Can the 6-8 Cannibals Expect Success Against the 12-2 Zeros?

by Skip Brainless

December 27, 2018

NPL Playoffs – Divisional Round Write-Up

The Braggadocios embrace the underdog role at home, hosting the 10-4 Berkenbile Baboons! The Jason JeStErS welcome the BB Cannons for their first home playoff game in team history! The Steven Sausages look to continue their eight game winning streak, hosting the Wrecking Balls of Rachel! The 6-8 Chris Cannibals continue to play spoiler, visiting the 12-2 Kelly Zeros! It’s the 2018 NPL Playoffs – Divisional Round!




Delta Southern Railroad Stadium
Brandon-on-the-Bayou, LA
11:00 AM kickoff
Weather: Clear skies, Cool

The Braggadocios have the distinction of being the only Division Champion to enter the postseason with less than 10 wins. Their opponent in their first playoff game is a Division Runner Up with a better record in a more competitive division. All the Vegas oddsmakers had the Braggadocios losing soundly, as 10 point underdogs, despite hosting the game at home and having an extra week to prepare for the game.

The Braggadocios silenced the critics in the first quarter, scoring touchdowns on their first two drives, as well as picking up a score on defense with a 53 yard fumble return by Big Brad Donner, the All-Pro Defensive Tackle. At 21-3 at the end of the first quarter, it was quickly looking like the game was going to get out of hand. But, the Berkenbile Baboons were 10-4 on the year for a reason. They countered in the second quarter with shutout defense and two scores of their own to get the game back under control at 21-17.

The Baboons eventually claimed the lead, thanks to a WR Option Pass from Benny “And the Jets” Berkens to a wide open Brock Berbinkile, the rookie sensation at tight end. The 43 yard score put Berkenbile up 27-21 with six minutes remaining in the third quarter. But, it was all Brandon from there out, as the Baboons managed to collect only three points in the final quarter of the game, while Brandon poured it on with receiving touchdowns tossed by QB Merlin Brando to WR Brandon Bigglesmith, TE Brandooley Brendleburg, and RB Benny Brandt. That was enough to get the W. BRANDON WINS, 43-30

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Ducati Motorcycle Museum & Topless Bar Pavillion
Jasonnapolis, MI
1:00 PM kickoff
Weather: Snowing, Calm

With the first female QB in NPL history, Jevvy Jase, sidelined with a severe ankle injury, it was up to free agent acquisition from the CPL, Jay Senn, to lead the JeStErS record-setting offense. Unfortunately, with only a week to prepare, Senn did not look ready to take on the BB Cannons defense and their Brass Monkeys secondary. Senn finished the first half at 9-for-16 for 83 yards and two interceptions. His counterpart, BB Cannons QB Bart Brentleby, was dialed in, however. He went into halftime with a more pleasing stat line of 15-for-17 for 211 yards and three touchdowns. Up 24-9 at halftime, the BB Cannons needed only to hang on from there.

With Senn playing poorly, the JeStErS pivoted to their running game and halfback Jase McJaysonwerd. McJaysonwerd put together a solid 3rd quarter, collecting 72 yards in the frame. But, without a reliable passing game, the BB Cannons quickly shut down his production before he could get Jason into the endzone. The JeStErS would find themselves watching the BB Cannons score continue to rise as their playoff dream slowly died. BRENT WINS, 35-12

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Jimmy Dean Sizzling Center of Sports
Steveland, OH
3:00 PM kickoff
Weather: Clear skies, freezing temperatures

Rack Rickles torched the Sausages defense for 221 yards rushing, an NPL playoff best since the 1997 Soothsayer Conference Championship, where the Phillip Phonebooths halfback, Phil Boothe, spun and jumped his way to 227 yards against the Devon Dial-Ups. Unfortunately for the Wrecking Balls, Rickles’ performance was one of the few bright spots for the offense, who only picked up 14 points against the sizzling Sausages defense.

The Sausages, led by QB Steve Stevenson, scored on each of their first four drives of the game, taking an early 20-7 lead heading into halftime. Stevenson’s 337 yards and 4 touchdowns highlighted a well balanced performance for the Sausages. But Rachel did not go without a fight. Rickles scored on back to back possessions with runs of 53 and 71 yards to take a brief 21-20 lead to close the third quarter.

Steven rallied, with Stevenson finding TE Stevey O’Steveyhan from 19 yards, followed by a triple option shovel pass to the Tackle-eligible Stephon Stevensworth on the next drive. After the dust settles, STEVEN WINS, 37-21

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Hawaiian Punch Stadium
Kellaikiki, HI
6:30 PM kickoff
Weather: Clear, Warm

The Cannibals, at 6-8, are the worst record to reach the NPL playoffs in 79 years, when the Dorothy Domestic Servants snuck in at 5-8-1. Kelly set the bar this season, riding a 12 game winning streak to a division championship and a league best 12-2 record. None of that matters to the Cannibals, who have been on fire, winning five of their last seven games, including a first round win on the road over the 11-3 DaVena Ballerinas in the Wild Card round. Once again on the road, the Cannibals started off on that same hot streak, piling up 21 points in the first quarter, thanks to the dynamic running of Cris Cringlesworth, who tallied 114 all purpose yards in the quarter.

Try as they might, the Kelly Zeros were unable to answer, limping into halftime down 28-3. Kel Lee, the rookie phenom that set franchise records in yards and touchdowns, found no answers with All-Pro WR Keenan N. Kell out with a poorly timed dentist appointment. Still, there was a glimmer of hope in the third quarter, after the first two drives resulted in 10 points, closing the gap to 28-13. But, it was all Cannibals from then on. The 6-8 Chris Cannibals move on to the Clairvoyant Conference Championship. CHRIS WINS, 45-13

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