent talent across the board.  Their captain Don Yavicoli was top eight in touchdowns and interceptions for the entire league.  The defense was led by the league sack leader Tom, former Celtics player Tim Rosaci and Tony who racked up 10 sacks in just six games.  The consistent play from role players like Tyler Graham, Jon Hughes, Donald Busch, and Matt Cassick were all important in their season of near perfection.

FINAL QB STATS:

Nicholas Scibilia (9 GP)- 126-179 70%/ 2,894 Yds/ 53 TDs 8 INT

OFFENSIVE MVP:

Mike Scibilia

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Tom

 

#2 Team No Name (5-5)

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Damon Powell (Green) captains a Team No Name team against Dynamite. Picture By Sean Goodwin

 

A former 3-0 team, Team No Name had a great start to their season but struggled mightily when it came to their late games against top division teams. Led by their captain/quarterback Tito, Team No Name was a returning team who I had not seen at Epic since last year. The team was full of epic regulars like Damon Powell, Tony Rivera and Michael Castro.  These three were Tito’s main receiving core after Yusef B stopped showing up to the games around week three.  Yusef was the most talented player Team No Name had on their team, and I could tell they really missed his presence in the later weeks of the session.  Following their 3-0 start, the team went on to go 2-5 in their next seven games.  This included two bad losses to Mega Chargers, and losses to both Hellagoods and Dynamite.  A major reason for the poor end of the season was on the defensive side of the ball.  Defensive lineman Avery, and Danny saw their production fall to just two sacks between them in the final five games.  Their cornerbacks Castro, and Rivera were solid, but a lack of consistent safety play from Mo Saleh and others let opposing teams score from anywhere on the field in the second half of the season.  If Team No Name is going to have any shot against Mega Chargers in the final, I believe it is going to have to start with their offense.  If they can field a full team and Tito can use his legs just as well as his throwing arm in certain situations, I believe Team No Name has very good shot at shocking the Epic Center world.

FINAL QB STATS:

Tito (8 GP)- 95-169 56%/ 1369 Yds/ 20 TDs 8 INT/ 3 Rushing TDs

OFENSIVE MVP:

Tito

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Michael Castro

 

#3 Southside (3-7)

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Southside QBs John Gravius (left blue) and Aaron Shaw (right blue) talk it up following a play against Hellagoods. Picture by Sean Goodwin

It was the second straight session for Southside here at the Epic Center. Unfortunately, it was a second straight unsuccessful season for the team.  Their three wins came against Vengeance who went 0-10 on the year.  It seemed like a completely different Southside team whenever they had to play a team other than Vengeance.  Their usual quarterback Aaron Shaw gave up the position to John Gravius in week 7.  John played well in his three games at QB, but there is only so much you can take from a win against Vengeance.  Southside gave up the most sacks in the entire league last session, and the poor O-line play continued during this session.  This led to minimal big plays from their offense, and other than Tyler Ciemny there was almost no deep threat at all when it came to their passing game.  Aaron Shaw and Ciemny tried to get a running game going in most of their games, but they had very little success on their running play.  The bright spot of their season came in the form of Kenny Nowak who led the league in interceptions. Nowak tallied his total of seven interceptions by week eight, and was also a strong presence for their offense as he finished the session with five touchdowns.  Even with all the losses and blowouts at the hands of the upper division teams, Tyler Ciemny still had a productive season with seven touchdowns on the year.  Southside will play Team No Name in the first round of playoffs, a team they went 0-2 against in the regular season.

