Wild Mavericks shock Rescue Rangers with late 4th-down TD

Led by a reptile quarterback, and turnover plagued Rescue Rangers, Wild Mavericks pulled off a stunner.

Ben Ali Gator threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Clarabelle Cow on fourth-and-goal with 49 seconds remaining in the game, giving the Wild Mavericks a 24-23 victory over the Rescue Rangers.


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 Wild Mavericks shock Rescue Rangers with late 4th-down TD

In what’s been a great first week of Mickey Mouse Athletics football, but the Wild Mavericks stunner just might top them all.

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Wild Mavericks shock Rescue Rangers with late 4th-down TD; Missed opportunities, turnovers plague Rescue Rangers in loss to Wild Mavericks.

Ben Ali Gator threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Clarabelle Cow on fourth-and-goal with 49 seconds remaining in the game, giving the Wild Mavericks a 24-23 victory over the Rescue Rangers.

A leaping Clarabelle caught the ball over cornerback Ace London in the corner of the end zone, leaving the home crowd of 45,000 in stunned silence. Horace Horsecollar’s interception thwarted Rescue Ranger’s final chance.

In a season that started with plenty of games over by the third quarter (Black Magic Tame CatamountsDark Dynasty dominate Diamond Ducks, Mouseketeers silence Quack Pack), this one was a thriller until the end.

Making his first national appearance since starring in Walt Disney’s Fantasia, Ben had to convert on fourth-and-20, four plays before the winning TD, and because he couldn’t hear his coach calling in the play, he was on his own.

“I think it was similar if I heard him right,” Ben said. “I saw the coverage I wanted and my girl came through.”

Ben Ali Gator’s girl, Hyacinth Hippo, who caught the critical fourth-and-20 pass over the middle before being leveled at the 9 — just past the first-down marker.

Hyacinth said Ben called the right play — no surprise considering it worked.

“I knew he’d come through,” Hyacinth said of Ben, an alligator whom had never felt turf in his life before today. “From the beginning of the week, he had a bounce in his step. He had a gleam in his eye from Sunday on. We have found a true warrior.”

The Mavs scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and moved 45 yards in 11 plays for the winning touchdown after Rescue Rangers Chip threw the third of his four interceptions. Ferdinand the Bull’s 18-yard return gave Wild Mavericks the ball with 2:50 remaining.

“It hasn’t set in yet,” a jubilant Ben said. “I’m beside myself — I don’t know what to do. Our defense kept us in the game all night. It gave me a chance to get untracked.”

Ben completed 11 of 30 for 149 yards and the winning TD. The numbers weren’t great, but he was awfully good when it counted most.

In the days leading up to the game, Hyacinth stuck to her preseason assessment that Rescue Ranger might be the most underrated Mickey Mouse Athletics team ever. In the end, the Rescue Rangers were no longer the most underrated.

“We all were ready to play,” Rescue Ranger starting wide receiver, Dale, said. “To give it up like this is a shame, it is crushing to me. Give credit to Wild Mavericks. They did a heck of a job and we made a ton of mistakes. We need to find ways to make plays and go back and find the right combinations.”

“I never thought we’d lose tonight, even after they scored.”

“He fought through it and was doing all right,” Dale said. “We could have made a change but we went with our guy. I don’t know about next week.”

The Rescue Rangers rolled up 459 yards to just 235 for Wild Mavericks. But they also turned the ball over five times and Neighbor Jones’ block of Rescue Ranger kicker Toby Tortoise’s PAT attempt early in the game proved decisive.

Chip went 24-of-40 for 364 yards, but in the end, that wasn’t enough. Ace London caught nine passes for 83 yards and Dale had five receptions for 152 yards. Rescue Ranger netted only 95 yards rushing.

The Mavs trimmed Rescue Ranger’s lead to 16-14 on the first play of the fourth quarter when Horace Horsecollar scored on a 1-yard run, capping a 75-yard drive.

Chip threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Timon less than four minutes later to give the Rescue Rangers some room. But it wouldn’t last. Yo Yo Flamingo, whose conversion provided the slightest margin of victory, kicked a 26-yard field goal with 5:43 remaining to put the Mavs within striking range.

The Rescue Rangers finally put together a cohesive drive the fifth time they had the ball, moving 64 yards on eight plays and taking a 9-0 lead on Pumbaa’s 1-yard run.

Rescue Ranger threatened again on its next possession, but Practical Pig tackled Pumbaa short of the goal line on a fourth-and-goal play with 8 seconds left in the half. In hindsight, a chip-shot field goal would have helped.

It appeared Chip and intended receiver Timon weren’t on the same page on third-and-1 when strong safety Ben Ali Gator made his first interception of the season and ran 31 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter to make it 9-7.

Rescue Ranger turned the ball over on its next two possessions before Chip and Dale hooked up on a 63-yard scoring play on third-and-2 late in the quarter, giving the Rescue Rangers a 16-7 lead.

It wouldn’t hold up.

“After tonight, we don’t care who we play,” Wild Mavericks middle linebacker, Ferdinand the Bull, said. “We now know the only people who can beat us is us. This was a huge step for us to show our football team can win.”

Wild Mavericks

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Rescue Rangers

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