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The Show IV

Wildcard Round

Bears vs. Patriots

This game was supposed to be Steelers vs. Pats, but due to Saturday services Marc Woodson couldn’t play this game.  So the team with the next best record took his place.  Thus Jeronimo Spinx and his Chicago Bears made the playoffs.

New England picked off the Bears on their first possession.  It didn’t take long for Tom Brady to move his team into scoring position.  The Patriots during the regular season run the ball with Tom Brady.  During this game the running backs played a larger roll. J.R. Redmond scored the first touchdown of the game to cap off the int by the defense.  The extra point was missed and like they always say it may come back to hunt you later.

Later meant four plays later.  As Sid Luckman torches the Pats defense going 85-yds around left end.  The Bears made their extra point to lead 7-6. Like I said earlier, the Pats changed up their game plan by using different players in different positions. D-linemen now are caring the ball and catching passes out of the backfield.  #98 was used as a running back scores at the 9:33 mark of the first half.  The 2-pt conversion was good and the Pats had the lead at 14-7.  Sid Luckman began to grind up yardage and Patriot lineman.  Luckman broke a tackle on his way to his second score of the game. The extra point made it 14-14.

The Patriots game plan kept the Bears guessing all game long.  The first half was the Patriots ground attack. The second half was the Pats aerial assault.  But with a 4th down and 3-yds to go for a first down the Pats turned the ball over and the Bears took advantage. 

Sid Luckman scored again and the extra point made it 21-14.  The change in the Pats offense confused the Bears defense on their next possession as on a swing pass the Pats scored from 80-yds out. All season long the Patriots had problems converting their extra points.  Today was no difference.  The Patriots went 1-3 missing on their last attempt.  With 6:24 left the Pats felt good about their chances of pulling out the game.  Ty Law picked off a George Halas pass with 2:24 to go.  Da Bears defense bent but held on downs.  21-20 Bears move on.

Raiders vs. Colts

The first drive by the Raiders ended in a score. Last season’s runner-up came to play, his only problem…he’s facing the league’s premier passer.  Mike Turner known throughout the country as one if not the best passer took his team right down he field and tied the game up at 7. The Colts next possession ended in a turnover, actually it was a fumble.  From 46-yds out George Blanda made it 10-7 Oakland.

            Well the field goal didn’t hurt the Colts as they came right back with a kick off return to take the lead at 14-10.  The Raiders drove the ball down the field but had to settle for another Blanda field goal from 37-yds out.  Now the score reads 14-13 Colts, but the Colts had time on the clock.  As the gun sounded to end the half the Colts scored to make it 21-13.  Everything looked like it was going to be a Colts runaway. 

            The start of the second half wasn’t kind for either team.  The Colts were driving and turned the ball over for the second time.  Stabler not wanting to feel left out threw a pick as his team was driving. Ken Stabler and his Coach, Eric Robinson found something in the way the Colts were defending Raymond Chester. They exploited it for a 7-yd touchdown and converted the 2-pt try.  Now tied at 21 the Raiders felt they had emotion on their side.

            Mike Turner had worked on a running game all season long. This was a game where it paid off. Slashing runs and timely passing moved the ball into field goal range and back into the lead.  The Field goal try came from 24-yds and the Colts led 24-21. Eric Robinson and his Raiders came up short in their attempt to participate in this year’s SHOW.  Their final drive stalled and time ran out on their season.

Oilers vs. Eagles

During the regular season when these two teams met it was slobber knocker.  8-7 Oilers win.  This playoff game was all that and more.  The Eagles first drive ended on a penalty.  From that point on the Eagles offense was M.I.A. 

            The Oilers first drive ended with a missed field goal from 32-yds out.  On their next possession they made it count.  Warren Moon hit Ernest Givins from 27-yds but they missed the extra point 6-0 Houston.  During the first half penalties kept hurting the Eagles. Another penalty put them up against their own endzone and the next play ended with a safety.  8–0 Houston.  Houston missed another field goal from 36-yds out.  That hurt because with four minutes to go McNabb and the Eagles came to life.  Freddie Mitchell caught a 57-yd touchdown pass. The 2-pt conversion was good and were all tied at 8.

            The Eagles had to punt and got off a 21-yarder setting up the Oilers with good field position.  Hugh Douglass picked off Warren Moon’s pass and the game was headed to overtime.  In the overtime period the Eagles made short work of the Oilers when McNabb hit the Duce for an 88-yd touchdown and the game.  14-8 Eagles win. For the second year in a row, a tough exit for the Oilers in the playoffs

Redskins vs. Packers

It’s really tough to beat someone three times in a season but the Packers had little trouble with the Redskins.  Chet Haptonstall Packers took out Estel Walker’s Redskins 70-31.  Again penalties hurt the Redskins.  Oh yeah Donald Driver and Brett Farve didn’t help much either. 

