So Here we are- Championship week. We've got three league titles on the line, and we are all getting closer to facing the fact that soon, all of our seasons will be over. It has been an exciting season that has- in many ways- exceeded expectations.
Before we spend too much time eulogizing the 2005 season, let's enjoy the awesome games before us.
Hoosier Hurricanes @ Charlotte Roughriders
If you'd have told me at the beginning of the season that the brand new Hurricanes would emerge as clearly the best team in the state of Indiana, I'd have been at least a skeptic. The Hurricanes have, however, earned that distinction, and at season's end, can wear that mantle unchallenged- there is no team in the state even close. The Hurricane defense is among the best to have taken the field over the last several years anywhere in the midwest, and their secondary in particular is dominant. The Hurricane offense thrives on big plays and gets it done when it needs to. They will be traveling to take on a Charlotte team that has picked up almost half their roster since midseason and has rolled since late August. The bottom line is, though, that they've not seen a team even in the same universe as the Hurricanes. It was pretty clear several weeks ago that whichever team emerged from among the Soldiers, Vipers, Hurricanes and Wolverines would claim the OVFL title. For the Hurricanes, it will be one year played, one loss suffered, and one league title claimed.
West Central Wildcats @ Grant County Scorpions
So forever and ever, coaches have been telling players that adversity builds character- that mistakes are not simply problems in and of themselves, but opportunities to overcome and grow. Every player that has taken the field this season has known adversity, but few in greater quantity in the early going than did the GC Scorpions. Consider for a moment this experience:
81-0. Eighty-One to NOTHING.
I don't have to tell all of you that most teams would pull up the anchor and head out to sea after an episode like that. Most guys would call the season over before it ever began after suffering a defeat of that magnitude. Not the Scorpions. The Flyers lopsided win caused something unlikely- it caused the team to come together. After a regular season campaign that yielded only one loss, the Scorpions are still in the hunt and the Flyers have long since gone home. The Wildcats are the unlikely "feel good hit of the summer", having made a strong comeback from a mediocre-at-best first season in 2004. The Wildcat defense was dominating at home, and the team dropped only two games- both of which, however, were to the Scorpions. Since the game is up in Marion, and history and redemptive glory are on the side of the Scorps, it seems likely the they will do the unlikely and beat the Wildcats a third time in the same season to clinch the title. Truly a lesson to us all.
Kosciusco County Mustangs @ South Central Broncos
Can you say parity? After 4 weeks of play, the two teams in the title game were a combined 3-5 in league play- and both were struggling just to keep the idea of a playoff run alive. Two months later, both teams find themselves vying for an IFL title- a better cinderella story, you could not write. The Mustangs heeded my advice, and found a ground game on the road- much to my surprise and to the great chagrin of the Cougars. The Mustangs executed better than they have since late September of last season- and found a defensive identity. The beleaguered offensive line came to play and were able to execute when the game was on the line. More importantly, the Mustangs found a way to capitalize on the mistakes of their opponent- something they'd not done much at all this season. The Broncos offense can now be taken seriously as one of the best in the League. After having come back to win by a comfortable margin last week, it is hard to put anything past this much improved unit. Most important to the Broncos, however, are special teams- just ask the Pirates about that one. Though one might expect the winner of the stronger division to take the title, one has to remember that that victor has had the toughest road to the title game, and has had to expend the most energy just to get to the big game. Such is true of the Broncos- and though one can not overstate their improvement from last season, they will have to bow to the other cinderella story of 2005- the comeback Mustangs. Look for Bronco turnovers to doom the red and black attack, and leave them seeing all orange and blue.
Indiana Titans @ Central Indiana Bears
What can be said about this game that has not already been so many times written on this messageboard: great matchup- great teams- big playmakers- much improved. One could go on all night with platitudes and generalizations (as I have been known to do on occasion), but this is the playoffs- and to some extent- all bets are off. The Titan passing game did not come to play last week, and found themselves in the recently unfamiliar position of having to play catch-up. The game was closer than the final score suggests- and any one of the Bears would be happy to tell you that they had all they could handle with the Titans' defense last week- and that they expect to see more of the same this week. The Bears' defense- in particular with respect to the running game- has, itself come a long way since the early going. From this perspective, it will be all about the Titans' ability to run the football. If they can run the football well, the passing game should flow. If the Bears' defense stands tall- as I expect they will- it will be another close loss for big Don and the Titans, and the end of the road for 2005. Whichever team emerges with the W, you can count on their doing so with class. The winner of this game will have a genuine shot at the MSFL title- and will have the rest of us cheering for them going forward.