FINAL QB STATS:

Aaron Shaw (7 GP)- 80-131 61%/ 899 Yds/ 8 TDs 9 INTs

John Gravius (3 GP)- 43-66 65%/ 619 Yds/ 8 TDs 2 INTs

OFFENSIVE MVP:

Tyler Ciemny

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Kenny Nowak

 

#4 Vengeance (0-10)

The record says it all as Vengeance was the team on the bottom when it came this past session. The poor plays started with their revolving door at the quarterback position.  Almost every player on the team got a shot at quarterback and it is difficult to say who was the best and who was the worst.  The team was led by the Rager brother trio of Will, Robert, and Drew, as well as Voss brothers Nick and August.  August was there most impressive player in terms of talent. August finished the season with six touchdowns.  Another bright star on the team was Patrick who had some very impressive interceptions against some very good quarterbacks.  Vengeance just looked completely out matched when they had to play anyone other than Southside.  Southside and Vengeance were actually pretty even when it came to overall team talent.  This showed in the games they played against each other which were only single digit win margins for Southside.  Vengeance’s best game came in their last week against Southside where they lost by only two points on a last minute play.  Vengeance will have to meet up with Mega Chargers in the first round of the playoffs.  Their last game against Mega Chargers ended in a 90-0 score so it is a classic David versus Goliath matchup.

FINAL QB STATS:

N/A (too many different quarterbacks)

OFFENSIVE MVP:

August Voss

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

PLAYOFF PREVIEW (Upper Division)

The flag football regular season came to a close this past Monday. Hellagoods and Mega Chargers both won in convincing fashion as they have many times throughout the season.  Instead of writing an article on the final games, I have decided to bring back the playoff preview for all football teams playing this session. The articles will continue once playoffs begin this coming Monday.

 

Upper Division Teams

#1 Dynamite (8-2)

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Dynamite offense (red) prior to a snap in a previous game this session. Picture by Sean Goodwin

Dynamite had one of the best seasons I have witnessed for a rookie team playing here at Epic Center. Led by their QB Bobby McConnell, Dynamite were the most consistent team in the upper division.  If you were to take away a week 3 loss to Hellagoods by only 12 points, Dynamite would have a 8-1 record with their only loss coming to the hands of the mighty Mega Chargers.  Other than consistent play from the quarterback position, Dynamite had the most consistent and deep receiving cores in the upper division.  Jeff Farr was top three in touchdowns on the year, and Ed Starr produced heavily in the weeks he was playing.  Their defense made big plays all year long with great flag pullers like Travis and Cowboy anchoring down the linebacking core.  Their defensive line play was led by sack masters Ed Harof, and Stanley who really picked up the production at the end of the season.

FINAL QB STATS:

Bobby McConnell-       150-223 (67%)/ 2604 Yds/ 34 TD 9 INT

OFFENSIVE MVP:

Bobby McConnell

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Travis

 

#2 Hellagoods (8-2)

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Hellagoods offense (black) prior to a snap in a previous game from this session. Picture by Sean Goodwin

Hellagoods finished with a tie for the best record with Dynamite, but lost the tie breaker due to their head to head losses against Dynamite. Hellagoods had another good season for the fourth straight session I had been covering, but this will be their toughest task yet if they are going to repeat again as champions.  The year started off with some trouble as Hellagoods regular quarterback Ford declared himself out for the season due to some nagging injuries.  I knew they would not have to worry about the quarterback position when I first watched their replacement play.  Sam Castronova was a true college quarterback, and every game he played for Hellagoods he did not disappoint.  However, he was not able to attend many of their late season games which led to two big losses against Dynamite without Sam under center.  Other than the quarterback position Hellagoods got consistent top-level play from all of their usual producers.  Noah Huard and Kyle Roy dominated the defensive line once again finishing in the top four for sacks in the whole league.  Robert Malave produced big time plays at numerous positions throughout the season.  Malave ended up being their best number two option at quarterback, overtaking Derek Mcgee due to outstanding performance in Hellagoods final couple games.  Alex Seifert had a breakout season finishing second in touchdowns in the entire league.

