PIT Football had an exciting, abbreviated summer season of recreational touch football.
The season was a sprint to the finish with just 10 regular season games being played. Four undefeated teams tried to complete a perfect season, but three were felled. In fact, nearly every top seed failed to win their respective championships. Those who play in the PIT know how precarious being the top seed really is and often refer to ‘The Curse’ as the top seeds routinely go down in flames.
Overall, the league had an incredibly fun season that included a tweaking of some of the rules to ensure the safety of our players during these unprecedented times. A few highlights from our championship games can be found here.
Coed Division 1
Connor McDavids 44 Dumblit 40
This game may go down as the greatest coed final in PIT Football history.
The undefeated Connor McDavids faced off against Dumblit — a team filled with players from the Manitoba Bisons and the Provincial Flag Football team. Dumblit took an early two-score lead, but the veteran McDavids worked their way back to take their first lead with only seconds remaining.
Dumblit had one last chance for a 65-yard Hail Mary — which was caught — however the Dumblit receiver took possession of the ball just outside the back-end line. An incredible throw!
Dumblit is the future of the coed division, but on this day the veteran Connor McDavids picked up their eighth championship trophy, surpassing the Flying Squirrels for most all-time in the coed division.
Coed Division 2
Running Pylons Senior 34 Kinda Athletic 18
Two more newcomers to the summer coed division battled it out for the Division 2 title.
Kinda Athletic was led by the two touchdown passes of Nolan Jackson, who also had a running TD. The Running Pylons were helmed by Kamloops Blazer recruit Nathan Leito, who also threw for two touchdowns while using his scrambling ability to run for three more. Both offences showed some dramatic flair that kept the defences on their heels in one of the more entertaining coed finals.
The coed division continues to see an influx of female players picking up the game of touch football and the number of coed teams in the province keeps climbing!
5 v 5 Division 1
Big Baller Brand 49 Suburban Hit Squad 18
Big Baller Brand played their first season of outdoor football and unlike their parent company, they were a legitimate success!
Suburban Hit Squad’s only losses this season came against BBB and, unfortunately for them, they once again met their nemesis in the final. Big Baller was led to the championship title by Cliff Kitchen’s 19 points. Cliff has played more than 30 seasons of touch football and this was the first time he has scored more than 100 points in a season — quite an accomplishment!
The Suburban Hit Squad is another insanely athletic up-and-coming team. Give these guys a couple of years of playing the touch football game and they will be running circles around the competition!
5 v 5 Division 2
Bad Company 33 Mean Machine 19
Another battle of a veteran team versus a rookie squad and another instance of the veterans demonstrating some savvy to hold on to victory.
Bad Company had a tough start to the season, however they hit their stride with a few games remaining in the schedule and kept the momentum going throughout the playoffs. Paul Frias threw five touchdown passes for Bad Company — four to game MVP Colin Pich.
The Mean Machine were the more athletic team, with many of the players playing for the Winnipeg Rifles. Having said that, touch football is more of a finesse game, something Bad Company has perfected in their many seasons of competition. Once Mean Machine learns to modify their game plan, they will be yet another of the up-and-coming teams with a very bright future.
Rebellion 13 Akatsuki 12
The lowest scoring Division 1 outdoor game in history was full of great defensive plays.
Both teams struggled to move the ball for much of the game as the teams combined for seven interceptions and seven sacks. Both quarterbacks were forced to make pinpoint throws time and time again.
The last three minutes of the game were not for the faint of heart! As the clock wound down there were two interceptions, a turnover on downs, and an attempted punt single on the final play of the game that went out of bounds at the one-yard line. If you are a fan of defence this game was your Super Bowl! The Akatsuki were felled after attempting a perfect season in their inaugural outdoor season, while the Rebellion captured their second straight outdoor Division 1 title.
Guild of Calamitous Intent 40 The Jeffery 18
The Guild took a one-year hiatus from outdoor football and came back this summer with a vengeance.
Featuring the top offence in touch football, the Guild placed six different players in the Top 10 in scoring. That kind of offensive output put constant pressure on opposing defences all season long and helped the Guild to a perfect — albeit shortened — season.
The Jeffery played a valiant championship game, but injuries to some of their top players left them a little short on firepower. The Guild will look to build upon their championship season by testing the Division 1 waters in the Fall indoor season.
Hanging with Hernandez 34 Blount Force 20
The Hernandez Crew turned touch football on its head this summer by devising an offensive game plan borrowed straight from Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. A combination of running, throwing, running, and even more running kept defences on edge.
No one could have foreseen that a team that would run for more yards that it threw for could take the title. Hernandez proved the naysayers wrong and even implemented a three-quarterback backfield for playoffs that no team could counter defensively
The fastest team in touch football literally ran away with the title. Congrats on leaving your imprint on the game, and either providing a glimpse of the future of touch football… or sending the game back to the dark ages when the forward pass was deemed illegal!
Enforcers 31 Fail Mary 14
Two of the league’s favourite veteran teams went at in the Division 4 final.
Just two weeks prior, Fail Mary played perhaps their best game of the season in dismantling the Enforcers on the final weekend of the regular season. In the final, the Enforcers turned the tables to limit the Fail Mary offence and take home the championship belt.
Former two-time league MVP Jason Gibbons threw five touchdown passes to three different receivers to take home both the championship belt and the game MVP. The Enforcers won their first outdoor title since 2015, while Fail Mary will have to wait one more year to try to get their names inscribed on the championship trophy.
