2016 Chicago Flag Football – Championship (Nov. 10)

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Updated: November 15, 2016

On Thursday Night we Crowned the first Champs in Chicago Flag Football League history… and you know what? It’s not who everyone was expecting.. As you can see from the picture above… #6 Team Nolan took it all home! We’ll recap how everyone got there below. Congrats to the Champs!

Weekly Highlight Video!  Powered by StudentCity’s the Bucket List.

One more thing before we get to the Power Rankings, our MVP Sponsor for the Chicago Fall Leagues is none other than Live Clean Chicago! They are the best Cleaning Service in Chicago bar none and more importantly you can trust them to clean your place (even if you aren’t home). Myself and my family (Holden) use them frequently!  One more brief mention as it’s likely you will want to know..   The Cubs are officially WORLD SERIES CHAMPS and  Wrigley View Rooftop has you covered for 2017 Tix! There is no better experience for getting Cubs action while enjoying the perks of all you can eat/drink!

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Playoff Review

Final4

1. Team Rasky (Biaggi’s) v. 4. Team Guggenheim (Dr. Jacob D.D.S.) 

Before the final week of the Regular Season this was a potential Championship match-up. The way it shuck down with tiebreakers, Team Guggenheim fell to the #4 seed and these two Teams were aligned for a battle in the Semi-Final.  Both Teams came into the League’s final night with true belief that the Crown would be theirs.. Time would tell..

Team Guggenheim would strike first thanks to a QB run from Jeff Nault.  Just before halftime, Team Rasky would tie it up on a last second heave from QB Cody Davis to David Schectman in the corner of the end zone.  There was some controversy here (and not for the last time) as the catch was made right at the goal-line and definitely a close call whether the ball reached the end zone.. When all was said and done we ended the first half tied up at 6-6. There were big plays on both side of the ball all over the place. Derek Reinglass and Matthew Kornblatt were keeping the Rasky Offense on their heels for much of the night. The middle-line of Emer, Gilbert and Captain Gugges were pulling flags at a great rate.. Captain Alex Rasky made a few great grabs in this one as well..   Team Rasky would then get the ball to start the 2nd half and came down to score earning a 12-6 lead after the TD from Davis to Scott Elisco.  Team Guggenheim would answer with a strike from Jeff Nault to Charlmers Oscar.  They would get the extra point and take the lead 13-12.  Next drive for Team Rasky ended in a turnover with an INT from Charlmers or Jeffrey Oscar (sorry guys.).   After the INT, Nault would hit Jeffrey Oscar for a TD and Team Guggenheim would lead 19-12 after not getting the crucial 2pt attempt. There was enough time for one more drive.. Team Rasky would drive the field.  They would get into a goal to go situation with under a minute to play.. Team Guggenheim held on 1st Down and 2nd and 3rd. Setting up a 4th down scenario that could end the Game.. Cody Davis would once again find Schectman who made another incredible grab near the sideline of the end zone, got a foot (or two) in bounds and scored a crucial TD for Team Rasky.. They still trailed by a point and decided to go for the Win with 2pt rather than a tie with a 1pt conversion.  This play would decide who’d go to the Championship.. A similar play would develop as the previous one that led to the score.. Davis would hurl it to Shectman near the sideline with a Defender draped on him.. This time he wasn’t yards deep in to the end zone but right at the goal-line.. He made the catch and both he and the Defender fell at/near/on the pylon.  The Refs called it GOOD.  1. Team Rasky would advance to the Championship on late Game heroics.

 

For 4. Team Guggenheim, this is one of the more heartbreaking defeats we’ve had in All Sports Series.  This is a group that has been around for the beginning, with many still searching for that elusive first Crown and they were seconds away from getting to the Championship Game.  They played well enough to Win and were on the wrong side of a couple 50/50 calls that resulted in them going home early.  This is not a group that will now pack up their bags and go home, they are a group of fighters and this will add fuel to their growing fire.  At full strength, this is a group that started 5-0, they had to overcome some injuries and they when their health really returns, they will be among the favorites the next time the Flag Football League starts up. Captain Guggenheim and co. are coming for whoever holds the Crown at night’s end. Believe that.

 

2. Team Apuli (Sarkis Cafe) v. 6. Team Nolan (Wrigley View Rooftop)

For as good as the previous Final4 Game was, this one held up just as well.. These two Teams came into the League’s final night on much different paths.. Team Apuli finished as the #2 seed and was on a 7-Game Winning Streak coming into the night with their lone loss coming in Week 1 to #1 Rasky.. Team Nolan needed a couple of weeks to find their footing but did come on strong once they figured out their depth/rotations and got to know each other.. That is what led to them “upsetting” 3. Team Massel to get to the Final4.

