The Aviators (6-5) clinched their first postseason berth in franchise history. But despite their guaranteed winning season, they remain in a four-way tie for the third seed with the last game of the season coming up against the also playoff-bound Wild Mavericks.
The Rescue Rangers (4-7) suffered another disappointing loss to a horrific season. After reaching the Walt Disney Bowl last year, the Rangers were one of three teams in the league predicted to unseat the Mouseketeers. But there will be no Hakuna Matata this year.
The Aviators fought through a slow start however before closing out the win with a dominating offensive display.
"Ah, the playoffs. It is like a song in my heart. A song with love and beautiful memories. Quad saudades que eu tenho. Ah, the playoffs. I close my eyes, and I can see it now. I can see the beautiful trophy and fireworks in the sky. I can feel the fans cheering in the stadium. And I can hear the music, the music of achievement." - Jose Carioca after clinching playoff berth
Down by 10 early in the first quarter, the Aviators charged back by scoring 24 straight to take control midway through the third quarter.
The Rescue Rangers got within 24-17 when Chip Chipmunk threw a 17-yard TD pass to Dale Chipmunk with 4:12 left in the third.
But the Muddlefoot crew picked off Chip's passes in Rangers territory on each of the next two drives. Carioca capped both with 1-yard TD plunges to seal the win. Garvey Gull added another 1-yard run after Toby Tortoise blotched a long snap from Little John on 4th and 12.
The Brazilian parrot finished the game with 183 rushing yards, pushing him over 2,000 career rushing yards. Both of his touchdowns came on lively, rhythmical runs with Carioca performing the samba in the end zone after scoring. The second coming off a halfback sweep where Carioca shifted his weight, took a few rapid steps, and slid in for a score.
When asked how it feels to be making their first trip to the Walt Disney football playoffs, Jose Carioca was almost too emotional to respond.