Football is in the air, SupaNation. We now find ourselves in that sublime position of finally having the rest of the football world with us. Those big-money prima donnas in the NFL have finally begun their season- joining the college and high school kids and football games are around every corner. Now begins the easy time to be a football fan- the weather is moderating, the games are on nearly every night of the week and the baseball season will soon end its competition for viewers and fans. But you, my brothers, you tough it out in the most difficult time to play the game. You play it when only those who love it would. While everyone else in the world has newly discovered the miracle of the pigskin, you have kept the lights burning through the summer months. To you, a debt of gratitude is owed. You are truly the keepers of the game and those to whom all of the credit is due, though very little comes.
Alas, our season(s) are drawing to a close and some of the biggest games of the season are on our slate. Some teams will hang up the cleats after this weekend and some stay alive to chase the dream of that ring upon which they will look fondly for the rest of their days. What could be more exciting than that? Let us dig in!
Miami Count Blitz @ East Central Wolverines
I will spare the long discourse on the ECW this week- but devote a line or two to the Blitz. Brian Raber is at a crossroads with this club, and it will be interesting to see where it goes next year. The Blitz have long been a team that no one wanted to play, but not quite good enough to be a contender. This year's club is down a bit in a more competitive league. It's not clear what the future holds for the MCB, but this weekend's fate is sealed.
Classic City Crush @ Kosciusco County Mustangs
The Crush have had- to put it mildly- a confusing and disappointing 2009 campaign. As has been mentioned before, though, they still have a strong core of both talent and leadership. This team reminds me of the Patriots and Broncos teams from 4-5 years ago: just a few players away from a very very strong team. The Mustangs have found a way to fashion a new team from the ashes of a fallen passing attack- and that new run focused offense will be enough on this day. Look out for the Crush in 2010.
Lakawanna Dynasty @ Lima Warriors
The Warriors find themselves right where they hoped to be: hosting the USFA championship in September. While there have been a few very minor bumps along the way, the Warriors have achieved almost every goal that was hoped for in the 2009 campaign. The Warrior defense slid into a bend, don't break approach which has cost a few scores, but not yielded a league loss. The Dynasty come to town with a very high powered offense and a defense that leads the USFA in turnovers. The Dynasty will be the toughest team the Warriors have seen all year, and their early lead will be enough to shock the Warriors at home.
Indiana Cardinals @ Ohio Force
These are two great teams that could well play spoiler in the MFL playoffs this season. Both teams have exceeded expectations in 2009 and are evidence of an gradual and undeniable increase in the quality of play in the MFL over the past several seasons. The Force have found the formula for a very successful inaugural season and the Cardinals offense has finally materialized. This is a great and close game, but as the first one did, this one goes to the home team.
Tri-County Raiders @ Indiana Cutters
The Raiders have found the 09 season more full of challenges than expected, but anyone who has played this team knows that they have some big time talent- just too short a bench and some big holes in several spots. Team leadership is fluid, so one hopes that the Raiders will be around for the next season. This game, of course, goes easily to the hosts. The Cutters have no doubt that they are now no longer the favorite to take the IFL crown and have something to prove. Unfortunately for the Raiders, that proving ground starts this weekend. Cutters make a big statement to open their playoff title defense- and win bigger than in the first meeting
Midstate Steel @ Indianapolis Stampede
The Stampede have the benefit of having played the season in one of the weakest divisions (relatively speaking) in any league in the region. Though they are in first place in their division, they've given up more points than they have scored. The Steel on the other hand, not yet having met expectations for the season, are in second place with a much stronger season. The Steel come to town with more talent and more to prove.
McHenry County Pirates @ Chicago Thunder
The Pirates come to Chicago with a high risk, high scoring offense and something to prove. They fancy themselves the team to finally pull of the shocker at Hanson Stadium, but don't bring a defense with them that is at all capable of meeting the challenge of the hosts. They have never seen a defense like that of the Thunder at home, though they kept it relatively close in the season finale at their place. This time, the margin will be larger and the Thunder will take another step toward the MSFL title.
