Classic Contests Highlight IM Playoffs

Paul Kasabian

The Intramural Flag Football regular season featured some highly memorable and chaotic games that will forever live in the minds of the players who participated in them and the referees who officiated them. Crab Cakes N’ Football’s hailstorm victory over the Shake N’ Bakes, Phi Delt’s near upset of Real Deal and SuperBad’s victory over LNA that ended with an Eric Toribio screen pass for a 50-yard Gary Wu touchdown come to mind.

But if the playoffs continue to churn out classic games at this pace, those three regular season games will resemble the Giants’ eyesore win over the Eagles last Sunday. Two out of the four playoff games last Monday were simply unforgettable, as the seventh-seeded Phi Tau A defeated the tenth-seeded Derrty Byrdz, 42-35 in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Also, ninth-seeded Killer Tofu avenged a regular season blowout loss to the eighth-seeded Transfertites by defeating them, 38-35 in the first round of the Division II playoffs. The 1-4 Phi Tau A squad had been struggling on the offensive end all season, ending most of their regular season games with only two or three touchdowns. It is unknown as to why the frat has suddenly morphed into the New England Patriots, but every Division I team should take notice. For the second straight game, the Derrty Byrdz almost upset an to upsetting a League A or B team, but the defense could not match their excellent offensive effort. Watch out for the Derrty Byrdz next season.

Killer Tofu started off the game with a bad omen, as Transfertites captain Christov “Vince Young” Churchward swept Killer Tofu captain Paul Kasabian in rock, paper, scissors for the second straight time this season. Fortunately for Tofu, the offense was in full swing on this day. The Transfertites were a man down the whole game, but Tofu QB Raipher Pellegrino posted a monumental effort by running for two scores and passing for three more. But that’s not all. With Tofu up 21-14 and time running out in the first half, Pellegrino kicked a 40-yard field goal that curled inside the invisible left upright on Field 2. The Transfertites and Killer Tofu traded touchdowns in the second half, and Killer Tofu ran out the clock to seal the win. Bergen Catholic lacrosse and hockey legend Geoff Hauck and Chris Gonnella scored the majority of the Transfertites’ scores. Max Weiss, Matt Matsumura, and Hassan Mohamed caught TD passes for Tofu. The Jolly Green Giant, Horace Greeley, and All-World center Paul Kasabian played their guts out, combining to make one-and-a-half tackles on the day and almost catching a pass or two during the game.

Despite Monday’s classic games, there is only one candidate for IM Flag Football Game of the Year. Last Tuesday, seventh-seeded Phi Tau A shocked everybody by defeating second-seeded Real Deal, who won last year’s championship, 49-48. No one except Phi Tau expected the Real Deal to lose this game. The ex-football players have a ferocious offense that is famous for scoring within two or three plays on all of their drives. While that offense was not stopped on this day, Phi Tau A used momentum from its’ previous game and scored a touchdown on every possession except one. Taking a 21-20 lead into halftime, Phi Tau A kept remarkably kept it up despite facing the Real Deal’s man-to-man defense that has been known to suffocate opponents in the past.

Down 42-34, the Real Deal scored on a run into the endzone to make the score 42-40 with a minute left. A diving catch on a two-point conversion would tie the score. Phi Tau A moved up the field and decided to kick a 40-yard field goal with 16 seconds left. The field goal was no good, and Real Deal got the ball back. On its first play, Real Deal threw a bomb to the far right corner of the endzone for a touchdown with six seconds left. The extra point was no good. Phi Tau got the ball at midfield. After an incomplete pass took five seconds of the clock, the Phi Tau quarterback heaved a Hail Mary into the far left corner of the endzone. The receiver caught the ball and fell down for the score. The extra point was good, and Phi Tau A ran off the field screaming towards their frat house. Real Deal, easily the most athletic team in IM Football, could not get it done on this day.

The string of intense and memorable playoff contests would continue Wednesday. Fourth seeded Tau Delta took on a highly organized and efficient Phi Delt squad, 38-35. Senior wideout Mike Nanna played this IM contest as if it were the Super Bowl. He scored four touchdowns, but none of his scores was his most impressive play of the day. Nanna made a full-out, diving catch for an interception when Tau Delta was up 21-14. Phi Delt, which was led by Matt Lambert, played extremely well on offense, but its’ defensive effort left a lot to be desired. A field goal by star senior WR Mike Mulanaphy with ten seconds left sealed the Tau Delta win.

Sigma Chi, who received a much needed boost after members from Clifford joined the team, beat fellow frat Beta, 35-29. Sophomore Peter Smith proved why he is one of the best quarterbacks in IM Football by taking part in all five of Sigma’s scores. Beta fought hard, but could not take down Sigma Chi on this day.

The last great game of the day featured No. 1 SuperBad against No. 9 Killer Tofu. SuperBad had an excellent 4-2 regular season in the C league and defeated the B League Blazers by two touchdowns in its previous game. Killer Tofu opened the game with a touchdown, but SuperBad answered right back with a lightning-fast touchdown of its own. Both teams would go back and forth until the middle of the second half. With SuperBad up 28-21, Killer Tofu drove to the SuperBad three. But a Spano pick quelled Tofu’s hopes of scoring. SuperBad would get a touchdown, but Killer Tofu would not go down without a fight, getting another touchdown. After sophomore Scott Konicki got an amazing interception, Killer Tofu drove the ball to the SuperBad 20. But untimely penalties an incomplete passes stopped the drive cold. Killer Tofu would get another chance after SuperBad could not run out the clock. Pellegrino passed to Konicki for 20 yards, but he could not evade the swarm of SuperBad defenders as time ran out. The game was undoubtedly the best Division II playoff contest thus far, and maybe the best Division II game of the season.

The IM article will return in two weeks with Finals results.