Donald, Disney Ducks easily handle Beagle Bandits
Donald Duck threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score in the Quack Pack's 36-9 victory over the Prowling Bandits on Saturday in the opening game of the Mickey Mouse Athletics Football 2016 Postseason.
Leading up to the first game of the playoffs, Quack Pack quarterback Donald Duck batted back questions about whether his team could live up to the hype of being the regular season champions after finishing last year one game from the Walt Disney Bowl.
But it didn't take long for those who doubted him to start believing in the most popular duck in the world and national hero of Finland.
The Quack Pack (10-3) spotted the Beagle Boy Bandits (6-7) an early 2-0 lead, then dominated the rest of the way, racking up 667 total yards to the Bandits' 282 with the only Disney character to be a mascot of a major American university having a total of 471 yards and four TDs.
With Quack Pack fans chanting "Quack! Quack!" at times throughout the game, Donald, expected to be named the 2016 League's Most Valuable Player, set a regular season record with 30 touchdown passes. The only official Disney character with a middle name also broke the league record averaging 306 total yards per game.
"I’ll be doggone! This win means a lot because not only did last year not end the way we wanted, but we are one step closer to reach our goal of winning the Walt Disney Bowl," Donald said.
He was 35 for 45 for career-high 447 yards.
The Quack Pack won its second straight game dominating on both sides of the ball.
Quack Pack coach Scrooge McDuck said throughout the week that he was banking on his defense to help spark the Ducks' offense. It responded with one of its best efforts of the season.
The Bandits, playing under newly promoted Ma Beagle, continued their losing ways in the postseason. They were knocked out in the first round last year by Minnie Mouse and the Bow-Dazzlers.
They got on the scoreboard first with the safety. But that was one of their few highlights.
Bandits coach Ma Beagle said despite the setback, they aren't going to stray too far from the foundation they've been trying to build.
"We got beat in all three phases. There's no excuses," Ma said. "I'm going to evaluate the whole program, just like I do every year. It's not going to be any different. We're going to keep moving it forward. We're going to be resolute in that and we're not going to flinch with that."
A big second quarter by the Ducks, punctuated by Donald's two touchdown passes helped the Quack Pack take a 22-2 lead.
The Disney Ducks settled for field goals early after struggling to convert on third downs inside Beagle Boys' territory. That coincided with one of Donald's nephews - receiver Louie Duck - going down on their second series of the night with a web-footed injury.
But those fortunes changed quickly when Louie returned in the second quarter after getting his foot attended to by the training staff.
He immediately caught three passes on a six-play, 72-yard drive, including a capping 25-yard touchdown reception. Louie finished with four catches for 50 yards and one TD.
The Bandits next possession appeared to have stalled near midfield, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on a chaotic Fethry Duck kept it going and eventually set up the Bandits with second-and-goal on the 5.
Bigtime Beagle dropped back to pass, but was grabbed and lost the ball as he was slung to the ground by Donald's cousinGus Goose. The loose ball was then recovered by Quack Pack's Launchpad McQuack to end the threat.
The Disney Ducks got it again with just under 2 minutes to play and drove 60 yards for another touchdown, scoring on Donald's 12-yard pass to Dugan Duck who caught a career-high 142 yards.
"I've been saying this all season long and I still feel like this - we're one of the best teams in the league," coach McDuck said. "When we go out and play the way we played tonight, you can understand why. Isn't it splendiferous?"