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World Bowl 48 - Competition Thread

A battle ground for the sportsmen and women of nations worldwide. [In character]

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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Sun Mar 10, 2024 12:53 pm

Sarzonia offensive coordinator Trent Beaucamp sat at the table in a meeting room at the team hotel with manager Gavin Davis, defensive coordinator Tyler Paige, and the respective run game and passing game coordinators on both sides of the ball.

Special teams coordinator Dylan Massey was, um, predisposed for the moment, until he sheepishly walked in 12 minutes after Davis convened the meeting.

"Bathroom emergency," Massey said, weakly. Davis glared at Massey for a second until he saw the look on Massey's face. The glare melted into a look of concern.

"Dyl," Davis began. "You probably should just go to your room and get some rest. Your face looks peaked," he said. "Don't worry, we can handle the rest of the meeting." Massey began to protest until Davis put his hand up.

"Dyl, we got this," he said. Paige and Beaucamp agreed. Massey finally nodded, then turned around and walked out of the room.

"Trent, what've you got?"

"A problem," Beaucamp said. "We've played Drawkland twice and we scored fewer points in our second meeting against them. Plus, we didn't make the big play we needed when we were up three on them last time out."

"How do you think we can adjust to them?"

"For one thing, probably take the QB sneak out of the playbook on fourth and one," Beaucamp said. "We weren't able to get leverage on that snap and their guys got lower than ours did. Even if Cam [Stallworth, the team's starting quarterback] didn't mishandle the snap, we'd have gotten stuffed."

"I don't know about taking the play out of the playbook," Davis countered. "I'd suggest we look at how we're doing out there. If we're able to get the ground game going, we might still be able to use a tush push in goalline situations."

"I think we need to run some more 11 personnel looks," wide receivers coach Mel Brady offered. "Force the Grid Corps to play more nickel coverages."

"Yeah, but we've got Ty'Relle," running backs coach and run game coordinator Mike Pendry countered, referring to running back Ty'Relle Clinton. "Plus, if we can get into 12 personnel, we can get an extra lineman in there and declare him eligible, then that could give us the bulk we need to get Ty'Relle some help in short yardage situations."

"OK, what about the defence?" Davis asked.

"We need to use some stunts and get a rush off the edge, try to force him out of the pocket," defensive line coach and run game coordinator Joyce Latimer said. "If we let him sit back there, he can pick our secondary apart." That remark drew a scowl from Kevin Leonard, the team's secondary coach and passing game coordinator.

"Our guys are damn good at their jobs," Leonard said.

"So are their players," Latimer said, taking exception at the use of "guys."

"Fine, players Leonard retorted.

"They are, but the last match, we weren't able to generate enough pressure on Proudfoot," Paige said, trying to calm the tension between the two respective coordinators. "We need to do a better job of getting to him and forcing him out."

"We don't need to put a spy on him, at least," Davis said. "Like they have to with Cam."

"That's a good point," Latimer said. "But still, we have a dilemma about whether or not we can get pressure on them without blitzing."

"We held them to 20 points in our last meeting with them. What do we do to get that number even lower?" Davis asked Paige.

"I think we need to give [strong safety Zane] Yatesie the green dot," Latimer suggested. "He does a great job of making adustments like he did against the Sabres. He can see how they're lining up and get our players into position."

Beaucamp nodded. Offensively, he hoped to use more motion and figured to start employing 11 and 12 personnel more than usual. He hoped that giving the Grid Corps more looks would force them to adjust in ways they weren't comfortable with.

If there was one thing Davis knew, it was beating the same team three times in one competition was extremely difficult. He knew his team were underdogs against the top ranked team in the gridball multiverse, but he knew his team would leave everything out there. And so, too, would the coaching staff.
Last edited by Sarzonia on Sun Mar 10, 2024 4:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TJUN-ia
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WB - VIII

Postby TJUN-ia » Sun Mar 10, 2024 1:36 pm

It happened again.
It happened AGAIN!

TJUN-ia only lost once in the group stage.
Banija was the #12 seed, stumbling through this World Bowl.
Yet we were the ones that lost...because TJUN-ia isn't clutch.

We keep trying, but it just isn't enough.

Gareth Baldwin decided to retire after that performance...and to be honest, I don't blame him.

Where do we stand, huh?



SCHEDULE (Group E)
MD1: vs United States of Devonta (UR) - Field of Dreams in The Gardens, New Washington W 38-10 (1-0)
MD2: vs Abanhfleft (14) - Field of Dreams in The Gardens, New Washington W 23-17 (1st/2-0)
----------------------Double Header 1----------------------
MD3: @Valanora (22) - Lathalein Celestial Stadium, Mar Sara W 23-17 (1st/3-0)
MD4: vs New Fernia (UR) - Field of Dreams in The Gardens, New Washington W 26-0 (1st/4-0)
----------------------Double Header 2----------------------
MD5: @Oahu-Hawaii (UR) W 20-3 (1st/5-0)
MD6: @United States of Devonta (UR) W 23-13 (1st/6-0)
----------------------Double Header 3----------------------
MD7: @Abanhfleft (14) L 33-34 (1st/6-1)
MD8: vs Valanora (22) - Field of Dreams in The Gardens, New Washington W 34-19 (1st/7-1)
----------------------Double Header END----------------------
MD9: @New Fernia (UR) W 34-9 (1st/8-1/Group Winners)
MD10: vs Oahu-Hawaii (UR) - Field of Dreams in The Gardens, New Washington W 52-14 (1st/9-1/+170PD)
-------------------------------------------------------
Ro16: vs Banija
(2/#12/C2) - Moogoongwha Bowl, Montevicio L 30-33
1st: ECC4/5, NSSCRA13, RLWC22, IBS20, EBT3, EIHT2
2nd: NSCF24/26, ARWC4, WC:TOTS, IBC34, IBS17, RUWC33/35, ECC6
3rd: ARWC3, IBC32, ECC3/7, ARWC6, ET20IV
NSSCRA - JR
T1: #07 Michael Stefan (S13 T1 Champ/9W)/#64 Alfonso Mercado (3W)/#03 Maddison Riley-Jones (S10 T2 Champ/2W-T1/3W-T2)
T2: #96 Alice Jepkosgei (3W)/#70 Gongming Gao [NCR] (5W)/#79 Axel Chase

