Well, I was sitting around this afternoon watching the Kansas City Brigade’s first ever playoff game. It is Wild-Card Weekend in the Arena League and the
Chiefs Brigade are playing the Colorado Crush (I hate their colors almost as much as those Donkeys). So I have decided to blog the 2nd half for anyone that is as bored as I am on a Saturday afternoon. Did I mention that I am under a tornado and flash flood warning where I live? That’s the fun part about living in Missouri.
First Half Recap:
The Brigade started off slow in the first quarter, trailing 16-7. It was looking like the Brigade might lose for the third time this season to the Crush. Then in the 2nd quarter things started to come around for the offense and they put up 21 points to lead in the game 28-23. The Brigade could have added another touchdown before the half, but failed to convert on third-down. They decided to try a field-goal which hit the uprights bounced out. Score at half is 28-23.
Did anyone else hear Raymond Philyaw say the f-word after the failed 3rd-down conversion?
Well lets get to the 2nd Half:
Head Coach Kevin Porter gives some encouraging words to his team before the 2nd Half saying, “Last week was just a concept, now it’s a reality.”
Brigade Ball – Brigade gets the ball to start the 2nd Half. Right off the bat Raymond Philyaw completes two quick passes downfield and they are already in Crush territory. Philyaw completes another pass to bring it to the 5-yard line.
Then for some reason the Brigade decide to go for two running plays and can’t convert making it 4th and inches. What the HELL is this? Porter is deciding to kick a field goal.
GREAT! The Kicker (I won’t dare say his name after this) misses another field-goal.
Colorado Crush’s Ball – The Crush have a few successful plays and that gets them around the Brigade’s 25. Then on 3rd and 3, QB John Dutton completes a touchdown pass to WR Damian Harrell (the fourth best WR in AFL this season). Making the score 30-28 .
3rd QTR 8:01
Brigades Ball – Possible rookie of the year Charles Fredrick has a decent return to the 18. 1st down is a quick pass to WR Anthony Hines and then on 2nd down Philyaw completes a first down.
(I love how the AFL talks to their coaches during the game. Think that would ever happen in the NFL? lol)
Great! Another Tornado Warning and I can’t watch the game! The Brigade were at about the 11 yard line going in to score and then the most annoying sound in the world started. Well, bare with me while I deal with this…
OK, we are back! 3rd and goal, the Brigade has to take a timeout. Probably a good decision because the last two redzone attempts failed on 3rd-down. Maybe they want to consider a plan other than kicking on 4th down too. I mean this is arena football, do field goals really win you games?
On 3rd-down Philyaw throws too far and the WR runs right into the wall. I love seeing that. The Brigade decides to go for it on 4th-down. Philyaw snaps the ball and men are all in his face so he tosses it up and it goes way out of bounds. Man, the Brigade are playing very poorly in the redzone. They might want to consider calling something different because whatever they are doing is not working.
3rd QTR 2:25
Crush Ball – Dutton completes two short yardage passes that get them a first-down.
WR Brad Pyatt takes the AFL head start and has his man beat, Hutton puts it in his hands and he DROPS THE TD! The next play Pyatt is wide open again in the endzone and he fails to catch the touchdown again. It is now 3rd down and 10 from about midfield.
Start of the 4th
QB Hutton completes the first down to his go-to-man Damian Harrell. 1st down from the 16 and the complete the pass to Pyatt for about 7 yards. 2nd and three. On 2nd-down pass interference is called on the Brigade giving the Crush an automatic first down. On first down Hutton completes another touchdown pass to increase their lead to 8. The kicker comes in and misses the EP, keeping the deficit at eight for the Brigade. Score is now 36-28 , 12:30 left in the 4th.
(Interesting stat: KC has missed 2 FGs and the Crush have missed 2 EPs)
Brigade Ball – Philyaw completes a short pass to WR Fredrick for 7 yards. 2nd and, another completion and this time it is to WR Jerel Myers for a first down.