Team Apuli has been able to start fast during their amazing 7-Game Win Streak. They get the lead, lock down on D and suffocate the life out of their opponents.. Well that wasn’t the case here.. Team Nolan got on the board first as QB Alex Jiminez hit Trevor Mullen for a score and then they followed up with another one as QB Alex ran in another score and just like that Team Nolan had a 13-0 lead… Team Apuli had too good of a season to just lay down however.. They would mount a comeback.. Michael Glink would hit Captain Justin for a Td to get within a score and then they would tie it up at 13 when QB Glink would hit Adam Berzon.. Shortly there after and in the second half Team Nolan would go down and get the go-ahead score with Jiminez to Mullen once again! That would be the final score of the Game! 6. Team Nolan would advance to the Championship!

For Team Apuli, they will undoubtedly leave disappointed.. They are chalk full of All Sports Series vets, many of which have held Crowns before, and they thought they were going to take another.. It will take some time for them to get over it but this is one of the best Teams in the League and for obvious reasons. They can do it all. This Team doesn’t need to make any changes and they’d have enough to win the next Flag Football League. We’ll see them again soon. Next time, it could be theirs. Thanks for playing!

 

Championship

1. Team Rasky (Biaggi’s) v. 6. Team Nolan (Wrigley View Rooftop)

So as the dust settled from the Final4, we turned to the Championship Game.. Many expected #1 Team Rasky to get there but before the Playoffs began you’d be hard pressed to find many that pencilled in #6 Team Nolan in to this spot on the bracket.. They had to defeat #3 Team Massel and #2 Team Apuli just to get here.. It’s likely time everyone realized they were no fluke. These Teams were now 40 minutes away from the Crown and both worked tirelessly to get here.. Depth was going to play a major factor as fatigue would start to set in..

The Championship Game started off much like the Final4 Games for both Teams.. Team Nolan who led early in their first Game, jumped out to a lead here as well.. Team Rasky was not going to panic as they fell behind in their Final4 Game too.. So Team Nolan was able to get out to a two score lead by half time. QB Alex Jiminez once again had the Offense humming. Sam Winegardner and Nick Nolan made a few good grabs to help continue drives.  Jonathan Frosolone would haul in the first TD from Alex Jiminez and the next went to Francisco Castelan. So it was 12-0.. Team Rasky needed to make some plays and so they started to turn toward the duo that helped get them here. Cody Davis would really start looking for Captain Alex Rasky in the second half and they’d connect for the next score.. the lead was down to 12-7.  With the momentum swung toward Team Rasky, Team Nolan had their most important drive of the season and they went down and scored another TD. Alex Jiminez to Rodolfo Carboni and stretched the lead to 20-7.  Team Rasky would scramble to try and score quickly with just a few minutes to go..  Cody Davis would connect with Center Scott Elisco for a score.. Team Nolan would get the ball back and one play sealed the deal.. Jiminez would again hit Frosolone near the sideline.. It was no a touchdown but he managed to turn on a dime, stay in bounds, pitch the ball and Team Nolan took it down the field where they could take some knees and the Game! 6. Team Nolan would WIN THE CHAMPIONSHIP! More on the Champs soon!

For the Runners-Up, Team Rasky.. What a season. To finish in first place during the Regular Season in this extremely talented League is a real accomplishment in many of their debut All Sports Series seasons.  Captain Alex and co. are as good as any that we’ve seen take the Flag Football field in recent years. They have a ton of speed on both sides of the ball, play smart and the right way. They were a pleasure to have in the League and an instant favorite when they take the field our next Flag Football League.  Thanks for playing!

Now to the CHAMPS! Team Nolan.. Football is all about getting hot at the right time and man did they ever.. They knocked off the #3 #2 and #1 seeds in route to the Championship.  Talk about deserving Champions.. They took on the League’s best and came out on top at every turn. Their Elite8 Game against # Team Massel really opened the floodgates for their Offense as they went for 30.  They had a sense of confidence on Championship Thursday as a result and were able to start each Game fast. They never trailed in the Playoffs.  That is incredible.  This group really came together in the second half of the season as many of them were just getting to know one another as the season began. Co-Captains Sam Winegardner and Nick Nolan have played in multiple All Sports Series Leagues as has Michael Cummings, Mike Palmer and Trevor Mullen. It’s great to see them get their first Crown! Alex Jiminez was great at QB in this stretch run and helped propel them to the title.  Congrats on the Championship and we can’t wait to see you guys try to defend it soon!

 

Thanks to everyone for playing. That wraps up the Flag Football League! See everyone soon!

-Holden