Of all the one Pferd towns on the 2018 schedule, Rafz traditionally takes more than it gives this star-crossed franchise. While the first game against St. Gallen came down to the last play, the second match saw an opportunistic Zurich defense nab 7 interceptions, six of which went for touchdowns. To honor that achievement, here's a sextet of takeaways from last weekend's festivities:
One point... The Intruders have dropped two nail-biters in consecutive weeks, both on the last play of the game. It wasn't until the twilight of the first contest when the Zurich defense made drive ending plays as Archie and Jeff both batted balls, finally gifting the offense a chance to deal the killing blow. With :43 seconds left to play, the Orange and Gray took the ball and their destiny in their hands. Todd led an efficient drive capped off when he found a nonchalant Sullivan standing unguarded in the end zone. Down one point, the Intruders decided to play it safe and go for the tie. Right?
Of course not. The Intruders hung major onions in a big spot, going up top to Guay on the two-point conversion. Unfortunately the ball fell short, but the team could hold their heads high after a 33-32 defeat. Short staffed, limping through on both sides but no retreat. No surrender.
Two wins, Two losses. In two defeats this season, the Intruders have fallen short by a combined 6 points. Guay started the game at QB, his desperation 4th down pass found a diving JB in the endzone. Not to be outdone, Francis handed over the reigns to Todd and resumed his throne at WR. Archie, the Kanye West of semi-amateur Swiss Football, pirouetted past the Vipers defense for TDs and XPs, giving Zurich a narrow 21-20 lead at the break. In four games this year, they have led at halftime in each.
Three #@!&$'n hours... between games. Seriously league office, get it together. There are only so many U-16 tilts we can ref/watch on the SAFV RedZone double box before seizing up.
Five players (plus one sub). After reffing a double bill in sub-Saharan heat (by Swiss standards), coach/trainer/motivational speaker Peter Lewis led his six remaining warriors against the Edelweiss clad, jort-sporting expansion SFU Phenix. A romp from the outset, Bridenbaker's constant pressure forced an errant prayer that JB snatched from the shining heavens and high-stepped to the promised land for a 6-0 lead.
Though outscored by their defense in the second game, the lone offensive bright spot came on a busted play. While the other Intruders hammed it up, Sanchez snapped the ball to an "unsuspecting" Todd. Jeff was the only one of 10 players on either side to move, streaking down the sideline to track down a bomb and a double digit lead. Juan was happy to stay put.
Six for 6... Shedding their opening game struggles, the 5 headed hydra of Bridenbaker, Sanchez, Sullivan, JB and Guay (and occasionally Todd) unleashed an avalanche of pressure, picks and drive stopping grit. Both JB and Jeff took back 3 interceptions a piece for scores, and JB added a fourth to close out the contest. Jeff rightfully won the MVP on the back of the aforementioned bomb and a Lynchian (Marshawn, not David) romp through the patchwork opposing defense for the game's only rushing TD, as the Intruders doused the Phenix's flames 62-24.
Unlike so many trips to the Outer Rim of the Zurich Verkehrsverbund, the Intruders departed Rafz in relative good health (unlike most years) and spirits. Still, some things never change. The team stuck around to the last beer, enjoying the sun and reminiscing on plays gone by. Rest and recovery are scheduled for the next two weeks, before the season reconvenes in Landquart on June 15th.