For the last few years these two teams have been at the top of the heap winning a Fall Championship in five of the last five seasons combined. They are both led by powerhouse offenses, each strategically different, and have monstrous defenses that can stop any offense at any time.
The NJ Bombers are led by the athlete of athletes in American 7’s Football, Shaune “King ST” Thomas. We spoke about him briefly last week and with good reason. King ST is one of the best athletes to play on any field let alone an A7FL field, his quick feet and elusiveness make him one tough player to stop and his precision passing make him almost impossible to stop offensively. But don’t let his offensive prowess fool you, ST, can do it all on the defensive side too; stopping any offense in their tracks before they can even get started.
But Shaune Thomas isn’t the only piece to this team that can do damage as the Baltimore Cobras witnessed in first person. Mujahaad “Moo Spitt” Myles, Ameer “Chicc” Morris, and Kelly Gillmore all can play multiple positions on both sides of the ball.
Much like ST above, Moo and Chicc are arguably one of the best players at their respective positions. They are known for winning with almost 7 championships combined these two are the epitome of winning. Kelly Gillmore on the other hand is a the lesser known of the four we have discussed so far. Known for blazing speed a knack for running a quick, crisp route, and can catch any pass at any time. Gilmore is just as impressive defensively as he is defensively with lockdown corner ability who already has a few interceptions on the season and isn’t shy of lowering his shoulder and driving the ball carrier to the ground.
We have yet to discuss the NJ Savage yet this season and that’s only due to their less than exciting start to the schedule. With games against the PA Warriors and the aforementioned PA A-Team there schedule has been pretty thin. But with a matchup against the boys from the Ville (Sayreville NJ) it’s the perfect time to start talking about them.
The NJ Savage have been a top team for many years going from the leagues basement to its rooftop pool deck in less than five seasons the Savage are led the beard Aka Matt “Prince” Brown who is a genius when it comes to the game of football. Known for putting together a team that represents more of a family than a franchise, the Savage have been a close knit group of brothers since day one.
Known for their defensive front seven, the NJ Savage are a ball flocking group of power and speed. Led by Olay at LB / Safety, the leader of this defense is one of the more shifty players in the game. A sure tackler who drives chest up he is willing to come in and out of a pile wrapping the ball carrier up like no one else. Accompanied by a cast of characters that would be the #1 defender on all squads, Quentin #7, Arce #34 & Edy Garcia #13 are sure to clean up anything that Olay #9 might miss.
Offensively the Savage are no slouch either. Rhudson “RF1” Fonseca is arguably the leagues best all around quarterback. Known for diagnosing the opposing defense at the line of scrimmage RF1 hails from Brazil with a history of professional football in his home town. RF1 has one the nicest deep balls the league has ever seen and is even more accurate. But his arm isn’t the only spectacle as his feet can do the trick in a pinch just as successfully.
But RF1 can only do a portion of it all. He needs someone to throw the ball to and his receiving core rivals that of any team in the league. Brother of Olay, mentioned above, Q Bell, has been known as a top receiver for many seasons. Speed, power & agility lead the characteristics for this young receiver who has a gift for catching a quick screen pass and breaking for big chunks of yards in a blink of an eye. Q is joined on the depth chart with a former Kean superstar Derric Harris has a very similar skill set as Q. And of course you cannot talk about the Savage without discussing long time Townbeef veteran Korey “Ceaz” Robinson who is an easy contender for a Hall of a Fame bid for his career long contributions to the game.
The match up of these two robust forces is sure to impress players and fans for all to see. With two impactful defenses and offenses that rank among the best in any league the Bombers and Savage guarantee to put on a show come Sunday.
For the last few years Andrew Pallotto Jr. has been building a roster that can easily rival with some of the top tiered squads. And although they haven’t gotten over the hump completely, recent years have proved that it will be just a matter of time for that to happen.
An offense that consists of one of the top running backs in the league Jesse Martinez runs with a purpose and is known to lower his shoulder and lay the boom on suspecting and unsuspecting defenders down field. Alex Vargas at QB is one of the more underrated talents in this league. The ability to extend plays with his feet and move the ball down field with ease sets him apart from some of the other more efficient pocket passers. The one thing that sets Vargas apart from the rest of the pack is his ability to always keep his eyes down field to find either Ernest “Eazy” Wingate or Thomas “Red” Guaschino wide open for six.
Pallotto doesn’t just run the team or the defense for that matter, he is also one of the most fearless and hard hitting defensive linemen in the game. Long being labeled as an aggressive player, Dru’s ability to get to the ball carrier with a perfect form tackle gives him an added edge to his already antagonistic demeanor. Accompanied on his defense is a cast of characters who have made a name for themselves over the years and are now able to do it together as a team. Mahmoud “Big Mo” Ramadan controls the middle of the line at defensive tackle and has once been named the defensive rookie of the year. Tori Gibbs and 2014 DROY runner up Tony “Loc” Zabaleta have proved the Chiefs front line is not to be questioned. Behind their larger than life defensive line the Chiefs possess two of the most under appreciated line backs in Alex Lambert and Banos.
