Postseason game: Reds return to the Fever Bowl (18 December 2013)Season II, Divisional Playoffs: duffeldoffel's Reds 31, zugschefz dieselz 13 (Final)
Last week, zugschefz dieselz had conquered Stanley Park to clinch the Australian Division title and take revenge for their Fever Bowl loss. This week, duffeldoffel's Reds struck back at The Station with another postseason win over their division rivals to book their tickets to the Fever Bowl.
The Reds' QB completed 21-of-24 for a QFL-postseason record 286 yds and a TD and their defenders registered five sacks, two INTs, two fumble recoveries and a safety as the defending Fever Bowl champions beat the new Australian champions 31-13.
Last week, the Reds had built an early 14-point lead they saw fade away due to a dominating performance by the dieselz during the rest of the game. This week, the Reds built a towering 19-0 lead in the second quarter and this time, they managed to hold on.
After forcing the Reds to punt on their first possession, the dieselz started from their own 18 and were aided by two significant penalties against the Reds. First, a Reds' defender was flagged for a 30-yd pass interference. Then, the Reds' special return team committed a roughing-the-kicker foul on 4th-and-24 keeping the dieselz' drive alive.
However, three plays later, the dieselz' QB was sacked for the second time during this drive bringing up 4th-and-16 and this time, the Reds played it safe and stayed away from the punter.
On their second possession, the Reds caught a lucky break on their second play when their RB was stopped for no gain and could not hold on to the football. Luckily, the ball bounced out-of-bounds, and with the next play, the Reds opened the score on a 73-yd catch-and-run TD.
The dieselz had both of their lost fumbles in the first half playing a leading part in the Reds storming ahead 19-0 as the Reds indirectly scored 12 points off of these takeaways.
First, a dieselz' receiver lost a fumble after a 5-yd catch near midfield giving the Reds the opportunity to extend their lead on a 37-yd FG early in the second quarter. On their following possession, the dieselz' RB had two fantastic runs for 20 and 23 yds but lost another fumble at the end of his second long run.
The dieselz' defense then managed to force a punt avoiding official points off turnovers, however, the dieselz had to start from their own 10 and on their first play, their QB was sacked in the end zone for a safety. Following the free kick, the Reds drove 50 yds for their second TD as their RB ran in from 4 yds.
With only 3.5 yds per carry, the Reds' rushing game was subpar once again. The Reds' RBs found the end zone twice but also had three fumbles of which they lost one in garbage time.
With their following possession, the dieselz finally struck back hoping to spark another comeback bid with a 55-yd bomb plus 15 yds for a personal foul followed by a 12-yd scoring pass to cut their deficit to 12 points.
And even though the dieselz seemed to have caught another break forcing and recovering a touchdown-saving fumble at their own 6-yd line at the end of a deep completion finishing the Reds' first drive of the second half, it apparently was just not meant to happen again.
The Reds' defense dominated big-time and stopped the dieselz offense over and over again thus playing a key role in putting the game away for good:
- Following a three-and-out and a punt, the Reds found themselves in excellent field position near midfield and even thought they started their possession with a 10-yd penalty, they went on to score on a 9-yd run set up by a 25-yd pass.
- Follwing an INT on the dieselz' next play, the Reds scored on a 36-yd FG putting more than three TDs plus extra points between themselves and the dieselze.
- Following another INT on a deep pass caught at their own 3-yd line, the Reds' offense did not manage another score but moved the ball well enough to have a punt fielded at the dieselz' 4. From there, the dieselz' return man in desparation mode tried to run a return through his own end zone but was stopped inside for another safety to give the Reds a 31-7 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Led by interim coach Buvag who is expected to coach his own franchise next season, the dieselz' took care for the final highlight of the game when their RB had the longest play in QFL history romping 91 yds for a TD with 4:24 left to play. But the game was over when the Reds successfully defended the two-point conversion.
For zugschefz' dieselz, the season ended with a playoff loss to the Reds once again while the Reds will have a shot at defending their Fever Bowl title against Gothic Division champions Moderate Drinkers at the Snakepit Arena.