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December 21, 2018

PIT Football: Fall Recap

PIT Football’s 10th anniversary season continued into the fall with a record 113 teams vying for 24 championship trophies. PIT Football expanded their co-ed division to include three skill levels and for the first time Manitoba crowned a fall senior men’s flag football champion.

It was a season of firsts, which culminated with some of the most highly contested championship games in recent memory. 

Co-ed Competitive:

Connor McDavids 49 Defensive Touchdown Fever 25

The top two teams in co-ed not surprisingly featured the division’s two highest-scoring offences.
The championship final lived up to expectations as the teams combined for a co-ed high 74 points. Jordan DeMerchant led DTF with two interceptions and four touchdown passes, but it was not enough to stop the Connor McDavid’s from claiming their second championship.
Six different players scored a touchdown for the McDavids in the final, making their spread offence very difficult to match up against.
The McDavids will be attempting the hat-trick of championships come the winter season.


Co-ed Intermediate:

Woody’s Glove Check 32 Dumb Lit 26

The top two seeds in this division were both upset on the way to the finals, demonstrating the parity in the co-ed division.
The intermediate final pitted the veteran Woody’s squad versus up-and-comers Dumb Lit, who were comprised primarily of the U18 provincial boys and girls flag football team.
This game was high scoring as both defences had trouble containing two of the most-elusive quarterbacks in the game. In the end, veteran savvy trumped youthful athleticism, but Dumb Lit has put the league on notice that they are going to be a force for the next decade in the co-ed division!


Co-ed Recreational:

There’s No Crying in Baseball 20 UltaDillos 7

There’s No Crying in Baseball captured the inaugural Co-ed Recreational title, as the co-ed league for the first time expanded to three divisions.
The ladies led the way in scoring as Corrie Krahn had two touchdowns and a convert for the victors, while Liz Locken scored the only touchdown for the UltraDillos.
There’s No Crying in Baseball are the first coed team to win a title in each of the three divisions of skill.


Flag Football:

Drapers Humble Calves 19 The Arrows 13

The first Senior Men’s fall indoor championship was fittingly contested by two of the top flag teams in the province.
This game was tied at 13 for the longest time and looked to be destined for overtime. That is until Justin Stewart hit Ben Shea on a deep post corner with only seconds left in the game, which left the teams and the crowd stunned at the quick turn of events.  These two teams will do battle again the winter in the newly-sanctioned Canadian Flag Football League (CFFL), wherein the top two teams in the league will represent Manitoba at the regionals with a chance to play both at the National championships and international tournaments!
Flag football is the fastest growing sport in Canada and it just got another boost with the addition of the CFFL, which has partnered exclusively with PIT Football to grow the game of flag football in Manitoba.


Division 1:

Guild of Calamitous Intent 35 Team Fit Body 33

The Division 1 final lived up to expectations as these two heavyweight teams went toe-to-toe, exchanging leads on five occasions.
Mike Nelson led Team Fit Body to an early lead, throwing for five touchdowns along the way, three on the first three drives of the game. Team Fit Body looked poised to knock off the defending champs when Nelson hit Todd Pasternak, who had a game high 19 points, midway through the second half to put them up by 12. However, the veteran Guild team battled back as Keith Bourgeois scored 13 points in the final 10 minutes to take the lead. The Guild defence came up big on the final drive, stopping Team Fit Body in the red zone to preserve victory.
The Guild captured their record sixth straight Division 1 title in a barnburner.


Division 2:

MonStars 40 Beerhawks 12

The Monstars and Beerhawks have met in the last two finals, with both teams taking home a championship title in what has become one of the best rivalries in touch football.
The Fall season would be the rubber match, with the MonStars coming out of the gates quickly. Former Mustangs standout quarterback Matt Nikkel was sharp, throwing for five touchdown passes, two to former Winnipeg Blue Bomber draft pick Alex Vitt.
The MonStars have successfully transitioned from the tackle to the touch game and are set to be a dominate team in the league for years to come!


Division 3:

The Kings 27 MapeTown 13

The Kings put an end to MapeTown’s season in a thriller of a game. MapeTown was coming into the game on a roll having won four consecutive games to finish the season, in part from the phenomenal play from up-and-coming quarterback Dharmpal Brar. The Kings, however, were able to limit Dharmpal’s targets by holding MapeTown to a season-low 13 points and avenging their loss earlier in the season. Former league MVP Nick Jessamine threw for four touchdowns, two to current league MVP Charlie Jessamine. The family MVP duo, were joined by yet another former league MVP in Luke Jaccobucci who added two touchdowns and two interceptions. If your roster has three league MVPs on it, you know your team is stacked with talent!