            19-yd pass Farve to Driver, kick good 7-0 Green Bay. But wait, Washington came right back and scored on a kickoff return.  Darn those extra points aren’t as easy as they look.  7-6 Green Bay.  That missed extra point seemed to have woke up the Packers as they went on a scoring spree.  Driver caught passes from 70 and 67-yds.  The Redskins ran back another kickoff and missed another extra point. Just before the half the Packers or shall I say Donald Driver scored his fourth td of the game.  28-12 Packers at the half.

            The second half was pretty much the same as the first. Farve scoring from 6-yds out making the score 35-12.  Joe Washington goes 44-yds with a Bill Kilmer pass another missed extra point, 35-18 Packers.  Driver scores again this time on the ensuing kickoff 42-18.  It was a shootout in the second half as Kilmer hit Washington again from 76-yds, oh happy days they made an extra point, 42-25.  Can you believe this, Donald Driver ran back another kick, 49-25 Packers after three quarters of play.

            The Packers scored 21 more points in the fourth quarter. The 70 points scored was the second highest point total in a LAEFL playoff game.  The 101 points scored was also the most points combined in a LAEFL playoff game.  Four td’s on kick returns was also a league record.

Divisional Round

Bears vs. Broncos

The road for the Broncos was ahead of them.  They worked hard and now the stage was set and Bears lay in their wake.  The first quarter of this contest was all Chicago as they jumped out quick on the Broncos.  A-train went on a 72-yd gaunt on the first series of the game. 

            Jim Turner kicks a 63-yd field goal and momentum had switched colors. Otis Armstrong matches A-train with his own 75-yd run. 10-6 Denver at the half.  David Campbell and his Broncos didn’t play there best half but they were ahead.

            Third quarter and Chicago was back on top after an 85-yd Harlan Hill td reception.  Not fazed Otis Armstrong and the Broncos marched down the field and scored from a yard out to retake the lead 17-13.

            Fourth quarter Armstrong scores again from 50-yds out and this game was over.  The Orange Crush flexed its muscle in the second half and limited the Bears big play offense.  The Offense went to its bread and butter Otis Armstrong and he delivered three touchdowns.  24-13 Denver Broncos.

Eagles vs. Panthers

Finally the defending champ gets to play.  Robert Jackson and his new team Carolina Panthers takes on “Gang Green”.  After the first series an 87-yd Charlie Ward td pass the rest of the half was a defensive struggle. 

            Ray Caurruth scored on a 57-yd pass, Carl Hankin scored from 46-yds and after three quarters of play the Panthers were up 20-0. The Eagles scored after recovering a fumble.  Duce Staley ran in from 5-yds, but like their earlier playoff game the offense could never get anything going.  One last score by the Panthers and this game ended 27-7 Panthers.

Colts vs. Saints

Marcelo Trilio and his New Orleans Saints met the Indianapolis Colts.  Last season the Saints were up on the Texans before falling late in the game.  They were hoping history wouldn’t repeat itself.

            Rickey Williams rumbles 92-yds to get the party started.  James for the Colts comes right back and ties the game at 7.  The top kick returner the second half of the season Chad Morton made it 14-7.  The turning point of the game came when Sammy Knight went down with an injury and couldn’t return. 

            Colts fumble the ball at there own 15 and Morton and the Saints made quick work of that turnover.  It’s now 21-7 Saints and for some reason history during the playoffs repeats itself.  Touchdown passes of 40 and 7-yds tied the game at 21.  The Saints threw an interception in the red zone and the Colts had momentum.  70-yd td pass and the Colts had fought all the way back to take the lead 28-21. 

            Chad Morton ended the 21-pt onslaught with a 32-yd td reception tying the game at 28.  Another Colts td pass put them up by seven with less than three minutes left.  The Saints came right back, a good drive mixing the run and pass got the ball to the Colts 1-yd line.  Cornell’s td reception tied the game at 35 with less than a minute to go.  The Colts line up for a game wining field goal and missed it from 52-yds.  Overtime!

            Colts win the toss and the game with James going in from 73-yds out.  It was Manning’s sixth td pass of the game and James second.  41-35 Colts.

Packers vs. Jaguars

“Claw our way to the Show”, was the Jags battle cry all season long.  They won their Division; they also received a first round bye.  They came in calm and confident.  They left feeling empty and unfulfilled.  The Green Bay Packers led by as much as ten points at times in route to there 34-27 win.

            After connecting on a 22-yd field goal the Packers mounted another driver.  This time Henderson goes in from 21-yds.  Billy Shaw of the Jags goes 100-yd to pull within 3-pts.  Both teams traded scores in the Second quarter and the Pack led at the half 17-14.

            Third quarter both scored on td passes. Fourth quarter, Donald Driver scored his second td of the game from 57-yds. It was Brett Farve fourth td pass of the game.  Billy Shaw scored his third td of the game and his second kickoff return pulling the Jags to within 4-pts.  The claws of the defense could never stop Packers when they needed to.  The Packers closed out the scoring with a 25-yd field goal.  The game ended and so with it did the dreams of Jags.

