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Season recap: Basterds reach the top in a flash (29 June 2022)

Bill Walsh TrophyQFL Season IV kicked off on 11 May 2018 and officially ended on 20 June 2022 with the Jetto Basterds ruining the Flash 80s bid to copy their predecessors perfect season in Fever Bowl IV.

The Ice Bowl ended a week later so that Season IV, like the previous season, took over four years and a month to be concluded.

As it had become kind of a tradition, the league again underwent considerable changes as it was reduced to a nine-team format requiring a bye week for each team, thus extending the regular season to seven weeks. The teams were divided into three divisions of three teams each with the three divisional champions plus a wild-card team to qualify for the playoffs.

Other than three-time Fever Bowl champion duffeldoffel's Reds and the commissioner's franchise igorz malfunxionistz, also the Leinfelden Lawyers, Lübeck Bay Seagulls and Moderate Drinkers did not return for Season III. Newcomers were the Jetto Basterds and owl49er's billygoats.

Of the four remaining charter members, only silentsound's Silentknights had never reached the playoffs. Taking a postive momentum from the previous season into their new campaign, the 'Knights (4-2) finally qualified for the postseason as champions of the Southern Division. En route to the #2 seed, the 'Knights won their last three regular-season games, including a narrow win against the Basterds.

Niners Sparrows (3-3) beat both of their divisional rivals, still they were lucky to clinch the wild card on the strength-of-victory tiebreaker against the Prussian Warriors thanks to twelfth-hour help from the Eagle Eyes. Expansion franchise owl49er's billygoats (2-4) had surely hoped for more than finishing in last place of their division. After all, coach owl49er had led the Lübeck Bay Seagulls into the NFC championship game after taking over as interim coach late in Season III.

In the Australian Division, the expansion Jetto Basterds (4-2) became the first franchise to win the first four games of their history and the earliest team to ever clinch a playoff spot. After only four of seven gamedays, the Basterds had secured the division but missed out on a playoff home game when they lost their remaining regular-season games against the 'Knights and the Flash 80s.

Last season's AFC champions Eagle Eyes (2-4) and former two-time playoff participant Dicey Beasts (1-5) never really got their campaign going. Still, their encounter in their regular-season finale was of big meaning as the Eagle Eyes' win clinched the wild card for the Sparrows.

The Flash 80s (6-0) had a superb campaign. En route to clinching the Northcentral Division with a perfect record, they had a stunning 28-point, fourth-quarter comeback against frontmodes Kobras and a very late 10-point comeback against the Basterds, thus clinching the #1 seed for the playoffs. The Flash 80s were the comeback kids of the season as they trailed at some stage during five of their six regular-season wins.

For the Prussian Warriors (2-4), yet another season ended in frustration. Against the odds, they missed out on the playoffs a third time in a row as they not only lost their regular-season finale but also were denied help from two teams. The Kobras (2-4) failed to return to the postseason as they lost to both of their division rivals, including the above mentioned inexplicable 28-point meltdown against the Flash 80s.

Ice Bowl IV: The Alpines 7, The Nordics 40 (Final)

Unlike previous seasons, due to the league's new format, the all-star teams would not represent their divisions or conferences. Instead,the teams were drafted by QFL Commissioner igor and QFL Vice President duffeldoffel from a pool of non-playoff teams.

While Nordics team captain duffeldoffel drafted Warriors coach Niner for the offense (#1 pick) and billygoats coach owl49er for the defense (#4 pick), Alpines team captain igor selected Kobras coach frontmode for the defense (#2 pick) and Eagle Eyes coach the_hawk for the offense (#3 pick).

The Alpines' start was very promising as they finished the game-opening drive in the Nordics' end zone. However, the Nordics went on to dominate the rest of the game and scored 40 unanswered points, 23 of which off of seven turnovers, thus tying the series at 2-2.

For Niner, whose Warriors have a perfect 4-0 QFL all-time record against the Kobras, it was the first Ice Bowl win in his third appearance. frontmode had his first Ice Bowl appearance as did the_hawk and owl49er whose billygoats defense had previously dominated the Eagle Eyes offense during their regular-season encounter.

Season IV, Divisional Playoffs: Niners Sparrows 28, Flash 80s 34 (Final)
Season IV, Divisional Playoffs: Jetto Basterds 41, silentsound's Silentknights 13 (Final)

The Flash 80s were favorites to beat visiting Niners Sparrows and advance to the Fever Bowl, thus extending their perfect season. The Sparrows had given the hosts a good fight in their regular-season finale at the same virtual venue and were determined to do so again.

They did take the lead early in the second quarter, however, the Flash 80s went on to dominate and build a 20-point lead by the end of the third quarter. Two fourth-quarter touchdowns proved too little, too late for the Sparrows who still wait for their first playoff win.

The Jetto Basterds had to travel to silentsound's Silentknights against whom they had suffered their first of two regular-season losses. Also, because they had their bye in week 7, they had had to wait well over a year to get back in action since dropping a two-score lead late in their final regular-season game against the Flash 80s.

In a hard-fought first half which saw three lead changes, the Basterds got themselves a 7-point lead late in the second quarter. In the third quarter, the Basterds steamrolled all over their opponents and scored three TDs and a FG in between en route to a blowout win against the 'Knights.

Fever Bowl IV: Jetto Basterds 25, Flash 80s 17 (Final)

Fever Bowl IV champion: BasterdsThe Flash 80s were considered slight favorites to complete their perfect season. However, their season ended in heartbreak when they failed to produce a deja-vu against the Jetto Basterds against whom they had had a late 10-point, fourth-quarter comeback during the regular season.

After taking the lead on an early TD and the Basterds striking back, the Flash 80s actually did come back from a deficit twice. However, they could not do it a third time as the fifth lead change of the game proved the final one in the arguably most exciting Fever Bowl ever.

The Jetto Basterds are the first expansion team in QFL history to finish their first season as QFL World Champions.

« Field goals gallore - Basterds are QFL World Champions! «