Rescue Rangers beat Prowling Bandits in final minutes
Chip, best known for his leadership, threw a 24-yard go-ahead touchdown to Timon with 2:37 left as the Rescue Rangers defeated the Prowling Bandits, 25-22.
Chip did what star quarterbacks do, passing his team to a victory and making the Rescue Rangers look as if this could be the season for a team considered the darkhorse of Mickey Mouse Athletics.
Best known for his accountable and leadership, Chip threw a 24-yard go-ahead touchdown to Timon with 2:37 left and the Rescue Rangers defeated Prowling Bandits 25-22 on Friday night in the much-anticipated first game of the year between the two most unknown teams.
While it’s a long way to the Walt Disney Bowl, the Rangers validated itself as a prime contender to the golden trophy. The Prowling Bandits, meanwhile, still have another 8 games until playoffs; so there is time to improve on mistakes.
Chip’s floating TD pass over a defender capped a 67-yard drive that started with five minutes left after the brains of the Beagle Boys Megabyte, who made league-record five field goals, missed a 50-yarder.
The biggest plays came on Chip’s passes, including a third-and-6 completion of 9 yards to his brother, Dale. Chip’s second TD pass of the game made the score 23-22.
“Timon came off the ball real good and I threw the ball to the outside so he could go out of bounds or make the great play and Timon made a great play for us,” said Dale, who threw for 270 yards.
The Rescue Rangers’ defense, which time and time again held firm after turnovers and special teams gave the Bandits good field position, had the biggest takeaway of the game when Robin Hood stripped a scrambling Joaquin Slowly and Ace London recovered and returned it inside the 20.
The Bandits held the Rangers out of the end zone, but Pumbaa sacked Big Time Beagle for a safety and the Rangers started the year out among the undefeated.
Mostly thought of as a runner, Chip proved against the Bandits that the pro-style offense will be hard to compete with this year.
“Obviously he’s a great runner,” Prowling Bandits linebacker Bouncer Beagle said. “Tonight he showed us he’s a great passer.”
One Bandit’s player had said their goal was to put an end to the Rescue Rangers 2015 football campaign. And while The Sheriff of Nottingham and the Prowling Bandit’s notorious “Beagle Boys” swift linebacking crew hemmed in Chip after some good runs early, they couldn’t stop his passing.
“When you have to play extra people in the box to stop his run it’s going to leave you a bit vulnerable to the pass,” Bandit’s head coach and sponsor, Prince John, said. “I thought he played hard. He kept getting hit and beat up and kept coming back. And his team won.”
Chip had also made a couple those poor decisions and bad throws — he was intercepted twice — that have caused him to be labeled a tailback playing quarterback.
But he finished 18-for-29 and ran 20 times for 76 yards.
Prince John was true to his promise, playing both Big Time Beagle and Joaquin Slowly at quarterback. Both were as good as their animated clips with Disney; neither distinguished himself, and it looks like the quarterback competition will resume for the Bandits.
Big Time ran for 27 yards, threw a touchdown pass to Fritter O’Way and led the Bandits on five scoring drives; Joaquin was 9-for-15 for 66 yards and led them to one field goal.
The Prowling Bandits did come up with three turnovers in Rescue Ranger territory, but they could only manage three field goals against nose tackle, Pumbaa and Company.
And when The Sheriff of Nottingham’s 46-yard kickoff return got the Bandits to around midfield in the third quarter, they again drove inside the 20, only to stall when Bouncer Beagle let a sure TD pass pop off his chest.
Megabyte Beagle knocked his final field goal of the game to give Bandits a 22-16 lead with 5:12 left in the third.
“I was walking down the sidelines telling the guys, ‘We’ve been through this [before] play by play,'” Chip said. “The defense is going to give us the ball and they did a great job.”
The Sheriff, the Bandit’s sneaky specialist, was only a factor on defensive and special teams. He caught two passes for 9 yards.
“I don’t think you ever silence critics,” Chip said.”They’ll be critics in the morning, that’s part of the deal.”
Joaquin was given the start; but Big Time, who’s kind of a Chip-lite, gave the Bandits a lift with his running, and tossed a 36-yard TD pass to O’Way that tied the game at 10.
Babyface Beagle then came up with an interception and fumble recovery on consecutive series to give the Bandits the ball deep in Ranger territory.
Both times the Rangers stiffened and made the Bandits settle for field goals of 37 and 25 yards by Megabyte.
The Rangers got a 37-yard field goal from Toby with two seconds left in the first half to make it 16-13.
The most anticipated game played at the Mouseketeer’s Athletic Complex during the first week of Mickey Mouse Athletics started with flash bulbs popping and the crowd of 65,000 in a frenzy.
The rough atmosphere left the Rangers unfazed. They calmly scored on their first two drives with Chip running and passing like a pro.
He swept around left end for 32 yards to help set up a 42-yard field goal by Toby.
Chip was 4-for-4 for 57 yards on the Rangers’ next drive, including a 5-yard strike to a slanting Dale for a touchdown.
|The Sheriff of Nottingham||0||0||0||0||1||-2||0||2||9||0|
|Fritter O’ Way||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||73||1|
|Trudy Van Tubb||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|