Semifinals

Colts vs. Broncos

The Proclamation:  “You win the SHOW, and the Broncos are yours for another year”. – Mike Turner-

Mike Turner owns the rights to the Broncos and gave them up so David Campbell could run with his favorite team.  During the regular season, Mike had the last undefeated team.  His Colts beat the Broncos earlier in the year when Elway had his worst game of the season. This time it was Peyton Manning who had a bad game. 

            Manning started off with an interception returned for a score.  Steve Watson grabbed a 78-yd pass from Elway and took it to the house.  14-0 Denver before the Colts knew what hit them. Looking like they regrouped the Colts came right back down and scored on a 30-yd run to cut the led in half. That would be the closest the Colts would get all night. 

            Jim Jensen and Rob Lytle caught John Elway td passes in the second quarter.  The halftime score was shocking Denver 28, Indy 7.  This game was looked at to be a shootout not a blowout.  Otis Armstrong not wanting to be left out of the scoring rushed 75-yds to put this game away.  Marvin Harrison caught a 52-yd td pass but as they say, “To little to late”. The Broncos and David Campbell move on to their first appearance in the  “SHOW”.  Mike Turner was looking to make his third appearance in the “SHOW”.

Packers vs. Panthers

Another game which pitted two coaches who played one another during the regular season.  The Panthers won that game going away and did the same thing this time around.  Everyone except the Panthers thought this game would be a close contest.

            First play of the game set the tone for the Pack. Brett Farve threw an interception. Rod “He Hate Me” Smart goes in from 10-yds and the route was on. The Panthers after the first led 14-0. Charlie Ward throws his second touchdown pass of the game and his Panthers lead 21-0 going into the half. Farve’s second int of the half didn’t hurt his team but their lack of offense killed their defense.

            Two more td passes for Ward and the Panthers just waited for the clock to strike zero and for the fat lady to stop singing.  She had been going at it since the end of the first quarter.  Donald Driver of the Packers final ended the scoring draught and scored on a 15-yd pass. The game ended and Robert Jackson and his new Carolina Panthers were on their way to the SHOW.  Coach Jackson becomes the first coach to defend his title after winning the year before.  Coach Haptonstall won the first LAEFL championship and his bid to win his second will have to wait until next season.

The Show

Sunday, October 26 and all hell broke lose in San Diego.  The LAEFL had play Wild card Saturday and went to bed only to awake to dark skies and more smoke than anyone has seen in their life times.  The largest fire in San Diego County had evacuated two members of the league from their homes.  It made this reporter take side streets and other freeways to make it to the game site in Escondido.  Once there the mood was somber as everyone’s thoughts were with those in harms way. As news kept filtering in from different sources the game in which we all love to play became just that a game. So when the last phone call came in stating they were evacuating parts of Escondido the Championship game was called at the 10:45 mark of the fourth quarter.  David Campbell was crowned the new LAEFL champion. 

            David Campbell and his Denver Broncos took on Robert Jackson and his Carolina Panthers in The SHOW IV.  Coach Jackson looking to become the first coach in the league to win back-to-back titles came in confident.  His team came back on the Broncos during their regular match-up only to lose a close game.  This time he had something for Otis Armstrong.  Otis had a career day and then some during that game rushing for over 200-yds.

First Quarter action-

Rick Upchurch catches a 55-yd John Elway pass and with Jim Turners kick the Broncos lead 7-0 at the 11:45 mark of the quarter.

Michael Bates takes the kickoff 100-yds for a touchdown and with the kick it’s now tied at 7.  11:38 of quarter

Jim Turner kicks a 40-yd field goal and with 3:14 to go the Broncos led 10-7.

Say it isn’t so! Michael Bates returns another kick back for a score and this time it puts his team in the led 14-10 with 3:00 to go.

Not to be out done, John Elway hits Jim Jensen for a 72-yd td and at the end of one quarter of play the Broncos led 17-14.

Second Quarter action-

Elway scrambles 52-yds and at the 9:33 mark the Broncos led 24-14.

Charlie Ward hits Mohammad on a quick slant that goes 76-yds to close out the half.  24-21 Broncos at the half.

Third Quarter-

Rick Upchurch hauls in an Elway pass and goes 73-yds, Broncos led 31-21 at the 6:55 mark of the quarter.

Jim Jensen’s pass reception from 17-yds out closed out the third quarter with Denver leading 38-21.

Fourth Quarter-

Carolina 31-yd field goal after the drive stalls.  10:45 game called

 

Game Stats:

Rushing:
Carolina 7 carries for 43-yds with a long of 32-yds
Denver 6 carries for 103-yds 1-td and a long run of 63-yds

Passing:
Carolina 4 completions out of 16 attempts for 159-yds 1-td long pass of 76-yds
Denver 10 completions out of 20 attempts for 219-yds 4-td long pass of 73-yds

Total yards:
Carolina 212-yds
Denver 322-yds

Kick return:
Carolina 276-yds 2-td with a long of 100-yds
Denver 77-yds with a long of 49-yds

Sacks:
Carolina 3 for –14-yds
Denver 4 for –30-yds

Field Goals
Carolina 1 for 1 24-yds
Denver 1 for 1 40-yds