FINAL QB STATS:

Sam Castronova(6 GP)-   114-155 (74%)/ 1935 Yds/ 30 TD 2 INT

OFFENSIVE MVP:

Alex Seifert- 13 Total Touchdowns

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Noah Huard- 11 Total Sacks

 

 

#3 Buffalo Braves (3-7)

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Braves defense (orange) in a game from this previous session. Picture by Sean Goodwin

It was disappointment after disappointment for the Braves this season. This was easily the worst record I have seen the Braves put up since I started covering these flag football games a year ago.  They were a collective 0-7 against the top four teams in the league.  There were many reasons for the collapse of the Braves this season but it starts with their quarterback Chris Lonzi’s performance in those important games.  In the seven losses Lonzi had a combined completion percentage of just 48 percent.  Of course, this statistic is not just on Lonzi as there were unbelievable drops made across the board by Braves receivers.  Lonzi actually tied for the lead in touchdowns on the team, and this was just his rushing touchdowns.  Damon Powell did not have a very productive season, and former touchdown leader John Helbringer just did not provide the deep threat he once did.  Yusef B. was a player who produced in a big way for the team in first two weeks, and then did not return for any of the games remaining in the season.  This left a large hole on the offensive and defensive side for the Braves in which they really could just not fill.  However, anything could happen in the playoffs, and the Braves actually had two losses to Hellagoods and Dynamite in which they only lost by one point. Hopefully we will see the Braves of old when they playoffs start this week.

FINAL QB STATS:

Chris Lonzi(9 GP)- 113-225 (50%)/ 1865 Yds/ 23 TD 13 INT

John H (1 GP)- 13-23 (57%)/ 207 Yds/ 3 TD 1 INT

OFFENSIVE MVP:

Chris Lonzi

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Mohammed Saleh

 

 

#4 No Fly Zone (3-7)

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No Fly Zone’s championship photo from the early winter session. Picture by Sean Goodwin

It was a “come down to earth” season of sorts for No Fly Zone. After dominating the lower division last session in similar fashion to the way Mega Chargers did this season,  No Fly Zone had a less than impressive first session in the upper division.  Their only impressive win came against the Braves who have struggled all season just as much as No Fly Zone did.  Their leader and star QB from last season James Cellotto could not perform at a high level against the tougher teams.  Cellotto was not even at the game where No Fly Zone defeated the Braves in their best game of the year. It got worse for Cellotto as the season went on as he had an absolutely abysmal performance in their final game of the season.  In a 46-8 loss to Hellagoods Cellotto went 3-16 with six interceptions before heading to the bench in favor of Eric Kleckler. No Fly Zone’s touchdown leader from last session, John Caie, was not present at almost half of their games, and No Fly Zones offense really struggled without him.  In the games where Caie did play he only managed to score two touchdowns which was nowhere near his 12 plus total from last session.  Derek Bongiovanni was the only player who really improved his game from their previous session.  Derek made at least one big play a game and finished with an impressive touchdown total for a 3-7 team with five touchdowns. Navvar Poole and Dave did have solid seasons of production on the defensive line, but could not figure out how to block proficiently went it came to the offense.

FINAL QB STATS:

James Cellotto (8 GP)- 90-177 (51%)/ 1420 Yds/ 16 TD 13 INT

OFFENSIVE MVP:

Derek Bongiovanni

DEFENSIVE MVP:

Navaar Poole

Dynamites defense ignites against Hellagoods for 26-3 win

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Dean Thompson (black) points out defensive assignments before a play.                                  Picture by Sean Goodwin

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – With only three games on the football schedule for this past Monday night, I decided to write about the game with the most impact on the standings. I did not have to look too hard as the first game of the night featured the number one and number two teams in the standings of the upper division.  Hellagoods (7-1) took on Dynamite (7-2) for the third time this season.  Dynamite remained the only team to beat Hellagoods this season, and they were looking to repeat their performance from just three weeks ago.  I found out before the game that Hellagoods were going to be short-handed, and they did not have their regular quarterback Sam Castronova for the fourth time this season.  Derek Mcgee stepped into the quarterback role once again for Hellagoods.  As for Dynamite, they have been rolling as of late as they were winners in five of their last six games played.  Bobby McConnell looked to continue his push for the number one seed, and stay in the MVP race with Mega Chargers QB Nicholas Scibilia.

