The outdoor touch football season had 66 teams compete for 12 different divisional championships.
The summer season saw some great games and even better individual performances, culminating in the 12 championship finals being played at Investors Group Field as part of the PIT Football League’s partnership with the Winnipeg Football Club.
This year parity reigned supreme as nearly every division saw the top regular-season seeds fall to their underdog counterparts, making for some great drama and storylines across each of the divisions.
SuperDillos 44 Women’s Provincial Flag Team 38
The first-ever Co-ed Outdoor Championship was a barnburner with the two teams combining for 82 points. Both offences were on point with the game decided on the last series.
Melissa Bailey and Courtney Dyck had two scores apiece for the Provincial Team while the SuperDillos were led by Dave Shoup and Jason Cassie who also scored 12 points. The women demonstrated the immense talent among the female football players in Manitoba while proving this season that they could play with any of the guys playing in co-ed. An amazing game to end the inaugural season of coed football!
The Guild of Calamitous Intent 21 Provincial Team 7
In a tight-scoring game, the Guild of Calamitous Intent won their second-consecutive outdoor championship, cementing them as the top touch football team in Manitoba.
Nick Trinder led the way for the Guild with nine points on a touchdown and two converts, whereas Brad Black was virtually unstoppable for the Provincial Team. The offences had to grind out yardage and both defences played some lights-out football in what many thought would be a high-scoring game. Good luck to members of both teams who will be representing Manitoba at the National Touch Football Championships in Hamilton over Thanksgiving weekend.
Beerhawks 21 No D 12
In a theme that will become very evident with the remaining divisions, the Beerhawks knocked off the top-seeded No D team under the lights at Investors Group Field. A late quarterback change for the Beerhawks coupled with some injuries to the No D offence paved the way for the upset. The Beerhawks were led by game MVP Griffin Bernstein, who threw for three touchdowns and ran for well over 100 yards. No D are the bridesmaids for a second year in a row but this perennial powerhouse will be back to make another championship run in the fall indoor season.
Rampage 19 Snappers 18
The Cinderella story was completed as Rampage went from worst to first to win the Division 3 championship. Snappers and Rampage were the bottom two seeds in the playoffs combining for a regular-season record of just 9-27. However, those teams were led by veteran quarterbacks Shawn Funk (Rampage) and Jeff Zink (Snappers) who demonstrated their mettle once their seasons were on the line. The two underdogs knocked off the top seeds and then proceeded to put on the best game of the day, with Rampage scoring the go ahead touchdown with only a couple minutes remaining to seal a one-point victory. Any given Sunday! Check out some video footage of the winning touchdown.
Eagle 88 11 Law Firm 0
In a defensive battle played during heavy rains, Eagle 88 stunned the top seeded Law Firm 11-0. Eagle 88 rusher Nick Jessamine had two sacks, both for safeties as the two teams managed to combine for just one touchdown. Law Firm was missing their starting quarterback for the championship game, however that may not have mattered as the Eagle 88 defense gave up just 23 points in three playoff games. Another team with long odds to win a championship, nevertheless giving up nine points total against the top two seeds will change those odds significantly!
Running Riot 23 Nasty Boyz 6
Running Riot had one of the more improbable runs to a championship, beginning the season winless in their first eight games. A retooled offence found cohesion late in the season but they would have to go through the top two seeds to get to the championship game. Proof of the adage “Defense wins championships”, Running Riot gave up only 18 points in their final two playoff games, including just a single touchdown in the final. A stout defence combined with Clancey “Odell Beckham” Dorion making unbelievable one-handed touchdown catches is a recipe for success. Check out this link for a highlight of just one of Claney’s unbelievable touchdown catches.
Can’t Cut List 36 Past Our Primetime 7
Number-one seed Past Our Primetime were heavy favorites going into the final versus Can’t Cut List, however top seeds were cursed all day and this game would be no different. The game was close until the Can’t Cut List defence hauled in two interceptions in the final three minutes of the first half, including one for a touchdown. During that span 18 points were scored by Can’t Cut list, which blew the game wide open. Past Our Primetime had only lost five games all season, however three of those games were to Can’t Cut List which goes to show that style and matchups are key come playoffs.
Snipers 31 Fail Mary 20
The Snipers have been playing for 34 years and, remarkably, this game marked their first outdoor championship in their history, in what we can only assume is the longest non-championship run in touch football history. The Snipers played a near flawless game but couldn’t shake Fail Mary until the last minutes of the game. Up by only five points, the Snipers executed a perfect out and up pattern for the final touchdown to seal victory. Here is the play that ended their 34 year championship drought.
Gotham Knights 36 North End Hawkeyes 6
The Gotham Knights started the season 14-0 and were making a bid to become the first outdoor team to go undefeated, however they dropped three of their final four games to limp into the playoffs. The Knights were able to right their ship as they ran the table in the playoffs to take home their second-consecutive outdoor title and join the Guild as the only two #1 seeds to win their respective championships. The final started with a bang as the Knights defence took an interception to the house on the very first drive. A couple of more stops which were then converted to touchdowns and the rout was on.
Sissy’s Turf Turtles 20 Wickermen 14
Another top seed goes down in flames as the Turf Turtles burned down the Wickermen. Matt Lofendale led the Turtles with two touchdown passes and his elusiveness proved too much for the Wickermen defence to handle. Carson Mallette of the Turf Turtles had the unenviable task of rushing perennial all-star quarterback Tanner Smith, and did a great job, earning MVP honours in the process. Keeping the Wickermen quarterback in the pocket was key to the upset victory as the upstart Turtles claimed their first outdoor championship!
The Kraken 33 The Free Agents 12
The Free Agents had a rough start to the season as it took time for them to gel as a team, but they hit their stride when it counted, knocking off the top teams in Division 10 to make the final. The Free Agents ran into the Kraken, who barely survived a semi-final scare. Up 31 points in the second half, their opponents stormed back. Only an interception with seconds remaining allowed the Kraken to survive a 31-30 comeback. Learning from their mistakes in the semi-final, the Kraken did not let up in the championship game. Jean-Guy Mercier threw dimes all game to end the Free Agents hot streak and give the Kraken their first ever outdoor championship. Congratulations to the Kraken’s Courtney Dyck who was voted by her peers as the first Overall Most Valuable Player in league history.
Suckskatchewan 33 The Fighting Elms 7
As a way to reward those teams that make our league great, each season the PIT Football League selects two teams who demonstrated sportsmanship in the face of adversity to play in the Redemption Bowl. Two of the most respected teams in the league, Suckskatchewan and The Fighting Elms, were chosen to play in a game to right their respective seasons. Suckskatchewan quarterback Damian Bialkowski had quite the game, ending it with a perfect quarterback rating and bringing home both championship and MVP honours. Catch some video of Damian hitting Summer Pro Bowl selection Troy Thompson for the goal line touchdown catch to seal victory.
Congratulations to the twelve new outdoor touch football champions! A full listing of all of our previous champions can be found here.
The PIT Football league is the official touch football league of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The PIT would like to thank the Winnipeg Football Club for their hospitality this season and for helping grow the game of touch football in the province!
Fall registration for their indoor touch football league is now open. Registration information can be found here.