Division 4:

Brewers 46 Big Baller Brand 20

Big Baller Brand was looking for their third consecutive championship, but those hopes were dashed early and often as the Brewers scored 38 unanswered points in the first half to leave no doubt who would rule Division 4.
BBB made the score respectable, but props go out to the Brewers who played their best game of the season when it counted and to Andrew Westwood who orchestrated scoring drives on all seven of the Brewers possessions. Andrew finished the game with a championship night high seven touchdown passes.


Division 5:

Average Sized Giants 33 Gym Class Heroes 19

Average Sized Giants have been one of the most-successful franchises over the years and continue to climb the divisional ladder.
They will go up another rung come winter after knocking off the top teams en route to the Division 5 championship. Led by Jean-Guy Mercier, the third quarterback ever to top the 1,000 touchdown-pass mark, one of the league’s best receivers in Brett Preun, and former league MVP Courtney Dyck, this team is stacked from top to bottom.
This former co-ed team continues to take on all the top men’s teams and knock them off.


Division 6:

The Dragins 31 Longshots 13

Facing a third-and-long from their own 10-yard line and up by six at the mid-way mark of the second half, Dragins QB Lionel Gauthier went against the urging of his bench to punt the ball and instead faked the punt and went deep to hit Rene Bosc in stride for a touchdown to break open a game that was back and forth up to that point. With most touch football games being high scoring, teams would benefit from emulating Lionel’s gutsy call and go for it on third down more often. The statistics say it’s the correct call, teams just need to have the fortitude to make the gamble, even late in the game, and even if you are winning at the time!


Division 7:

The Filthy Few 15 Unwanted All-Stars 13

We had this game pegged as a high-scoring affair but instead it was the defences who stepped up in what turned out to be a pretty epic battle.
There were not a lot of defensive statistics, however both defensive corps forced the offences continually into two-and-out situations. Filthy Few quarterback Danny Harris did most of the damage with his legs, running in a two-point convert in which he seemingly entered the Matrix to avoid would-be tacklers. That highlight-reel convert run turned out to be the difference in the game.


Division 8:

Venum 39 Super Troopers 32

Venum had quite the regular season, finishing first in their division and handing the three-time defending champions the VaudeVillians their first loss in nearly two years.
Venum kept their momentum going in the playoffs by racking up the points, averaging 36.5 points per game in what could have been veteran quarterback Paul Frias’ finest season. In the final, Paul threw five touchdowns, while three receivers had double-digit scoring nights.
The Super Troopers were denied their third-straight championship in what turned out to be perhaps the best division in the fall season.


Division 9:

Knibb High Football 33 Meme Magic 27

Meme Magic knocked off the top-seeded team in the division in the semi-finals and was hoping to do the same to the second seed Knibb High.
Neither team could establish a lead, as the two teams traded scores all game. Knibb High took the lead late when Karl Zborowsky hauled in his fourth touchdown of the night.
Nathan Leitao, who had already thrown four touchdown passes, led Meme Magic right back down the field, however his last second touchdown pass attempt fell short, giving Knibb High the championship in one of the most-entertaining games of the evening.


Division 10:

BlackOut 39 Fake TDs, No Punts 32

BlackOut was a rookie team who started the season 1-2 and had some troubles adjusting from the tackle to the touch game, however the light seemed to go on in game four of the season and they never looked back, knocking off the top seeds in the division en route to the championship in their inaugural season and avenging their regular season loss to Fake TDs.
Game MVP Rob Noel had four touchdowns for Fake TDs to keep them in the game late. However, Bisons standout receiver Ethan Diakow, who moved to quarterback for BlackOut, had five touchdown passes to four different receivers to preserve the victory.


Division 11:

The Notorious 25 Loose Cannons 17

The Notorious always seemed to be on the wrong side of any finals decisions, coming up short of winning the title on multiple occasions.
Last spring they finally broke through with a championship victory and then followed that up with the perfect season in the fall. The championship did not come easily as they had to fend off three shots from inside the five-yard line to end the game, but their defence came up huge.
Seems like the Notorious have captured more championships this past year than the Notorious one the team takes their name from!


Division 12:

No Punts Intended 12 The ‘Hawks 8

No Punts Intended had to run the gauntlet with both their semi-finals and finals on the same night (blame the holiday parties!).
NPI narrowly escaped the semi-finals when Brett Zdebiak scored the game-tying touchdown and then added the winning convert with just seconds remaining on the clock. That momentum carried NPI in to the finals, a game where the defences took over, combining for eight interceptions, five sacks, and a safety between the two teams.
A Matt Sypulski-to-Ken Hardman touchdown strike late in the second half turned out to be the game winner, as NPI held off a desperate comeback attempt with three stops in the red zone to end the game. If you are a fan of defence, this was the game to watch!