Gym Class Heroes 20 The Gamecocks 18
The Gamecocks almost pulled off one of the more amazing playoff runs in PIT Football history.
First, the Gamecocks had to win a play-in game just to make it into the playoff rounds. Second, the Gamecocks knocked off the previously undefeated and heavily favoured Blue Balls to end their quest for the perfect season.
The Gamecocks had the momentum coming into the game and had the ball with under three minutes to play to finish an improbable championship run. However, the Gym Class Heroes’ defence came up huge to end their championship aspirations. Gym Class Heroes were led by Josh Hazlehurst who threw for three touchdowns and ran in two converts, which ultimately was the difference in the final. The Gym Class Heroes are quietly building quite the dynasty!
North Bay Panthers 34 Gotham Knights 33
In another championship with an amazing finish, the North Bay Panthers grabbed their first championship while preventing the Gotham Knights from adding a fourth outdoor title to their trophy case.
A wild finish saw North Bay go up by four with three minutes to play and then hit the two-point convert to make it a six-point game. Gotham Knights promptly marched the field to tie the game, but missed their convert attempt, keeping the game knotted at 33. With just seconds remaining, North Bay got close enough to the end zone to kick for the rouge and the victory in a very entertaining championship final.
North Bay had lost three games during the regular season by the dreaded rouge, so it was only fitting that the football Gods reversed the trend for their one-point championship victory.
Bullet Club 18 Blouses Football 13
Bullet Club got hot at the right time and took home their second consecutive outdoor championship.
The Bullet Club had the unenviable task of taking on Necessary Roughness in the first round of the playoffs – a team that was not only undefeated but set a league record by allowing an average of just 4.2 points per game. But no one wins the games on paper, the games are decided on the field.
Bullet Club pulled off a huge upset in the first round of the playoffs and then had to come from behind in the championship final after the Blouses scored 13 unanswered in the second half. Game MVP Ben Lazaruk would not be denied as he scored all 18 of the Bullet Club’s points, the final six with only minutes left in the game as Bullet Club went worse to first to claim the Division 7 title.
Post Dig Picks Route 29 Razorbacks 2.0 19
Neither of these teams have had much luck in the playoffs, but one of them was finally going to break through to capture the championship belt for the first time.
Post Dig Picks Route quarterback Kevin Cortens threw four touchdowns — two to Mario Mendez Diaz — to vault the PDPR to their first title. Veteran quarterback Marty Bender threw three touchdowns for the Razorbacks in the defeat.
The Razorbacks joined the Buffalo Bills and the Minnesota Vikings as teams who have made it to the show four times but have yet to come away with the elusive title. Here’s hoping next year they break the streak!
Meanwhile, the PDPR brought out the gun show both on and off the field on championship day.
Boozers 32 Kraken 20
The Boozers went wire to wire to win the Division 9 championship, with a loss to Suckskatchewan in Week 4 as the only blemish on their record.
The Kraken, meanwhile, continued their championship series of meltdowns. While the Kraken did keep the score closer than their usual 50-point blowout loss in championship games, their futility in the big games is rather remarkable.
The Boozers, on the other hand, are the longest-running team in touch football history, having started playing 41 years ago. With the victory the Boozers become the only team to win a title in all four major touch football leagues that have existed in Manitoba history: The WTFL, Canford, the UTFL, and now PIT Football.
A truly remarkable feat of longevity and success. Congrats!
Bleue’s Clueless 21 PIT Football Free Agents 16
The final division championship game did not disappoint as we had another tilt go right down to the wire.
On one-side, the Free Agent team was laden with talent and began to gel toward the end of the season. On the other side, Bleue’s Clueless was a veteran team, led by an upstart rookie quarterback who took big strides throughout the season. In the end, the rookie looked like a veteran as Steven Bleue threw for three touchdowns, including the game winner late in the fourth quarter to help the Clueless ones win their first outdoor championship in the PIT.
A shout out to our Free Agent team for a successful season. One more minute on the clock might have proved the difference as they were marching for the go ahead score, but time just was not on their side.
Four Crowns All-Stars 44 Original 16 All-Stars 7
Each summer PIT Football offers each of its team captains an opportunity to play in the ProBowl game. We give back to the players who help organize their teams and offer them a night of fun and festivities.àThe Original 16 All-Stars looked great early, stopping the Four Crowns All-Stars on their first series then methodically driving the field to score and take the 7-0 lead. After that however it was all Four Crowns, who scored 44 unanswered points, led by the MVP performance of Jean-Guy Mercier and his four touchdown passes.
Chris Harwood staked his claim as the Original 16 MVP accounting for 15 receptions and over 100 yards receiving. The all-star game is always a great way to cap off the season!
Congratulations to James Teschuk who won the Summer Most Valuable Player award as voted by his peers.
After each game, teams pick the MVP from their opponents and the player that accumulates the most votes receives the MVP belt at the end of the season.
Usually the MVP races are remarkably close, but James had a sensational season and pretty much took this one wire-to-wire.
Not only is James one of the best players in the PIT, but also one of our most sportsmanlike players which made it easy for teams to vote him in as the most valuable player of the summer!
The PIT Football league is the official touch football league of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Registration for the Fall indoor league is now underway. Information can be found at www.pitfootball.com or through @PITFootball on Instagram and Twitter.