The 1967 Ice Bowl, Super Bowl XXV and “The Drive” are nationally-renowned football games for their jaw-dropping splendor, but if the Division II playoffs were televised on national TV, names like Demler, Toribio and Puff would be remembered as immortals alongside Starr, Anderson and Elway. SuperBad’s victory over Shake’N Bake would be played nonstop on ESPN Classic, and junior Brien Puff’s ferocious sack of the quarterback against Crab Cakes would be seen as quite possibly the greatest athletic achievement ever performed on a football gridiron.
But the games weren’t televised, and the only accounts of these contests will be found in this Maroon-News issue. However, that fact should not downplay the great efforts of these men on Whitnall Field. This week’s Intramural coverage includes the Division II Flag Football quarterfinal, semifinal and final rounds.
In quarterfinal action, ninth-seed Killer Tofu had two chances to tie the score late against one-seed SuperBad, but couldn’t put the pigskin in the endzone in a 35-28 loss. Fourth-seed Shake ‘N Bake rebounded after a miserable first half to force fifth-seed Andrews 100 into overtime, where first-year kicker Jeff “Golden Toe” Thompson sent them to the semis with a 31-28 win. Second-seed LNA pulled away late from seventh-seed Sack Lunch by scoring the last 22 points of the affair and winning, 48-21. Sixth-seed Crab Cakes N’ Football overcame eight penalties and Puff’s beastly defensive performance (one sack and batted down pass on consecutive plays; possibly another tackle somewhere along the line) to upset the third-seed Croc Hunters, 35-28.
LNA senior Chad Hawk picked off three passes against Crab Cakes ‘N Football in the semis, leading his team to a 36-22 win. This three-pick effort was not the first seen in the playoffs, as sophomore physics major Gordie Brummer did the same for Sack Lunch against BDS in the first round. The LNA-Crab Cakes game featured the block of the year, as first-year Alex Montgomery completely laid out an LNA player with a perfectly legal hit that stunned the crowd and the officials alike. A late LNA touchdown sealed the deal.
The other semis game between SuperBad and Shake ‘N Bake was one for the ages. SuperBad opened up the game with a 14-7 lead and had the ball with time running out in the first half. Sophomore quarterback Eric “Ribs” Toribio followed textbook blocking from his teammates and scampered thirty yards into the endzone for a touchdown to give SuperBad a 21-7 lead. He then performed a celebration that would have garnered him a $1,000,000 fine and an eight-game suspension in today’s NFL. Unfazed by what it had just seen, Shake ‘N Bake countered with a Michael Naughton long bomb to Danny Fertig to cut the deficit in half. From there, the Division II darkhorse shut down SuperBad in the second half, and Naughton and Fertig connected for the second time to tie the score. But with under a minute left, Shake ‘N Bake threw an interception to give SuperBad the chance to win. Toribio drove his team to the 23-yard line, giving classmate and kicker Andrew Spano a chance to win the game with a 33-yard kick. Spano’s attempt creeped in through the right upright, and SuperBad went on to the finals after playing in the craziest Division II game of the playoffs.
Despite scares from the underdogs, top seeded SuperBad played two-seed LNA in the finals in a rematch of SuperBad’s 20-13 win that featured a Gary Wu 50-yard scramble for a touchdown. However, LNA sought vengeance and came through with a 24-14 win on this day. LNA was up 14-7 at halftime, but SuperBad bounced back with a touchdown in the early going of the second half. However, senior John Demler proved why he is the MVP of Division II by throwing for a score in the closing minutes of the second half to put LNA up for good, 21-14. An LNA field goal with ten seconds left put the nail in the coffin, as the senior team finished its flag football career in style.
As said before, Demler is the Division II MVP this season. Like Peter Smith, Demler is a dual threat at quarterback, as he has great throwing and scrambling abilities. He is a great offensive leader and his teammates seem to like him. Congratulations to Demler and the rest of the LNA Pound R’s on a great season!
Division II First Team
John Demler (LNA), Eric Toribio (SuperBad), Andrew Spano (SuperBad), Justin Kyhos (Shake ‘N Bake), Gavin Cadwallader (Crab Cakes ‘N Football), Raipher Pellegrino (Killer Tofu), Christopher Churchward (Transfertites) and Cole Aaronson (Croc Hunters).
The IM article returns next week with a recap of the soccer regular season and the four-on-four football tournament, so stay tuned.