Division 13:

Take the L 20 St. Vital 69ers 15

If this was a game that offered Grey Cup quarter-score tickets, you would have had some great luck seeing as the score was 3-2 at the quarter mark and 9-8 at halftime!
Two of the best defences in the league squared off and neither gave an inch. The St. Vital 69ers were led by the four sacks and a safety by Nicholas Lanyon, while Jeromy Stril had four interceptions and two touchdowns in an MVP performance for Take the L.
Former Football Manitoba u20 National Flag Football champions Nick Lajoie and Marcello Vaziri chipped in three touchdowns passes and two interceptions respectively as Take the L takes home the W and their first every PIT Football championship.


Division 14:

The Wickermen 25 Bleue’s Clueless 19

The Wickermen get their long overdue return to the winner’s circle, having been bridesmaids the last couple of indoor seasons.
Tanner Smith threw for four touchdowns, two to Zach Hares, while Steven Bleue, in his rookie campaign as a quarterback, hit Rob Noel for two touchdowns of his own.
The two bottom seeds in the division knocked off the divisional heavyweights to make the final, demonstrating that anything can happen come playoffs, and teams that get hot during the second season generally are the ones holding the hardware at the end.


Division 15:

The Bullet Club 21 Just Given “R” 20

The Bullet Club knocked off the top seeded and undefeated Just Given “R” in one of the top games of the night.
Ben “I am not usually a rusher” Lazaruk had four quarterback sacks and a safety which helped shut down the high-powered offense of JGR. Ben racked up 16 sacks, 3 interceptions, and a record four safeties in his four playoff games this season in an incredible defensive performance!
The previously undefeated Just Given “R” were denied the perfect season despite Anthony Raposo throwing for two touchdowns and hauling in a game high two interceptions.


Division 16:

Post Dig Picks Route 20 Young Wild and Free 6

Post Dig Picks Route won their first championship game on the back of a Herculean effort by the defence which had three different players come down with interceptions.
On offence, PDPR were led by the three touchdown passes from Kevin Cortens, while Ivan Jaques replied with a touchdown and an interception for Young Wild and Free.
It is well known that Post Dig Picks Route are the top team in the lounge, and now they can add a championship to give them yet another reason to have a few cold ones at the end of the night!


Division 17:

Gomi’s Homies 22 Illegal Contact 7

Gomi’s Homies were one of the few top seeds this fall season to stave off their competitors and take home the championship trophy.
The Gomi’s did it in style capping off a perfect season with a great defensive performance that included three interceptions, two sacks, and a safety. James Hawley quietly put up some big passing numbers as a quarterback, adding three more touchdown passes to his total in the finals.
Lucas Filbert had all the points for Illegal Contact when he took an interception to the house.
Gomi’s Homies will hope to duplicate their undefeated season in a higher division come winter season.


Division 18:

Suckskatchew1 26 Waverley Warriors 24

This game came right down to the wire as these two teams traded leads throughout the game.
The Waverley Warriors have been in a playoff mode for over a month, needing to win their last two games just to get into the playoffs, while Suckskatchew1 was cruising with an undefeated record, which was put in jeopardy after the Waverley Warriors got their defensive stop late to give them an opportunity to score the game winner.
Driving with only seconds remaining, Eric Rout made a veteran play, reading the quarterback and coming off his corner spot to intercept the ball and end both the drive and the game. Suckskatchew1 was able to take their dislike of the Roughriders and channel it into a perfect season!


Division 19:

Touched by Mummy 27 defeat Savage AF 12

Savage AF was looking to end the Mummy’s undefeated season and it looked like it would happen early on when they took a 12-0 halftime lead.
Savage QB Matt Harris was throwing dimes, but those dimes disappeared in the second half as the Mummy’s adjusted.
It was a tale of two halves as the Mummies pitched a shut out in the second, while the offence put up 27 unanswered points.
Congratulations to Michael Johnson who at age 53, became the oldest rookie quarterback ever to lead his team to a championship!


Division 20 Redemption Bowl:

The Quick Six 26 Suckskatchewan Seniors 6

This game was just 8-0 well into the second half before both offences started to get into gear.
Brandon McQueen had one of the best catches of the night, skying over what seemed like the entire Quick Six defence to haul in a touchdown pass from Troy Thompson for the Seniors only score.
Stephan Malzhan had himself a break-out game throwing for three touchdowns and picking off a pass as part of the Quick Six’s five interceptions, by five different defenders. Quite the stat, and quite the way to finish the season.

The PIT Football league is the official touch football league of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. PIT Football would like to thank the Winnipeg Football Club for helping grow the game of touch football in the province! Highlights from our Fall championship games can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Brd0GFbArzX/

Winter registration is now open. Registration information can be found here:  https://pit.redzoneleagues.com/forums/messages/26555-winter-2019-registration-information