Pumbaa Parks on Quack Pack Defense
The Rescue Rangers offense has built its reputation around the two most well-known Disney chipmunks in the league, but the Rangers needed a career day by Lion King star and running back Pumbaa to hold off Quack Pack 39-32 in the Disney Football Semifinals.
Pumbaa Parking Lot Lives On
The regular season champion Rangers survived a rare shootout by their defensive standard; allowing the second most points this season, and most since giving up 41 points in a Week 7 loss to Dark Dynasty.
Pumbaa rushed for for 227 yards and two touchdowns, including a game-winning 45-yard scamper with less than 10 minutes to play. It was his best performance in a single game and second highest rushing total by a single player; Oswald The Lucky Rabbit set the playoff record of 245 rushing yards in the Mouseketeers first round playoff win.
“He’s a special player and some may call him silly and naive, but I’m glad that Pumbaa is part of this football team,” Rangers sponsor King Richard said of Pumbaa.
The Rangers (12-2) and Quack Pack (8-6) combined for nearly 900 yards of total offense in front of more than 8,750 fans at the HESS Sports Fields.
The Ducks had trouble containing Pumbaa and team-captain Chip Chipmunk throughout the game, where the pair finished with a combined 445 yards of total offense. But the Rangers defense managed to stop Quack Pack on its final three possessions, including an interception by defensive end Humphrey The Bear at the Disney Ducks 49 with 53 seconds left.
“It always stings,” said Quack Pack quarterback Donald Duck, whose football team lost to the Rangers twice during the regular season by a combined eight points.
Pumbaa, one of three characters from the Lion King to have a parking lot named after them, scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter on third down. As the 10-story Grand Hotel was imploded in 1998 to make room for the 1,300-space Pumbaa parking lot, his touchdown run wiped out Quack Pack’s only lead.
Quack Pack had gone ahead 32-31 when Launchpad McQuack scored on a 2-yard run to open the fourth quarter. That finished off a 95-yard drive that took just four plays, including a 48-yard pass from uncle Donald to nephew Dewey Duck and a 32-yard run by McQuack.
The Ducks regained the lead in three plays on a 69-yard drive that started with a 15-yard penalty for pass interference.
You can lose and go home or you can keep playing. I was just happy I wasn’t asked to dress in drag and do the hula!” Pumbaa said of the winning drive.
Mortimer called Donald as good as any quarterback in Mickey Mouse Athletics Football League, and said McQuack “was better than advertised.” Launchpad wound up with 143 yards rushing.
Donald said the Disney Ducks executed well for the first three quarters but became “absolutely exasperating” in the fourth quarter and the Rangers defense played better. He was sacked twice late in the game.
“At first, we thought this game was a fine kettle of fish,” Donald said after McQuack’s touchdown to take the lead. “But soon enough, everything turned into a big palooka!”
Pumbaa started his show with a 70-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the game, aided by two blocks more than 40 yards downfield. He finished with 132 yards rushing in the first half to take a 24-20 Rescue Rangers lead going into halftime.
The Quack Pack fell back 14-3 early but came back to tie it at 17-all on a 98-yard kickoff return by Dewey Duck.
Sponsor and head coach for the Quack Pack, Scrooge McDuck, said several times after the game that “he couldn’t be prouder” of his team.
“My hat goes off to anybody associated with the Rescue Rangers football program,” he said. “And their fans are as good as any fans in the country.”