Thursday night featured a highly anticipated matchup between two defending champs. 10th & Willow Wolverines, formerly of the B division, took on The Flutie Boys, formerly of the A division, in what became a sort of 'tournament of champions.'
This season had 3 of its 6 teams with championship pedigree, all of which competing in the 4-team playoffs. Only one could prevail. These playoffs proved to be a wild ride with some exciting games, but it would come down to the two best teams of the regular season competing for the championship. Capping off an incredible season, the second seeded 10th & Willow Wolverines took down, not one, but two former A division champs when they took down the one seed The Flutie Boys on their way to their second straight title.
While both teams displayed the top two most prolific offenses in the league, they also possessed two of the stingiest defenses. 10th & Willow Wolverines boasted the best scoring defense in the league (and it wasn’t even close) and The Flutie Boys complimented the league’s best offense with an opportunistic defense that led the league in interceptions and defensive touchdowns. Heading into the championship game, The Flutie Boys narrowly edged out 10th & Willow in point differential +116 to +113. For reference, the next closest team finished at +55. The Flutie Boys had scored a whopping 268 points over 8 games and 10th & Willow was second with 224. Next best? 199. 10th & Willow ran away with scoring defense, allowing just 112 points. The Flutie Boys gave up significantly more at 151 and saw 3 teams finish ahead of them. However, it’s important to remember that high-flying offense, which meant more defensive opportunities and tha ball-hawking defense took advantage. A defensive efficiency rating would definitely have them higher than 4th. I think it’s pretty clear how these two teams finished 9-1 and advanced to the championship game: in dominating fashion.
As for the game itself, the championship began as a defensive battle on a cold night, with both teams playing very strongly on that side of the ball. The offenses had trouble getting things going and finishing off drives, and that wasn’t a complete surprise with what was outlined above. 10th & Willow struck first with a touchdown from Isai Carrillo to Marquis Wright (which would become a common theme on the night). A failed conversion kept the lead at 6-0. The Flutie Boys nearly answered back on a controversial 4th and goal play towards the end of the half, but would be ruled just inches short of the goalline. The half would end with that lone touchdown as the difference. 10th & Willow came out of the break with the ball and Carrillo and the offense warmed up quickly. They broke out with 3 touchdowns in the second half, while the defense continued to fly to the ball. Aided by an Andrew Solomon interception and another fate-sealing pick by Ashley Furman, that defense held The Flutie Boys to just 7 points (a Tait Pirkle to Jeff Peragallo connection) in the half and the game. Meanwhile, Carrillo was finding leading targets Furman, Solomon, and Wright at all levels of the defense. He’d hit Solomon for a touchdown and dropped two more in the basket to Wright, who was on the receiving end for 3 of Carrillo’s 4 touchdowns on the night. An excellent performance on both sides of the ball culminated in the 26-7 championship victory for 10th & Willow Wolverines, their second straight.
The numbers don’t lie, both teams put together incredible seasons. If you were able to see both of them play too, the eye test would fully support those numbers. However, only one team could come away with the crown, and that team would be 10th & Willow Wolverines. They had the ultimate revenge of their game two loss (their only one of the season) at the hands of The Flutie Boys and left no questions as to who the best team in the league was this season. Congratulations to both teams on a pair of excellent seasons and congratulations to the Nick Foles Division Champs – 10th & Willow Wolverines!
Congratulations to Nick Foles Division Champs - 10th & Willow Wolverines!!!
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