Riffraff go to Rafz
With their captain grilling and chilling in Catalonia and their premier pass rusher pulling a Barret Robbins–esque pre-game disappearing act, the Zurich Intruders headed into their Week Two match-ups in short supply of numbers but not heart.
The Intruders took the rain soaked Rafz gridiron knowing that only a perfect game could yield a rare besting of their cross town rivals, the undefeated Mockingbirds. Both teams traded scores and missed extra points to start the game, a contest that looked to be gunslingers’ duel as the skies and nerves settled.
After a crucial stop midway through the first half, the Intruders looked to press the advantage after driving into the red zone. Unfortunately, the Intruders would make their first error a costly one, as a desperation cross-field Cipullo pass was nabbed by the opportunistic defense. His counterpart would not make the same mistake, as the surgical ‘Birds soared across midfield and into the end zone.
Down two scores to start the second half, the Intruders offense kept pace but their defense could catch neither breaks nor interceptions. A head scratching pass interference call on Guay negated a fourth down stop and rendered the result all but academic. Still, Cipullo threw for 5 TDs split between Guay, Teubert and Haidari and the Intruders lost 49-33 for their first defeat of the season.
In the matinee with the Midland Bouncers , the Intruders again kicked off the game by allowing two touchdowns and answering in kind.
Pre and mid game adjustments lead the way, as the Intruders abandoned their ineffective blitz for a disciplined 5 headed hydra that confused the Bouncers QB and negated their far fleeter offensive attack. Haidari was particularly destructive, a one pull, tackling blitzkrieg who somehow found time to make two drive killing interceptions. Matthias Pfiffner continued to impress at CB, shutting down the right zone, including a crucial, acrobatic play to tip away a sure touchdown. The rest of the defense was just as stout, with Sanchez and Guay marshaling the middle, and veteran Boroski snatching an end zone interception to end yet another Bouncers drive in midland despair.
On the offensive side of the ball, Cipullo lead the grey and orange with his arm and legs to 7 TDs, including a rushing touchdown and a Teubert rumble into the end zone to close out the game. As they have all season, Zurich moved up and down the field almost at will, using a mix of spread and bunch formations to confuse their adversaries. Instead of folding like so many sideline umbrellas in the gameday weather, the Intruders turned to ingenuity and toughness to pull away 43-13.
The march to the playoffs continues this Saturday in Solothurn, where the Intruders will face the rival Soly Rhinos and the expansion ASEM Raptors in a crucial playoff battles. Take care of business against the hosts and the Intruders can grill and chill through the summer break with autumn winds and a post season berth to welcome them into the season’s second half.