Babyface Beagle scored three touchdowns, including a league-record 88-yard run, and Prowling Bandits ran away from Black Magic 40-23.
Babyface added a 19-yard TD carry in the fourth as the Bandits (7-4) turned a one-score game into an easy win. The youngest of Beagle Boys finished with 192 rushing yards and six receptions for 40 yards and a touchdown.
But the Prowling Bandits used a 14-play, 97-yard drive that took up 6:41 of the third quarter -- culminating in Big Time Beagle's 5-yard toss to Babyface -- to take the lead for good. Big Time finished 25 of 33 for 197 yards and two touchdown passes.
Gladstone was 28 of 41 for 336 yards and three touchdowns for the Black Magic, but was intercepted twice.
Trailing at the half and in danger of losing a third place seeding in the playoffs, the Prowling Bandits football team didn’t do what it had done in each of the past two games.
The Beagle Boys didn’t panic.
Down 10-9 at the half, the Bandits remained calm and true to their game plan and pulled away for a much-needed 40-23 win over the Black Magic at Marathon Sports Fields.
After struggling to deal with adversity in unsuccessfully robbing Scrooge McDuck of his fortune, the Bandits (7-4) rallied with a 31-13 advantage in the second half to avoid losing a third seed in the upcoming Mickey Mouse Athletics Football League playoffs.
“That’s a huge morale booster, especially after controlling Gizmoduck, making off with Scrooge's fortune, and before you know it, BOOM, we’re down at halftime again,” Bandits quarterback Big Time Beagle said. “The whole focus this week was just to finish. Coming out of halftime, we knew we had to get a drive going. We didn’t score, but we didn’t panic.
“That was the biggest thing. I think the last couple games we panicked a little bit when things didn’t go our way, but I thought we stayed relaxed today and everybody did their job and we all executed.”
The Bandits trailed 10-9 midway through the third quarter when the Beagle Boy brothers put together the drive of the game — and possibly the season — when they went 97 yards in 14 plays and took nearly seven minutes off the clock to take a 16-10 lead.
The final play may have been the biggest of the game — a 5-yard touchdown pass from Big Time Beagle to Babyface Beagle on third-and-goal from the 5. Babyface caught the ball on a swing pass and looked to be stopped short before knocking over Merlock and Magica De Spell as he fell across the goal line just before going out of bounds.
“It was huge,” Babyface said. “We started from our own 3-yard line and having to drive all the way down was tough. It was like The Case of the Sticky Money (1963)...taking piece by piece, and by the time Scrooge notices, it's too late, all the money is withdrawn... that story was special."
After the Bandits defense held the Magic to a punt, Babyface busted a 88-yard touchdown run on the Bandits’ next play to give them a 23-10 lead.
Babyface Beagle had only 27 rushing yards in the first half, but finished with 192 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. He became sixth running back this year to top 1,000 rushing yards for the season.
Babyface Beagle Finishes Strong
Not much taller than Big Time, yet rounder in stature, Babyface rolled the white cuffs of his sleeves back. Unlike his teammates, he didn't need to wear gloves. All he needed to do was finish strong.
He did in the second half what the Beagle Boys focused on all week.
“My brother made my job a lot easier,” Big Time said of Babyface. “He’s a little beast. I could see it in his eyes before the game that he was out here to get some. He went off tonight. When you can get the run game going like that, as a quarterback, It makes your job so much easier.”
Big Time completed his first 11 passes and finished 23 of 35 for 197 and two touchdowns. Joaquin Slowly had six catches for 45 yards, while Babyface added six catches for 40 yards.
Thankful for not being in jail during this beautiful afternoon, the Prowling Bandits defense used a bend, but not break mentality to limit Gladstone and the Magic offense to 10 points entering the fourth quarter.
The Bandits' defense ended up allowing 474 yards to the Black Magic, but made the plays when they needed to. Linebackers Sheriff of Nottingham and Fritter O'Way each had interceptions in the fourth quarter to help the Bandits extend the lead.
“We had a huge emphasis on finishing this week,” The Sheriff said. “Throughout practice we were talking about finishing and we brought it up when the fourth quarter hit. The big word was finish and we broke out on it and everyone meant it. You could tell there was a different (feel). Coach even said he had that mojo in the fourth quarter."
“The offense was going down there and scoring and scoring. As a defense, when you know the offense is going to go out and score, it takes a little bit of pressure off you and you're able to go out there a little bit more relaxed and play with a little more swagger.”
The Bandits held Black Magic running back Negaduck – who entered the game with an average of 101 yards rushing per game – to 52 rushing yards on 11 carries. His first carry of the game went for 40 yards. His next 10 went for a total of only 12 yards.
Babyface added a 19-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter and Fritter O'Way scored on a 34-yard touchdown run with 2:15 to play to put an exclamation point on a win that the Prowling Bandits badly needed.
Beagle Boys Back on Track
An 7-4 season wasn't what the Beagle Boys or their fans had in mind after winning upsetting the Mouseketeers and Bow-Dazzlers earlier in the season. But after dropping a game to the worst team in the league, and needing a 22 point fourth-quarter comeback to escape Ben Ali and the Wild Mavs, Friday's win was a big one.
“We had to go out and play and execute and find some mojo, and that's exactly what we did,” Bandits coach Prince John said. “And I love that about this team. We found a way to win. Oo-dee-lally! A win! How exciting!"
"Beagle boys or prowling bandits? Who's next? Rubbish. Um, um, my dear ladies, you have my permission to kiss the royal hands. Whichever you like, first."
|The Sheriff of Nottingham||0||0||0||0||3||18||0||3||26||1|
|Fritter O' Way||0||0||0||0||3||63||1||2||22||0|
|Trudy Van Tubb||0||0||0||0||3||2||0||1||12||0|
|Magica De Spell||0||0||0||0||3||40||0||1||10||0|