Well, gents- the time for talking is done. If you take care of business on Saturday, you will be going to look at rings- and I don't mean for your wives. Play hard, play with passion, and play with integrity. Go get 'em- and make your uncle Soopa proud, fellas.
This is what we all play the game for!
The fun, the competition, the love for the game, and yes the taste of victory!!!
Let me first thank every baller in the state for a great season and learning experience...Keep on bringing it back... See you next season!!
Let me congradulate everyone playing this week, because you have already proven your ability to overcome whatever adversity you have faced...You are all winners, or you would not be here today!!
In the end, we all win, because we play the game we love...
For a few special people, this weekend will be a special one!!
Congrats ahead of the outcome...
Just want to say Goodluck Titans!! Its been a good season and most important of all.....FUN! The one thing that is going to suck this weekend, is that only one of us will play next week and that unfortunate cause I really enjoy playing the Titans! Goodluck again!! #50
just wondering your take on the MCFL championship. Detroit Seminoles @ Cleveland Lions
IMO...Seminoles get revenge on the Lions and win 17-14.
Where is the IFL sports reporters picks at this week.
RE: Seminoles and Lions..
As much as I've got love for my man Dan-O, I've got to disagree. Detroit's strength is their small and quick secondary, and Cleveland knows that they need to run the ball to be successful- not put the ball in the air and let the Seminoles take it away. I know the tendency is to not favor a team like Cleveland that plays so many close games, but with a defense like theirs- even 8 points is a comfortable lead.
Congrats Cats MFL Champions!!!
Fantastic game, fantastic team and organization of the Mustangs.
Your team is fantastic and deserved everybit to be in the final game.
Titans survive to play another day and this game went down to the wire. With about 1:40 on the clock, the Titans get a lucky bounce off Bears DB that ends up in the hands of Mr. David Langager who then turns around and runs to the end zone untouched. Titans go up 20 to 19 after extra point. Titans then hold on to win.
proving once again they (SCORPS) have no offense.
At least I got ONE right:
The Hurricanes win 21-0 to win the OVFL title outright. Congrats- and as I said before, clearly the best team in the state.
In other news- Dan-O was right. The Seminoles came back to beat the Cleveland Lions 21-19.
And so it goes.
This is where we all join together to pull for the Titans in the MSFL playoffs. GO TITANS!
Actually, FYI Supa, I heard the final was 14-9 Seminoles, not 21-19. Cleveland forced 5 turnovers but couldn't do anything with the ball.
Just want to tip my hat off too the CI Bears...
Saturday was what football is all about. This game was a battle and we all left it on the field.
JC, great game. We were smashing the ball down the field on our last drive and you blitz through and stopped us. This was a great game.
Best of luck Next year and if you play in a Tournament.
Like I told ya Soooooopaaa,
Always bet on BLACK!!!!!
Turnover call was right just for the wrong squad.
BRONCOS are the CHAMPS!!!!
What a great game the Mustangs are tough!!!
BROTHERHOOD you know who you are!!!
Proud Patty Duh Prez
Congratz Broncos, Good hard hitting game I had fun except for the losing part. C you all next year unless my stripping career takes off and i move to LA.
speaking of stripping what ever happened to your kicker from last year Mustang #35 i heard he was scared to get a brooze on him
MIDSTATES FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT
Evansville Vipers (OVFL) 21
St.Louis Bulldogs (NAFL) 18
I was wondering who is playing in the midstates playoffs this coming week? just wondering and congrats to the wildcats on the win I am still sore from that damn game!
I do not know what happen to him, But i do know that the state capital of Illinios is not Chicago.
You were right on with your assesment of the Cleveland vs. detroit game! It's unfortunate that the Offensive coordinator of the Lions didnt get your memo! Though the Noles came out geared to stop the run, As usual, they had a hard time stopping the Lion's rb, Chip I think his name is. but they decided to go to a primarily passing attack out of the shotgun no less on a day where their Qb just didnt have it. They missed three relatively long fg's because when they got in range instead of pounding the ball which is how they got there anyway, they tried to pass and either didnt gain more yards or took sacks which made the fg harder. ANyway, Detroit played a great game and deserved to win. i t just seem that the lions O abandoned what had been highly successful for them over the course of hte season way too early!