Banos who has been known to be a little reckless with his tackling has never had the word fail in his vocabulary. He doesn’t care how big, or how fast or how physical you are he is going to run through you with a pent up aggression unlike any other. Lambert is a play maker from every inch of the field. He can cover your fastest or biggest TE or HB, he can blitz from any angle and his ability to catch the ball out of thin air is next to none.
Let’s make sure we don’t forget about either teams secondary as both have the ability to slow down the opposing passing game pretty quickly. Abdul Shabaka for BIC is a ball hawking defensive back who knows how to clean up in the instance that a ball carrier gets past their front five. For the Chiefs they have two stud defensive backs. Debray Tavarez is a rookie of the year candidate who is a tackling machine with Patrick Peterson-esque ball hawking capability. Lil Mo Ramadan is no schlep either with shut down corner skills that rival those of Richard Sherman. Ask any NFL team who would like for Pat Pete and Sherman on the same team and you’ll get 32 yes’ before you can finish your sentence. The Chiefs are poised to have that level of talent in their secondary which honestly cannot be matched by any other team in the game. With an offensive core like The Nation the Chiefs are going to need these two on their game to slow them down.
For the first time in many years we are seeing a changing of the garb in A7 as more and more teams are emerging from the ashes. Both The Nation and The Chiefs are two of those teams who are rising like the Phoenix to solidify themselves as the next generation of beef.
Come Saturday night at MacCarren Park in Brooklyn these two teams are set out to prove who the next big thing shall be.
A-Town Misfits vs. The U
Another week, another cross over game. This time The U gets to take on current PA champion A-Town Misfits.
The Misfits hail from Allentown PA and have been known to be at the top of the heap for many years in PA. But for many years they haven’t faced any of the competition that NJ offers. Sure, they faced A-Team and The Gladiators but for several seasons there was the cream of the crop and then there was everyone else.
But don’t get it twisted. Just because the Misfits didn’t have the opportunity to test their mights against the best of New Jersey doesn’t mean they can’t hang. In 2014, the Misfits played a hard fought match up vs. The Bombers in the playoffs shortly after putting up a 60-burger on Zone 6 in the first round of said playoffs.
The Misfits have an offensive game plan that can match that with any of the big timers the league. Strong up front the Misfits love to play a four offensive line which consists of two tight ends and two big full backs behind them. This gives their offense the functionality and the space to be able to run several plays out of this formation not limited to just pounding the rock which they do extremely well. Quarterback Mike Fernandez has quick feet and is a magician behind the line of scrimmage in the play action game, a three headed monster behind him with Bubba, Reem and Shawn “I Be Beastin” Thomas allows The Misfits a level of versatility that only a few teams can offer.
Defensively the Misfits are just as powerful and the edges are locked down with the return of Chew and Carl at defensive end. Behind them Mike D aka The Missile is known to throw his body into any situation and usually comes out the winner while Juice can do it all from covering to tackling to blitzing from one play to the next.
With a front five like this it’s not hard to overlook those playing centerfield in this defense. Their defensive backs are just as impressive as their upfront counterparts. The Misfits #1 DB Emery is a former PA slam dunk contest winner who can jump literally over anyone and is never afraid to climb the ladder on any opposing receiver to make the play. On the other side of the ball Leo is built like a Major League Baseball Centerfield and can play both laterally and vertically without hesitation.
On the other side of the field Paterson U is scratching their heads following their disappointing loss this past weekend to The Nation. Coming off their Beef Bowl IX title no one thought, not even yours truly, that they would lose so early. But with some internal turmoil focusing around who their QB might be it seemed as if The Nation had their way with The U. But this just makes them hungrier and a team like The Crew just won’t go hungry for very long.
Kareen Moon is back at Quarterback for the first time since their championship game just under a year ago and as one of the most dangerous athletes to ever grace a football field it is a perfect fit for both Moon and The U. With wide outs like A-Star, Joel Rivera and new comer Deon Davis to the squad The U are just another one of the more powerful pass catching teams.
Marcell “World Wide, Boobie Myles” Bates is still the leader of this squad and the voice for the team. In fact he was mic’d up for the game this past Saturday and can be heard on A7’s youtube channel. Bates, a DT, is one of the most fearsome players in the league who despite his size is a fleet footed football player with skills on both the defensive and offensive side of the ball.
Pitts, Hardbody & Rated stand behind him as the best defensive back core in the game. Each of them have the ability to cover and the ability to hit like rockets being sent out of a cannon. They also all possess the ability to intercept any pass that goes in the air even when you don’t expect them to they will come flying through your television screen to make a play on a ball on a player that is conceivably wide open and has nothing between him and the promise land. Then BOOM, the ball is either going the other way or the player is walking off the field in pure confusion.
It is hard to root against The U who have always been known as one of the leagues best bets but with the Misfits running like a well-oiled machine this could be a trap game for Paterson U and they better be on the look out for that as one misstep in either direction and it could be The U looking from the outside in.
A7FL Staff Writer: Justin “Peckin” Mandaro’s Bio