|MUDBOWL XVI: DECEMBER 15, 2007|
A HOT GAME IN THE FREEZING COLD
Mudbowl XVI was among the coldest in the history of the game. The daytime temperature never exceeded 9 degrees. The players were so intent on keeping themselves warm that they couldn't tell this was one of the most dramatic of all Mudbowls.
Both teams had a heck of a time scoring at the start of the game with cold hands, dropped passes and stiff bodies. But, as they warmed up to the conditions, the players started to turn on the scoring about a third of the way through the game. Team B took a one-touchdown lead at the half-way point...one they maintained the whole rest of the game, finally winning 11 touchdowns to 10.
And, it was not without drama. The last thirty minutes of play was an emotional see-saw: Dan MacNeal hit Mike Smith with a 45 yard bomb that Anthony Garver answered with a 65 yard kick return for a TD. Then, Steve McQueen intercepted Garver twice in that last half-hour. His team never turned the turnovers into touchdowns because Dan MacNeal was intercepted on the successive drives by Ray Sherman and Bob Confer (the latter with only 6 minutes of play left). Team A was unable to capitalize on that last interception, as what could have been the game-tying drive ended on three dropped passes.
That 2:30 to 3:00 game-within-a-game exemplified what Mudbowl is all about!
|Game Notes: Team A
Anthony Garver was Team A's MVP. After Bob flopped at QB to start the game, Anthony came in to turn it into a shootout...unaffected by cold hands, he completed 70% of his passes (amazing for 70 degree weather, let alone 9 degree weather)...he also caught a 3-yard trick pass from RB Schultz that he ran 50 yards for a score...his 65 yard kick return (tying the longest in history) was exciting as he ran right through, rather than around, the crowd.
Scott Schultz was his usual impressive self, amassing over 100 yards from scrimmage, leading all running backs in yards and attempts on the day....he had the longest run (32 yards), caught 2 touchdown passes and threw a 50 yard touchdown pass
Corey Perry had another solid game moving the ball...he was Team A's leading receiver with 9 grabs, keeping many drives alive as Anthony's safety outlet...he was also the leading tackler with 7 of them
Scott Leffler, sporting his Russian winter hat, contributed with 4 catches
Josh Baptiste, though a young middle schooler, had three catches and 4 tackles
Tim Herriven had another great game...he caught 2 TDs, the best a 5-yarder he took 50 yards after a nice spin move...he threw a 20 yard trick play for a TD...and he had the most athletic interception of the day, battling two others for the ball and still maintaining his balance to be able to run 12 yards from that pile-up
Bob Confer showed flashes of his former big play self at receiver....he went high to bring in a TD pass intended for his teammate 8 yards behind him and he had an all-out dive in the corner of the end zone...his interception in the waning moments of the game added drama to the end of the match
Josh Peters had a good game at wide-out....his best play was a 15-yard TD that he fought a crowd to grab out of the air
Ray Sherman has some big plays in his first Mudbowl...his biggest was his tumbling interception in the last half hour of the game...he also had a nice tumbling batted passes just minutes earlier
Arnold Huth was a Mudbowl rookie but had a good game, returning four kicks decent distances
Game Notes: Team B
Steve McQueen had a huge all-around game and was Team B's MVP...between running and receiving he scored five times on the day....he had the sexiest catch of the day: streaking down the sideline he stuck one hand up to bring in an overthrown pass that he ran in for a TD...his 30-yard running score was just as pretty, plowing through two tacklers...he was a monster on "D", having two gave-saving interceptions in the last half hour of play
Mike Smith was the receiving star of the game for Team B...he
couldn't be stopped, leading the day in catches, yards, and touchdowns,
scoring 5 times of the day....whether on short passes or long ones, he was
tough to stop from getting the ball...his best catch was an 8-yard juggler
in a crowd in the end zone
Nate MacNeal had one catch on the day
Cliff Hoover had another big game at WR, averaging over 19 yards per
catch....his best reception was a 10 yarder he took another 35 yards,
outrunning 3 defenders...he had a painful game as well, Corey stepping on
his chest while Cliff went low to tackle him
Duane Whitmyer, not fleet of foot, surprised with a beautiful 20-yard run
Mitch Wright was a very speedy compliment to Mike Smith, offering the
same sort of headache to the defenders....he amassed 10 catches for 108
yards...he was a thorn in the side to Team A's offense as well. His first
interception drove Bob out of the QB spot and his second was against his own
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