In a rematch of their season finale, BaderAde & Vodka took on top seeded former champion No Fat Chix in the first round of the 2017 Fall Playoffs. This was actually the 3rd installment of the division rivalry, with No Fat Chix sweeping the season series. However, those two wins were by a combined margin of only 9 points. The first game was a 28-26 thriller. The second saw a BaderAde & Vodka comeback bid fall shy at 28-21. With both games completely in reach, B & V must’ve felt like they had some unfinished business with the defending champs.
It was an inauspicious start for No Fat Chix, giving up an early touchdown on their opponent’s first drive of the game and then following that with a 3-and-out. An interception, however, revitalized the team that came out flat and brought them right back into the game.
But BaderAde & Vodka would not waver. They put their opponent right back on their heels and stole back momentum, going up by a score of 18-7. No Fat Chix would get the ball back with little time before half. It didn’t look good, as they were halted near midfield with mere seconds left. But, as it has become customary for No Fat Chix, they proved that they are always dangerous. The last play of the half saw a heave from Ryan Sheridan to Ray Sheridan, who has become the master of the 50/50 ball. Ryan knows where to put it for Ray to go up and high point the ball, and a much needed touchdown was scored before the half. The lead was now just 18-13 with No Fat Chix coming out of the half with the ball and a chance for the lead.
No Fat Chix would strike first in the second, giving them a brief 20-18 lead. BaderAde & Vodka, however, showed zero fear and zero quit. Keeping their composure, they would march right down the field and score a go ahead touchdown. The inability to convert on extra points looked like it could be an issue though, as BaderAde & Vodka took just a 4 point lead with plenty of time left. They would stiffen up on defense and add to the lead, scoring another touchdown to go up by a score of 30-20.
Time was running out on the defending champs, and their chance at a repeat was slowly fading. Faced with a 4th and goal from about 15+ yards out, No Fat Chix converted again. Ray Sheridan was able to snag yet another touchdown over the top of the BaderAde & Vodka defense. In a curious move, No Fat Chix decided to go for a 1-point conversion attempt rather than a 2-point attempt and were able to convert. It wouldn’t matter though. This team has zero quit in them, but BaderAde & Vodka just needed to convert for a first down to seal the game. They would do just that, settling their unfinished business and completing the upset by a score of 30-27.
Quarterback Ryan McGuirl shined again, showing why he led the pack in most passing categories through the regular season. He beat his season average by nearly 10 percentage points, completing 69.2% of his passes in the game. He threw for 5 touchdowns, just edging Ryan Sheridan’s 4 (with whom he tied for the league lead). His two picks came on a miscommunication early in the game and on a conversion attempt. He was economical, spreading the ball relatively evenly between three receivers. Brendan Bader was the big play threat, coming down with a pair of long touchdowns and sparking the offense when it was needed most. Ben Carroll also came away with a big interception in the game.
It was a huge victory for BaderAder & Vodka and they proved that they are no fluke. They are here to stay and have an opportunity to capture their first league championship. Hopefully, the high of overcoming the defending champs and top seeded No Fat Chix doesn’t set them up for a trap game against The Flutie Boys, who are certainly no joke. They have offensive firepower to match and plenty of athleticism on defense. Their previous matchup was yet another close loss for BaderAde & Vodka, but they proved that this is of no concern to them. They jumped on No Fat Chix early and clearly kept them from getting comfortable. They will look to do the same next week and finish the job in the championship game. Good luck to both teams, as we look forward to seeing these two talented teams clash again for all the glory.