Bandits beat Black Magic in last game of regular season, 32-17
The last regular season game of the year ended in heavy rain, and Prowling Bandits coach Ma Beagle walked off the field soaking wet, declining the offer of a towel with a grin.
''Thought we'd go down easy-peasy, eh?" Ma Beagle said.
Soggy weather couldn't dampen the celebratory mood for the Bandits, who won their way into the playoffs beating the Black Magic 32-17.
Ma Beagle called plays from the sidelines, as she has done all season. She was promoted to head coach at the beginning of the season when Prince John was demoted.
''You couldn't write a script like this,'' Ma said. ''Hang on, Disney fans! My Beagle Boys are about to enter the state of postseason!"
The Bandits (6-6) positioned themselves to crack a top 4 seed for the second consecutive season after placing third last year before losing to the Bow-Tique Bow-Dazzlers in the first round.
''Our team deserves to be in the playoffs,'' Ma said. ''Tonight we stole an exclamation point to put on our great season.''
The Black Magic (6-6) lost for fourth time in six games after starting 4-2.
''I'm never going to shake my head at back-to-back postseason appearances,'' coach Ma said. ''But we didn't finish the way we wanted to finish.''
Frequent driving rain hampered both offenses, but Bigtime went 20 for 28 with no turnovers.
''Not this time! You ain't getting the drop on this Beagle Boy!," the leader of the Beagle Boys said.
Defensive lineman Bouncer Beagle's jarring tackle sent the ball squirting backward 15 yards through the end zone for an early safety, and the hits kept coming from the Bandits, who blitzed on virtually every play. The Disney Black Magic came into the game averaging 26.6 points but didn't reach the end zone until less than three minutes remained.
Merlock the Magician, who came into the game with 922 yards rushing for Black Magic, managed an abysmal 23 yards and as a team, the Black Magic rushing attack ran 23 times for 99 yards.
''When your not able to use a guy like Merlock in those short yardage situations, it hurts you as a team," said coach John Rockerduck.
The Bandits entered the game with almost exactly the same offensive and defensive team statistics as the Magic, but it was the Beagle Boy-led defense that held the Black Magic to three short field goals by Goat Man.
The Prowling Bandits were nursing a 12-9 lead in the final period when they started at their 20 following a 71-yard punt. Bankjob slipped behind the secondary, caught Bigtime's pass in stride at his 40 and veered untouched to the end zone.
The play was a run-pass option.
''We take a chance here and there,'' Bigtime said. ''Luckily it worked out for us.''
The Bandits' Argus McSwine recovered an onside kick following Temple's touchdown, a ruling the Owls disputed.
''I thought we had the onside kick,'' Gladstone Gander said. ''I still think we had it.''
''I had it the whole time,'' McSwine said with a straight face as his teammates laughed about the luckiest duck in Disney history missed out on the postseason.
Following the recovery, Babyface Beagle scored on a 41-yard run to seal the victory allowing him to break his own team record for most rushing yards in a season; eclipsing last year's total by more than 100 yards.
The Bandits totaled 370 yards. They moved 63 yards in the final 1:10 of the first half and Megabyte Beagle kicked a 38-yard field goal on the last play for a 12-3 lead.
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