Derek Mcgee and Hellagoods could not have started the game off any worse. Captain Noah Huard decided to take the ball at the start of the game, and in just one play found themselves trailing by six points.  Derek threw an extremely dangerous pass to the flat that was intercepted and returned to the endzone by Mike from Dynamites terrific secondary.  The second drive for Hellagoods was another unimpressive showing ending in a punt following two incompletions and a sack.  Bobby and the Dynamite offense did not miss a beat from their big win in the previous week.  Bobby spread the ball around extremely efficiently, and his first drive ended In a touchdown throw and catch to Ed Harof.  Hellagoods were able to get some luck go their way on the PAT however, as the ball bounced right to Mike Austin’s arms for a single point for the visiting team Hellagoods. Derek Mcgee continued to just not get it done for Hellagoods when they needed him most.  I have to mention how well Dynamite rushed Mcgee, who has a tendency to be able to avoid rushers but was shut down completely by the likes of Ed Harof and Stanley.  Derek Mcgee threw another interception and on the following drive took as sack in the end zone for two valuable points for Dynamite.  The halftime score was 14-1 in favor of Dynamite.

If I had to guess the final score based off the mood and vibes from both teams during halftime, I would have guessed for more of the same from both teams in the second half. Hellagoods was very quiet, and if they had to say anything it wasn’t any type of positive encouragement.  Meanwhile Bobby was coaching up his Dynamite team making sure they kept up the pressure throughout the entirety of the game.  Bobby’s team ended up doing exactly that.  They scored on their first drive of the second half in just three plays.  Josh Salada showed flashes of brilliance for the first time in a couple of weeks.  He absolutely torched the cover three defense of Hellagoods for a 53-yard touchdown on third down and long. This ballooned the score to 20-1 with just twenty minutes left on the clock which made victory seem even farther out of Hellagoods reach.   Following another turnover on downs, Hellagoods finally made a quarterback change when Robert Malave stepped in for Derek Mcgee.   Malave had a couple of flashy plays, but did not come very close to breaking the lock tight Dynamite defense open.  Travis tacked on a late touchdown catch, and Dynamite won their eighth game of the season. The final score was 26-3 in what was by far the lowest scoring game from Hellagoods I have ever witnessed.  Bobby finished with a very good passing line of 14-24 for 219 yards and three touchdowns to just one interception.  The players of the game were both strong producers on the defensive side.  Number 17 Mike finished with five total catches, and two of them were interceptions. Ed Harof is my other player of the game, as he was very productive rushing the passer.  Ed finished with two sacks to go along with his touchdown reception.  Dynamite officially clinched the number one seed in this win over Hellagoods, and they will have a bye next week before playoffs.  Hellagoods will have to play one final tune up game before playoffs and it will be this coming Monday against Team No Name.

Robert Malave completes rare hat trick in Hellagoods blow out over Southside

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Images of Hellagoods offense at work. Pictures by Sean Goodwin
YOUTUBE CLIP LINK

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Another Monday night, and another very impressive showing from Hellagoods in this weeks flag football game of the week.  I made the decision to cover Hellagoods at the start of this past Monday night.  It has been a couple weeks since I wrote about one of their games, and with the fantastic season they were having I believed they deserved another game article.  This past week their opponent was Southside who countered Hellagoods 6-1 record with a 2-6 record of their own.  It has been another difficult season for Southside who has only picked up wins against the winless Vengeance team.  The teams usual quarterback Aaron Shaw had made a permanent switch to wide receiver on offense.  Their new quarterback John Gravius had a pretty good debut against Vengeance in the week before.  His opposing quarterback would be none other than Bethel College QB Sam Castronova.  A former star at Williamsville South and ECC, Sam has been nothing short of perfection in his four previous starts for Hellagoods at the Epic Center.  It turned out to be another night of perfection for Castronova and the Hellagoods offense. 

