2016 Ann Arbor – PLAYOFFS – CHAMPIONSHIP NIGHT (Mar. 30)

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Updated: April 6, 2016

The CHAMPS are here!  Have to start the final wrap-up of the Season with a much-deserved CONGRATS to the first ever Ann Arbor League Champs – Team ZBT!  They went wire to wire in 1st place in a truly dominant run to the Crown!  This week we’re going to recap each of the final five Playoff Games and break down ZBT’s Championship Night. Here’s the final Weekly Highlight Video!

Quickly, before we get to Wednesday Night’s action… Our MVP Sponsor for each and every Campus League, StudentCity is THE provider for Spring Break trips! It’s never too early to get a jump on Next Year! Also, if you want to learn more about that or any of our other Sponsors (like cea Study Abroad who are giving away big $$ in grants for Summer and Fall 2016 Abroad programs..) just fill out the contact form on the website above..

 

Championship Wednesday Flag Football – Review

QuarterFinal Round

4. Team DKE FR (Ella Designs Jewelry Red) v. 11. Team SIG SR (Mezes Orange) –

4. Team DKE FR Wins

Many eyes were on this Game from the jump and for multiple reasons.. 1) Team DKE FR was the youngest Team left in the field and there was no telling how far these fantastic Freshmen could go, 2) Team SIG SR was fresh off their OT upset of 2. Team Sammy in the Opening Round and a huge storyline coming in was how far could Cinderella dance, 3) Finally, the Teams with BYES into the Final4 would have their opponents dictated by the outcome of this Game.. A SIG SR win meant a date with ZBT in the Final4 while DKE FR winning meant they’d meet their bros. DKE SO1 in the Semis…

So the stage was set and it did not disappoint! In what turned out to be the highest scoring Game of the Night, saw 4. Team DKE FR continue their Playoff run by picking up the 38-29 W.  It was a nail-biter until the end as SIG SR had the ball and trailed by just 1 possession when the clock hit 0:00.  Jack Goldman had a heck of a performance at QB for DKE FR in this one..  They’d move on to take on their own SOPHs, 3. Team DKE SO1 in the Final4!

For Team SIG SR, they didn’t make it quite as far as they had hoped in the League’s final night but they’ll always hold ownership of earning the first true shocker in Ann Arbor League Playoff history.. Their OT Hoops W over 2. Team Sammy in the Opening Round will be talked about for years to come! Congrats on a great run and thanks for playing!

 

5. Team AEPi SR (Mezes Gold) v. 6. Team Theta Chi SR (Schweitzer Title White) –

5. Team AEPi SR Wins

Both Senior Teams entered the Night knowing it would be their final night in All Sports Series as unit.. Only one could make it to the Final4.. The Game was close in the first half as AEPi SR QB Evan Blitzer hit Jordan Liss early and that was matched by a Theta Chi SR TD.  Soon after, Blitzer hit Captain Spellman for another strike and they would take the lead at half.. To start the second half Blitzer would throw another TD and this time to Jack Edelman.. Those two would then connect for a final TD to put the cherry on top.  AEPi SR would head to the Final4 for a bout with #1 Team ZBT.

For Team Theta Chi SR, a great season came to and end a bit sooner than they hoped..  They were among the top tier of Teams all season long and will be remembered for helping get the Ann Arbor League off the ground.  Captain Kane and Co. were a pleasure to have in the League. Thanks for playing!

 

Final4 Round

1. Team ZBT (Schweitzer Title Gray) v. 5. Team AEPi SR (Mezes Gold) –

1. Team ZBT Wins

When you get down to 4 Teams, each and every Team starts to believe that they can become Champions.  There’s just a different atmosphere and there’s a certain level of anxiety that comes with every play.  #1 ZBT entered as the favorite as they have done in just about every Game they’ve taken part in since Week 1.  #5 AEPi SR did have momentum however after just eliminating Theta Chi SR minutes before..

The Game got off to a slow start Offensively.. Both Teams seemed to be a bit tentative and it actually led to turnovers for both sides..  We’d actually head to Halftime knotted at zero.   ZBT would eventually strike first when QB Andrew Wolfe would hit Sam Martorella for a TD.  Soon after, ZBT would earn a stop and it seemed as if momentum had finally swung their way.. AEPi SR was gassed after already playing a Game.. That all changed though with one play.. Captain Spellman would take a pick to the house for AEPi SR and again we were tied up!  ZBT did not panic as many top seeds often do and again it was Wolfe to Martorella for another score. That would make it 13-6..  They’d finish the Game with another score from Wolfe to Captain Marc Godlis and we’d have a final score of 19-6.  #1 ZBT was advancing to the Championship!