On first and second down, Philyaw over throws his WRs. Philyaw gets back on track and complete two passes. On 2nd down from the 6 yard-line, Philyaw throws to the end-zone to WR Myers and he can’t come up with the catch. The throw was a little down and to the right. TOUCHDOWN! WR Anthony Hines runs an in-route across the middle and Philyaw finds him for the TD. KC elects to kick the extra-point rather than go for two and tie up the game. They connect on the EP and the Score is now 36-35, Crush.
(I don’t understand why you would not go for two there. It is the 4th qtr, your kicker has sucked today and there is only 7:30 minutes left)
Porter’s reasoning for not going for two was, “Nah, just wanted to make sure we got the points. We felt like we would get the ball again.” This is why they should not interview coaches during the game.
4th QTR 7:30
Crush Ball – WOW! On the kickoff the Brigade goes for an on-side kick, but the Crush comes up with the recovery. Then immediately on the first play from scrimmage the Crush scores the touchdown, another Damian Harrell touchdown. Then in a weird-bizarre series of events the kicker misses another extra-point. Maybe Kevin Porter knew something I didn’t, going for one was the right decision.
Brigade Ball – Well at leas the Crush kicker can kick the ball out of bounds on kick-offs. Brigade has the ball at the 5. On first down the Brigade complete the pass to WR Hines and he FUMBLES the ball. The Crush recover and that is almost the end for the Brigade.
4th QTR 6:00
Crush Ball – Incomplete pass on first down and almost a pick by the Brigade. Then on 2nd down QB Hutton throws it right to his WR, but it goes right through his hands and ends up in Brigade’s Kenny McEntyre’s hands. He takes it all the way for a BRIGADE TOUCHDOWN! Oh my, my, my! They convert the EP and the Brigade has tied up the game. Right after I say it might be over the Brigade gets right back in the game. This is why Arena Football is so much fun to watch.
4th QTR 4:00 left
Crush Ball – You can hear “We will, we will, rock you.” On first down QB Hutton throws it up to WR Damien Harrell and the Brigade gets called for pass interference. This was a good call. Hutton got rocked on that play.
On first down from the 10, Hutton completes a dump to his FB for about 5 yards. 2nd and Goal, Hutton scrambles for a yard or two, but there is a flag on the play. It was only a warning to an offensive player about coming to close to an official. Oh my god! I think I found a new Chiefs WR, Damien Harrell! He just caught another touchdown. The Crush regain the lead 49-42.
4th QTR 1:32 left
Brigade Ball – Myers has trouble catching the kickoff, but he recovers. There is a kick interference penalty and that gives the Brigade five more yards. Brigade complete a pass for a first down with a minute to go. 1:00 minute warning, Brigade still down by seven.
1 minute to go and Brigade are on their own 22. Philyaw throws it to the endzone and the ESPN screen goes fuzzy. It was to WR Myers and it went off his finger tips. Brigade completes a pass, making it 3rd and 4. Brigade timeout, 37 second left.
On 3rd down Philyaw cannot complete the pass. 4th down and this is the game. Philyaw makes the COMPLETION! That gives the Brigade a first down at the three. Philyaw spikes the ball to stop the clock, 9 seconds remaining in the game. HOW EMBARRASSING! Philyaw just pulled a Tony Romo. He was taking his time and then realized that the play clock was running out. He hurried to the line to snap the ball and then he couldn’t handle the snap. He recovers the ball but loses about 10 yards on the play. 2 seconds left. Brigade takes a timeout and then the Crush do.
Last Play of the Game – Philyaw lobs to the endzone to WR Hines and it is underthrown. Hines could have came up with it but that’s probably why he is in the AFL, and not the NFL. Well, that brings the 2nd season of the Brigade to an end. I would have to consider this a very successful season for the Brigade and hopefully that success will carry over next season. What an exciting playoff game and it’s now time for Kansas City fans to focus their football attention on the real team in Kansas City — THE CHIEFS!
Brigade Player of the Game – DB Kenny McEntyre, he kept this game alive
Crush Player of the Game – WR Damien Harrell, this was an easy one