Prowling Bandits Regular Season Title dreams kicked to the curb
Bandits miss out on title, still in playoff hunt
Making just enough plays to salvage a sweet ending to a disappointing season, the Aviators (2-8) broke a four-game losing streak and eliminated the Prowling Bandits for any shot at a regular season title.
"It's been a very difficult five or six weeks and the football team has worked very hard," said first year coach, Howard Rockerduck, who has taken much of the heat for the Aviators' struggles. "It's just very rewarding for me to see them smiling, laughing, feeling good about themselves."
The Bandits (6-4) are still in line to make playoffs after sitting quarterback Joaquin Slowly in favor of Big Time Beagle a few weeks ago. But they had so much more within their grasp.
The Bandits came into the game as huge favorites, with the fourth best record and second best scoring defense in the league.
"It makes you want to throw up," said linebacker The Sheriff of Nottingham, his eyes still red from crying. "It's a sick feeling. We fought all day. There wasn't any lack of effort or lack of intensity or passion. Everyone came to play, everyone came to win.
"There's a lot sick guys in the locker room right now."
The Aviatorsgot the ball first in overtime and drove to the Bandits 7.
Rockerduckthen summoned Yellow Beak, a green Disney pirate parrot with a peg-leg, who has been one of the few positive parts to the Aviators 2015 football season. Coming into the game, Yellow Beak was 6-for-7 on field goals.
He split the uprights from the left hash mark, putting the pressure on the Prowling Bandits.
On the Bandits' first play, wide receiver Bouncer Beagle sneaked into the secondary and was wide open at the 7, but Big Time Beagle threw the ball behind him and Bouncer couldn't hold on. Then on second down from the 7, Babyface Beagle broke through a hole and seemed on his way to a touchdown, but was tripped up by Jubal Pomp's ankle tackle.
Still, the Prowling Bandits had a first down and were just 3 yards from moving into a tie for Regular Season Title.
"I was definitely excited," wide receiver Bankjob Beagle said. "But it's never over until the fat lady sings [referring to teammate, Trudy Van Tubb] and I guess the fat lady hadn't sung. But I was expecting to score."
Three players later, Big Time tried to lob the ball to Fritter O’ Way in the end zone, but Jose Carioca picked it off.
"I didn't even hear the (defensive) call," Carioca said. "I just said, I'll stick with this man, just go with him. The ball was up. I just had an opportunity to make the best of it."
Panchito Pistoles accounted for 251 of the Aviators' 358 yards. He carried 21 times for 101 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown run, and completed 13 of 24 passes for 150 yards with one interception. But his biggest play was a touchdown-saving tackle after an Aviators' fumble.
When Prowling BanditsArgus McSwine knocked the ball from receiver Clara Cluck, Fritter O’ Way picked it up at the Aviators34 and sprinted down the left sideline. Pistoles bumped O’ Way out of bounds at the Aviators 15, then was slow to get up and had to be walked off the field by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts medical unit with Bolivar leading the way.
The Aviatorsran three running plays before calling on Yellow Beak, an athlete who could relate to Tom Dempsey; the former NFL record holder of the longest field goal.
"I just pushed it," Yellow Beak said. "Once I made contact, I knew it. I didn't even have to look up."
Though the Aviatorshad nothing to play for, they came up with a spirited effort on a day that started with the wind chill at 22 degrees and a northwest wind howling at 25 to 35 mph.
The Aviatorstook a 14-7 lead in the third quarter when Pistoles caught the Prowling Bandits in a blitz and sprinted 36 yards to the end zone through a big hole in the right side of the line. The Bandits tied it on Babyface Beagle's 2-yard touchdown run with 8:58 left.
Big Time's 13-yard TD run on an option keeper tied it at 7 in the second quarter, right after Aviators' Jose Carioca had capped a 94-yard, nine-play drive with a 5-yard TD run.
"The main thing was after these last few losses we had, people were starting to say we were quitters," Carioca said. "We just wanted to come out here and make a statement that we weren't giving up for the rest of the season."
|The Sheriff of Nottingham||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||8||0|
|Fritter O' Way||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||39||0|
|Trudy Van Tubb||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||19||0|