For #5 Team AEPi SR,  what a run.. They won multiple Playoff Games, a feat that very few can claim.. They just happen to cross paths with the titans that were ZBT and couldn’t combat the affect of playing two Games.  This group has many faces familiar to All Sports Series and we’ll certainly see many of them again. Thanks for playing!

 

3. Team DKE SO1 (Ella Designs Navy) v. 4. Team DKE FR (Ella Designs Red) – 

4. Team DKE FR Wins

One spot left in the Championship Game and it was assured as this Final4 Game took place that DKE would be represented against ZBT in the Championship… It’s not often you get to see a clash of Teams that are so familiar with one another so late in the season.. These guys know each other SO well and as the Game would unfold it was evident.. 4. DKE FR came into this one fresh off their Quarterfinal victory with 11. SIG SR.. They had momentum and as often the case, the Game’s fate would be decided on whether they could start fast and control the Game or whether the fresh 3. DKE SO1 could withstand the initial surge and then dictate the tired DKE FR crew…

This Game featured a TON of signature moments.. Many of them on the Defensive end.. The Sophs did manage to weather the storm of momentum that the FR brought in with them.. In fact, 3. DKE SO1 would strike first on the scoreboard after a QB sneak from Ryan Walker.  From there the DKE FR had to make a decision.. Were they going to dig down deep and make a comeback or decide they were just too gassed from already playing a Game.. They decided to fight and soon they would tie the Game with a Pass from Jack Goldman to Zach Brown and just like that we were knotted at 6!  The Game would stay tied until the final stages.. 4. DKE FR had the ball and looking for the go-ahead score.. They’d eventually find it with another pass from Jack Goldman to Captain Zach Shulman in the back of the endzone.. The ball was bobbled at first, but as you can see in the highlight video, Captain Zach was able to gain control and still get a foot in bounds before falling out of the back of the end zone.. That would be the final score of the Game and miraculously the DKE FR were headed to the Championship!

For 3. Team DKE SO1, they obviously will leave with some disappointment.. They got so close to the League Championship they could taste it.. 2016 didn’t end up being their year but this crew has been elite since Week 1 in Ann Arbor and they have enough to hold the Crown in the future.  When they do, not if, they may look back on this Game and realize it was what they needed to eventually win it all. Thanks for playing!

 

Championship

1. Team ZBT (Schweitzer Title Gray) v. 4. Team DKE FR (Ella Designs Jewelry) – 

1. Team ZBT Wins

Quick recap of how we got here.. 1. Team ZBT had a BYE in the Quarters and deservedly so after steamrolling their way through the season.. They then defeated 5. AEPi SR in a hard-fought Final4 Game to earn their spot in the first ever Ann Arbor League Championship Game.  Then, you have 4. DKE FR who many would not have chosen as likely combatants for ZBT in the final Game.. They obviously had a great season as they finished #4 but they had to win not one but TWO Games on the final Night to get to the Championship.  They ousted 11. SIG SR and 3. DKE SO1 in an instant classic.. They also defeated 9. Delta Sig in the Opening Round.. They are destroyers of seasons..

So the stage was set.. You have the fresher Goliath in ZBT and the exhausted David in DKE FR trying to pull off the extraordinary.. Well, on this night, Goliath crushed David… From the jump 1. ZBT was the aggressor as they have been all season long.. They scored the first TD on a Hitch n Pitch play that was perfectly executed and went 60 yards.. They would never look back.. 4. DKE FR just didn’t have enough left in the tank to topple the titans of the Ann Arbor League. 1. Team ZBT officially earn the Crown! More on them in a second..

For the Runners-Up, 4. Team DKE FR.  They have to be so so SO proud of what they have accomplished this Spring.. It’s very rare for a Freshmen crew to make a run like this.. They will be remembered for knocking out a quarter of the League during their Playoff run.. They well enter next as Favorites for the Crown and should only build on all that they have accomplished.. Congrats on an incredible run.  Thanks for playing!

Finally, to the Champs, 1. Team ZBT — just wow.  They really ran the table this Spring and left little doubt to who deserved to hold the very first Ann Arbor League crown.  This is a bunch that Teams will aspire to emulate in future Leagues.. In a word, they were simply, DOMINANT.  As Seniors, they will be moving on and that leaves a wide-open future in Ann Arbor. Congrats again. Much Deserved!

 

That’s it for the 2016 Ann Arbor League.  Thanks to everyone for playing!  An incredible year and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

-Holden