The A7FL returns with the final two spots in our Conference Championship games hanging in the balance
At 4pm we head to Asbury Park Stadium one final time in 2023 as the top seeded Baltimore Watchmen face off the Paterson U.
The U are riding a wave of momentum following their divisional round win over the defending A7FL Champion Trenton BIC, but the Watchmen look to reenact their only 2023 meeting to date and lock in their trip to Cincinnati on July 9th.
Do Carlos Croslin and Kareen Moon have one more upset in them or will Jon Gause Jr and the Watchmen ensure that, for the first time in five seasons, no teams from New Jersey make it to the A7FL title game?
In another epic rematch of the regular season, the top two seeds in the southwest look for their first division title and Conference title appearance as the undefeated Insomniacs battle the SickWidIt.
With the Insomniacs being the only crooked number in the SickWidIt’s loss column, Darren Palmer and company eye revenge as the highest-scoring offense in the league is ready to put in work.
But with RTC Wilkerson, Trey Robinson, Kenny Mack, and Scott Hamilton on the other side of the field, it won’t be an easy 60 minutes.
LIVE GAME UPDATES
NORTHEAST CHAMPIONSHIP – Baltimore Watchmen vs. Paterson U
In our first Game of the Week, we saw Paterson U (8-1, +181 Net Points) take on the Baltimore Watchmen (7-1, +264 Net Points) for the Northeast Division title. These teams previously played in a Week 4 matchup which saw the Watchmen come away with a 31-20 victory and that result was the U’s only loss this season.
The U would start off with the ball and would get held to a three-and-out with 12:21 left in the first and the Watchmen would take over on their own 15-yard line. They established the run on their first drive, gaining chunks of five to seven yards almost every time they ran. They scored on an 18-yard pass from OG Buck to Mean Machine to strike first and go up 7-0 with 5:34 in the first. The U’s offense would stall and give the ball back to the Watchmen with 3:10 left in the quarter and on their own 11-yard line. Their offense would score on a bomb of a pass play to go up 13-0 going into the second quarter.
The U would respond on a huge run by Carlos Croslin to cut the deficit to six with 10:07 left until halftime. The U’s defense looked much more composed and organized on the Watchmen’s first drive of the quarter, and it resulted in getting the ball back on their own 30-yard line with 6:04 to go in the second. The U would show off their aerial attack and get some nice yards but Snages Sosa would finish the drive with a 5-yard run to tie the game at 13 with 49 seconds left in the first half. The Watchmen would get down to the 1-yard line but would run out of time in the first half to keep the score tied at 13.
STATS AT THE HALF
The Watchmen would start the second half with the ball on their own 38-yard line. A big sack by the U’s defense forced the Watchmen to throw-off back to the U with 11:20 left in the third. The U’s offense would set up shop at their own 14-yard line, but the Watchmen’s defense would come up with a massive fumble recovery to get the ball back on the U’s 10-yard line with 9:32 left in the quarter. The Watchmen would still take over 5 minutes to score despite the short field, but would eventually score on a OG Buck passing touchdown on a 4th-and-5. The U’s offense would take over with 4:13 left in the third quarter and get the ball to their own 30-yard line when the clock hit triple-zero with the Watchmen still in the lead, 20-13.
The U would give the ball back to the Watchmen just 30 seconds into the fourth, and the Watchmen offense would start their drive on their own 9-yard line. Their first play would result in a huge pass play to get them into U territory, but then they would grind away some clock and score on a 3rd-and-18 pass play to go up 26-13 with 6:44 left in the game. The Watchmen’s defense delivered constant pressure on the U’s next drive and would force a sack on fourth down with 2:57 left in the game. The Watchmen would score on the first play after the two-minute warning to go up 33-13 with 1:53 left in the game. The U would fail to score on their final possession, and the Watchmen would end the U’s season. The Watchmen will face the Tampa Nightcrawlers next week for the right to play for the A7FL Championship. Final: Baltimore Watchmen 33 Paterson U 13
SOUTHWEST CHAMPIONSHIP – Las Vegas Insomniacs vs. Las Vegas Sickwidit
Our second and final Game of the Week saw two Vegas rivals go head-to-head as the Las Vegas Insomniacs (9-0, +467 Net Points) took on the Las Vegas Sickwidit (8-1, +344 Net Points) for the Nevada Division Title. These teams matched up in Week 6 and gave us a heck of a game in which the Insomniacs narrowly pulled out by a score of 42-39.
The Sickwidit would start with the ball on their own 20-yard line, but they would go three-and-out and throw-off to the Insomniacs with 12:01 left in the first. The Insomniacs’ offense would start on Sickwidit’s 25-yard line and a drive that featured a lot of RTC runs would end with a fumble recovered by Sickwidit. Sickwidit’s drive would start on their own 7-yard line with 6:48 left in the quarter. Their drive would take over five minutes but would only make it to their own 40-yard line before throwing-off back to the Insomniacs with 32 seconds left in the first quarter.
We flash forward to 11:52 in the second quarter thanks to technical difficulties with the Insomniacs up 6-0. The following Sickwidit possession would end shortly with them throwing-off back to the Insomniacs with 11:52 left in the quarter. The drive would start on their own 32-yard line but would end with another throw-off back to Sickwidit with 8:07 left until halftime. Sickwidit’s offense would start in tight quarters on their own 10-yard line, but one pass play would get them all the way to the Insomniacs’ 25-yard line. A Jeremy Geary quarterback scramble would tie the game at 6 with 5:39 left in the first half. A solid rushing attack on the following drive for the Insomniacs would result in a 32-yard run by Eric Shufford to take a 13-6 lead with 2:51 left in the second quarter. The next Sickwidit drive would see yards gained in big chunks and would be finished off by a Geary pass to Jerry Urias to make it a one-point game with 40 seconds left until the half. The score would remain 13-12 going into the half with the Insomniacs in the lead.
The second half started with some fireworks from the Insomniacs as they took the opening throw-off of the half for a touchdown. The Insomniacs would even get the ball right back on the following throw-ff by way of a Sickwidit fumble. The Insomniacs would punch it in with Scooter on a play from the one-inch line to extend their lead to 25-12 with 11:57 to go in the third. The ensuing Sickwidit drive would be halted by a failed 4th-down conversion and the Insomniacs would get the ball on the Sickwidit 47-yard line with 8:11 left in the quarter. Tre Robinson would score on an 18-yard run to give the Insomniacs a 32-12 lead with 5:02 left in the third. The Sickwidit made it down the field quickly on their next drive and would score on a speed option with 54 seconds left until the fourth quarter. The third would end with the Insomniacs on the 22-yard line and with a 14-point lead.
The Insomniacs would get a big play from Himothy on a 70-yard touchdown to go up 39-18 with 10:37 left in the game. Sickwidit’s next possession would end in a failed 4th-and-20 conversion, giving the ball to the Insomniacs on the Sickwidit 5-yard line. One play later, Scooter finds Tre Robinson in the endzone to extend their lead to 45-18 with 6:22 left in the fourth. Sickwidit would score on a 12-yard run with 4:47 left in the game to make the score 45-25. The Insomniacs would start their next drive on their own 48-yard line and run off as much clock as they could until they failed to convert a 4th-and-10, giving the Sickwidit the ball with 1:28 left in the game. The Sickwidit would fail to score on their final possession of the season, and the Insomniacs will advance to the Conference Championship of the A7FL Playoffs. Final: Las Vegas Insomniacs 45 Las Vegas Sickwidit 25