The 12th edition of Dave and Eric’s LAEFL Open Run was held Saturday, 10/12/2019, with 10 coaches vying for the rights to be crowned champion. After the round robins were played, 8 were left to see who would raise the hardware. The players fought tooth and nail to narrow the field to 2 former LAEFL champions to slug it out for the title. Coach Vince Peatros (nominated for LAEFL Hall of Fame) and Coach Marcelo (Celo) Troilo (a future Hall of Famer) and defending LAEFL Open Run champion, left the LAEFL to form the CAEFL and still make time to compete against their former league brothers. Vince went into battle with the 1969 Minnesota Vikings while Coach Celo commanded the pre-Super Bowl New Orleans Saints. Prior to the game Coach Vince was heard to say “This is going to be a high scoring affair”.
When play began, it had all the makings of a defensive battle as both teams were determined to keep the other one out of the endzone. The 1st Qtr ended 0-0 with Coach Vince moving the ball. With 11: 25 remaing in the first half, first blood was drawn by the Vikes for a 7-0 lead. Coach Celo’s Saints quickly responded to tie it 7-7. Coach Vince shot back to take a 14-7 lead. Coach Celo says “not on my watch” and puts up another 7 for a 14-14 tie. Coach Vince fires the last salvo of the half to take a 21-14 lead into the half.
The 2nd half began with the Saints fumbling the kick return and the Vikes are set up on the Saints 16 yard line. Taking advantage of the turnover, the Vikes extend their lead to 28-14. Inspired by their special teams turnover, the Vikes defense stepped up their game forcing a Saints punt. The Vikings offense, not wanting to be outdone, put up another 7 for a 35-14 lead. Coach Celo’s Saints were not going easy into that “gentle night” and worked their way to another score to make it a 35-21 game with 6:09 remaining in the 3rd Qtr. Coach Celo pulled of what the Super Bowl winning Saints pulled off by executing a successful onside kick totally surprising the Vikings. But that was the last surprise of the day as the Vikes and Saints defenses dug in and traded punches the rest of the day and the Vikings prevailed for a 35-21 victory. Coach Vince Peatros was awarded his trophy by Dave and Eric’s Open Run co-founder Eric Robinson (whose Raiders were eliminated in the quarter final round).
reporting for the LAEFL Chronicle – Steven Watts