Southsides biggest play of the game came on their very first play of the game.  Hellagoods arrived very late to the game, and was not ready for the first play which forced them to call a timeout. Following the timeout, Southside QB John Gravius ran a direct snap dive play up the right side and dodged the entire Hellagoods secondary on his way to the endzone for a sixty yard touchdown.  Hellagoods looked stunned for a second, but a great defensive play on the conversion killed any small momentum Southside was trying to create.  Castronova and the Hellagoods offense took to the field for their first drive.  Following three easy completions Eric Flynn was jumping over a smaller defender to haul in his eighth touchdown of the season.  Sam was once again proving any pass rush to be completely ineffective towards him.  His footwork and quick change of direction to get away from scot-free defenders was second to no one in our Epic Center flag football league.  Robert Malave then had his first big play of the night, intercepting Gravius’s first pass attempt and taking it the distance to put Hellagoods in the lead for the first and last time of the night at 12-6.  Pass rush became to be the big factor of the game for both teams.  After that first drive Hellagoods defense started to absolutely demolish Southsides offensive line.  Kyle Roy, Noah Huard and brother Adam Huard were taking turns on racking up the sacks starting with three sacks on Southsides four play drive following Malaves pick-six.  On the other side of the ball, Southside had little to no answer for Castronova’s offense.  Robert Malave had another highlight play on his next offensive drive when he took a short crossing route 41 yards to the endzone.  Then it seemed like Derek Mcgee decided he wasn’t putting up enough stats so he went and had picked off a pass of his own, and finished their next drive off with a three yard touchdown catch.  The score was 32-6 at halftime. 

Trailing by 26 points, Southside did not look like they had any type of answer for Hellagoods productive offense.  They tried to use a strategy of one rusher and the rest playing pass defense, but this just gave Castronova unlimited time to find a small opening to complete a pass.  Southside’s best skills player, Tyler Ciemny, had been held without a touch in a the first half for the first time all season. Hellagoods pass rushers totaled eight sacks in just the first half, and QB Gravius could not do too much with a collapsing pocket on nearly every play.  Eric Flynn became Sam’s favorite target in the second half.  This was because the tall Flynn had a big size advantage on nearly every Southside defender matched up against him.  Robert Malave even got some action at quarterback, and completed one the rarest feats in Epic Center flag football.  Malave completed the flag football hat-trick with a pick six, a receiving touchdown and a passing touchdown in a dominating night for his team.  The final score was 56-6 in what was a long night for the Southside defense. 

There were players of the game across the stat sheet for Hellagoods.  Sam Castronova finished with a QB line of 18-22 373 yards and 7 touchdowns with no interceptions.  Eric Flynn had the best receiving stat line with five catches for 129 yards and three touchdowns.  On the defensive side Nah Huard accumulated four sacks and seven tackles while Kyle Roy also had four sacks and six total tackles.  Hellagoods will be eager to play their rematch against Dynamite next week who is the only team to defeat Hellagoods this season.  Meanwhile, Southside will play their third game against their favorite winless opponent Vengeance.

Dynamite survive miracle play to hand Hellagoods their first loss

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        Picture 1: Bobby (Red) and the Dynamite team lining up before a play
        Picture 2: Robert Malave gets open for a 51 yard touchdown catch
        Final PAT video: https://youtu.be/qH72Bn-nUWY
        Pictures and videos by: Sean Goodwin

Typically, I will try to avoid writing an article covering the same flag football team in consecutive weeks. I covered Dynamites late win against Braves last week, and this week I am once again writing about a narrow last-minute win by Dynamite.  This past Monday Dynamite played Hellagoods for the first time this season.  Hellagoods had yet to have been beaten as they had a 6-0 record.  Dynamite brought a 5-2 record into the matchup against a Hellagoods team that was once again without its starting quarterback.  It was confirmed to me before the game that Sam Castronova would not be able to attend and that meant Hellagoods would be without their most talented player.  On the other side of the field,  Hellagoods had a full roster for one of the first games of the session.  Ed Starr, Josh Salada, and Jeff Farr were all present and ready to be active downfield for their reliable quarterback Bobby McConnell.  This was going to be Hellagoods toughest matchup they have had all season, but captain Noah Huard and his team were ready for the challenge.