Madison County Pirates @ Adams County Patriots
It's been a season of injuries and mistakes that have conspired to keep the Pirates from ever having realized their potential. With Dane Hill back at the helm, you can be sure that the Pirates have earned 2 more wins than they would have without him, but it is hard to call the season anything other than a disappointment. That is not to say that some great football has not been played by men in the Pirate uniform- only that much greater things were expected. One could say many of the same things about the Patriots as well. Though they are playing great football, it is clear that at least in relative terms, this year's Patriot squad is not what it was the last several years. At home, it will be enough to vanquish the visitors. Let's hope Dane keeps the core together and has a good offseason- that scenario is one that should scare the hell out of every team at every level around the region- but for now, the offseason begins on Sunday.
Ohio River Bearcats @ West Central Wildcats
It's time to put the upset watch on Brazil, Indiana this weekend. The Bearcats come into a very hostile situation and the best defense in the MFL. The Wildcats are heads and shoulders above their best season of the past (title year included) and are ready to make some noise. The Bearcats are deeper and more talented, but if they travel light, they'll be in big trouble. The Wildcats have had the toughest schedule in the league this year and that experience will -almost- be enough to pull off the upset.
Elkhart Shamrock @ Noble County Wolfpack
This is a great game between two teams that have outplayed expectations in 2009. The Wolfpack started early and had a great offseason and great leadership. Big C-Bell and the Rock have fought their way back from mediocrity and had a lot more success than many expected. In both cases, they have gotten better as the season has gone on. It's too bad that one of these teams has to go away after this weekend, but you can bet the the Cutters and the Generals are very happy that they will not have to face these dangerous teams down the line. Home team wins the day- looking forward to seeing the next chapter of the Rock in 2010.
****High School Section******
Union City Indians @ Tri Titans
Beef's boys have found themselves in a similar situation to last season, having opened up the season with a convincing win- only to be quickly out of the next two ballgames. Tonight's ballgame against the Tri Titans would be a good chance to get the ball rolling back in the right direction. Plagued by turnovers, missed assignments and poor execution, the Indian offense has yet to get fully off the ground. The Titan defense will be among the weakest- especially in the secondary- that Maloy will see all season. A big win on the road this weekend is only the first step, but an important one- toward making some noise in the post season for the Indians. Let's hope that Beef lets his boys enjoy the moment for a short while before getting back to business on Monday.
This weekend will be the last that some men ever put on a helmet and step onto the field of play- such is the nature of every season of football. Let's hope that all of you are able to play is if it is your last game and in so doing, you all make your mommas proud!
Thank you Supa for your words week after week. Your prediciton for next year is kind and something we will live up to. However, this Sunday is not the start of the off-season. We have a chance to go 5-5 on the season. IN two weeks everyone goes back to 0-0. We will fight each and every week until we loose, if we loose, in the playoffs. Right now its the Patriots, next week its the Wolves, and then its on to the force or home against force or Cards. This ship sails on with no thought of the off-season until Davey's Jones Locker.
Cutters move on by forfiet
Well the Force was ready for kickoff at 4, Cards were a no show so im assuming we take the forfeit???
The Wolverines had superior numbers for the first time this season but, as we warned our players, the Blitz are a hard hitting, physical football team and we could not stop their running game. Good game, Blitz. I'm not sure I can get out of bed tomorrow, I'm so sore.
Pirates 21 @ Patriots 12
First Home Game Lost for the Patriots in 4 years.
Wolfpack 17 shamrock 12. Great game both ways!
i would like to say good luck to the generals, and wolfpack that is gonna be a really good game...
Ohio River Bearcats 33
West Central Wildcats 13
Lackawanna Dynasty 40
Lima Warriors 28
Warriors turn the ball over 7 times and that was our ultimate undoing. Kaene Runion throws 3 touchdown passes to Corey Clarke, Joe Butcher, and David Phillips. Chris Brooks scores on a 20 yard fumble return. Lima finishes the season 12-2.