Jose Carioca rushed for 184 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns to help the Aviators end a franchise drought of losing with a 45-24 victory over the Bow-Tique Bow-Dazzlers.
Carioca, Pistoles led Aviators past Bow-Dazzlers 45-24
The Aviators finally got over the hump and have a winning record for the first time in franchise history.
"Yee-haw! Ride 'em vaquero!" - Panchito Pistoles after winning in Week 1 of the season
The win over a team who reached the semifinals last year may not necessarily ensure Howard Rockerduck's coaching future. But it is a positive start for a franchise that finished 2-12 in their inaugural season.
"What a win. Great win," the second-year coach said. "So proud of our wings. Big step in growing up."
Carioca, last year's leading team rusher with 638 yards, scored on bursts of 25 and 45 yards, while averaging 9.2 yards per carry.
Panchito Pistoles threw for a game-high 253 yards and two TDs, and the Mexican charro gun-slinging quarterback also scored on a 2-yard run that put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter.'Holy frijoles! It feels muy bueno to win this early in the season,' Pistoles said. 'I feel like I grew up a lot. But now we need to win consistently.'Click To Tweet
The romantic wanderer of Mexico completed 15 of 22 passes, including TD throws of 14 yards to Bruto and 42 yards to Clara Cluck on a flea-flicker that began with a handoff to Garvey Gull, who pitched the ball to Bruto before the raven turned receiver lateraled back to Panchito.
Pistoles' 2-yard scoring run finished a 15-play, 82-yard drive the Aviators put together to extend their lead to 38-24 with just under 10 minutes to go.
Minnie Mouse was 21 of 34 for 232 yards and two TDs for BTBD. But other than her bright bow and polka dots, the style icon looked out of her element getting sacks five times and committing three turnovers.
"She was rusty early. ... I thought she calmed down in the second half. Minnie started looking like herself," Bow-Dazzlers head coach Mortimer Mouse said.
Minnie returned to the Bow-Dazzlers lineup after a week long celebration of her becoming the 2,627th star honored at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The glitz and glamour quarterback tossed touchdown passes of 30 yards to Millie Mouse and 7 yards to Gadget Hackwrench.
The Bow-Dazzlers began last year with a 4 and 1 record and made it to the semifinals before falling in the Plane Crazy Reunion Part Two and eventual Walt Disney Bowl champion, Mouseketeer football team.
But even with Minnie’s entire fashioned arsenal ready to play, there was no Disney magic that could stop the Aviators rushing duo and sloppy play by the Bow-Dazzlers.
Towards the end of the second quarter, a muffed punt by Maid Marian was recovered by Jubal Pomp setting up Yellow Beak’s 21-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
A pair of touchdowns in the first 5:07 of the third quarter put the Aviators up 24-3, but their defense had a tough time closing out the Bow-Dazzlers before a home crowd of pink bows, polka dots, and mouse ears.
The pinkest team in Disney World twice pulled within seven points, the last time on Minnie’s TD pass to Millie Mouse on the first play of the fourth quarter. Both times the Dazzlers drew close, though, the wings of the Aviators offense responded with long scoring drives to remain in control.
Ortensia, who rushed for a team-leading 52 yards, scored on 7-yard run in the third quarter. Less than a minute later, Jose Carioca’s 45-yard TD run finished a three-play, 75-yard drive that restored a two-touchdown lead.
"Golly! We just didn't come to execute like we usually do, and they came out and punched us in the mouth," Hackwrench said.
The franchise that Disney fanatics call TEAM MINNIE finished with 316 yards total offense, but was limited to 84 rushing. The talented Gadget Hackwrench, one week after rejecting trade offers from the Rescue Rangers Chip and Dale, gained 9 yards on two carries and had five receptions for 40 yards and one touchdown.