 

Dynamite took the ball at the coin toss, and preceded to come out as hot as a blowtorch.  Last weeks hero Chris Franjoine had it going early on with quarterback Bobby.  After two straight receptions on fourth and first down, Chris slipped around defender Eric Flynn and walked into the end zone from thirty yards out.  Following a terrific extra point play Dynamite were up 7-0 in no time.  Hellagoods decided to roll with Derek Mcgee at quarterback who had finished a championship game for them under center just last year.  Derek was troubled in the pocket early on by great rushes from Ed Harof and Stanley.  Derek ended the drive with a very inaccurate incomplete pass on fourth down.  On the very next play, the Hellagoods defense forgot to cover a late breakout route from Chris Franjoine and it was another easy touchdown for Bobby and Franjoine.  Another successful extra point left Hellagoods with a 14-0 deficit to overcome.  They were able to answer back quickly.  Derek and Hellagoods came up with a beautifully drawn run play to Eric Flynn that led to a 40 yard touchdown scamper from mid field.  This was Erics sixth touchdown in just two games.   However, the defensive side from Hellagoods continued to bend and break at the hands of Bobby and his accurate timely throws across the middle of the field.  Following a big 28 yard catch and run from Jeff Farr, Ed Starr got on the board for the first time running straight up the middle of the field for a easy touchdown throw by Bobby.  It was 20-6 before Fish made it to the end zone off an amazing corner route finished off with an over-the-shoulder catch.  Hellagoods needed that last minute score desperately and Derek Mcgee came through in the clutch and the halftime score was just 20-12 in favor of Dynamite. 

 

The mood at halftime was hype and confidence from both teams.  Leseaon Washington was a big vocal leader for this team, and it showed how bad they were missing him during his injury.  As confident as can be Hellagoods took the field to start the second half just down eight, but would quickly be down six more.  Travis made a unbelievable read on a screen play and perfectly timed his jump for an absolute walk-in pick six from thirty yards out.  It happened so quick Hellagoods barely had time to react and get their defense on the field for the PAT.  The score was now 26-12 an it would remain this score for the next ten minutes.  The defenses from both teams started to play shut down defense forcing two straight three and outs form both offenses.  It wasn’t until a pointless interception thrown by Bobby to Alex Seifert where the momentum started to creep back over in favor of Hellagoods.  With just five minutes on the clock, Derek made two great plays to get Hellagoods in the end zone again.  An escape from a big loss of yards led to a three yard completion to Eric Flynn.  On the very next play Robert Malave toasted his defender and got wide open for a 51 yard touchdown up the right sideline.  They were unsuccessful on the conversion, and were still down eight points with just two minutes left and one timeout.  Bobby and Dynamite took the field needing just one first down to run the clock out on Hellagoods undefeated season.  They would get to 28 seconds when a real miracle played out on the field.  Following a big thirty yard completion on third down, Bobby took the snap on what should have been the final play.  The snap was mishandled and somehow ended up in the hands of Kyle Roy from Hellagoods who came off the line flying. Kyle snatched the fumbled ball out of the air and quickly took it to the house for a miracle touchdown at the buzzer.  There was only one last play needed in order to complete the miracle.  Hellagoods was down two points and needed to go for two.  I was able to record the final PAT and it is available at the link in the above caption.  The attempted pass to Fish went out of the end zone and Dynamite had held on to defeat Hellagoods 26-24 for the first time all session.  The players of the game were the Dynamite QB Bobby (17-29 276 3 TD 2 INT) and Chris Franjoine (4 REC 74 YDS 2 TD) who were both instrumental in Dynamites early big lead that they had in this game. Dynamite will look to extend their recent winning streak against a team they have already beaten in Team No Name.  Hellagoods will be trying to start a new inning streak when they take on Southside next Monday night in final game at 11:00 PM.