WGPO: #11 Lane Carter (2W)/ #9 Batu Tüvshinbayar (WGP2 S5 Champion/1W)
NSTT: 4 S-Titles (3 RU)/2 D-Titles (6 RU)

UN - U1
TJUN (Ta-Jun) - An organ of the UN that focuses on "international role-play" (i.e. USA = Fang the Sniper) (U2)
TJUN-ia (Ta-Jun-ee-a) - The testing grounds of TJUN members, but operates as an independent nation. (U3)

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Chromatika
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Postby Chromatika » Sun Mar 10, 2024 3:41 pm

Sword and Shield

As Alessandra Mio caught a thirty-nine yard touchdown pass from Sarai Gwenderyn with barely a minute left to finally lift the Iron Legion over South Americanastan, all eyes shifted toward the matchup against Ko-oren - one of the stingiest teams in the multiverse, always ready to throw down in a defense-first philosophy that would shake lesser teams to the very core, fully aware of the impact that they had against opposing offenses and the way to turn ugly wins into an everyday occurrence.

To say that Ko-oren is good at playing defense is an understatement; they conceded only eighty-one points throughout the Group Stage while dealing with Saint Kanye twice, and then conceded thirteen to the hosts, Quebec and Shingoryeo, before pulling away for a 13-22 win. The Dragonflies also scored 236 points throughout that group stage run, which may be 103 points less than the Iron Legion, but if you count out the fact that Chromatika conceded 165 points throughout the Group Stage, it isn't that far apart.

The edge for Chromatika has to be in the passing attack. Gwenderyn looks to be in total control of the scheme that Curentino and the Iron Legion have cooked up, and with the balance that Lana Rhodes and Rowena Hastroff are providing, Chromatika are managing to both have long sustained drives as well as quick strikes resulting in scores - a good combination. Alessandra Mio has remained Sarai's favorite target (to no one's surprise), being good for at least one catch of at least thirty yards a game. Nobody has managed to contain the threat of Alessandra's stop-and-go for a full game. The biggest matchup, per usual, will be between Chromatika's offensive line and the defensive line play of the Dragonflies - if Gwenderyn has three seconds, she will find the optimal receiver without issue.

Don't be totally blinded by the Dragonflies' offense, though - Pier Masman is a Quarterback that knows when it's time to take over, while the various players at Running Back and Wide Receiver will all present different challenges for Chromatika. Thankfully, Park Mi-Hyeon and Jere Rinaldi have been quarterbacking the defense without much issue, and with the depth Chromatika has at cornerback, not much should surprise them.

It will ultimately come down to a battle of strategy for the two sides - and, with as much riding on this performance as ever has been for Chromatika, we must believe they will pull through.
Barry Johnson's Field

As Alessandra Mio jogged up to Sarai Gwenderyn, she could see the worry lines etched in her Quarterback's face. It wasn't like Sarai to worry - but then, it wasn't often that you got to be three wins away from the World Bowl title. Ever since losing the final to Banija not that long ago, every World Bowl mattered a lot to the key members of the Iron Legion - this one more so, knowing that Sara McAllister was going to be fully retired from gridiron afterwards.

"We've done all we can possibly to do get ready, you know," Alessandra stated matter-of-factly, "Nothing you do or say will change that. All we can do now is the best we can with the situations that are presented to us, and see what the outcome is. Sara herself wouldn't want any less or more from us."

"I know," Sarai muttered, sighing, "I just want to win this one for her so badly, you know?"

"I fully understand where you're coming from," was Alessandra's answer, "But if you are this nervous right now, how are we going to handle the Semifinals and potentially the Final in the future?"

Sarai managed a smile at that before answering back, "I'd rather be in those rounds. This one - Ko-oren at that - seems like the hardest. Maybe it's because it's the one directly in front of us, but the Dragonflies have never been easy to beat in any sport. This is going to be a war."

"We're ready for it. Trust in yourself. Trust in your teammates, and trust in the Chromatik spirit," Alessandra stated in a speech-like tone.

"Aye, aye, Captain," Sarai joked back, cracking a grin.

Knowing that she had put Sarai back into a better mood, the two started going through the day's drills, preparing for the battle ahead, knowing that they were better as a unit than by themselves.
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Cardenao
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Postby Cardenao » Sun Mar 10, 2024 7:01 pm

“LET’S GOOOO!!!”

Bobby Dials slammed the locker room open as the Cardenao national gridiron team stormed inside. Emotions were high as the players whooped and hollered, high-fived and hugged in celebration. For the first time ever, the Blue and Golds had made it to the Second Round of World Bowl competition. For the first time ever, the Blue and Golds had won in the Second Round and progressed to the quarterfinals, somehow they were one of the last eight teams left to compete and they had a lot of juice left.

The team from Abanhfleft was full of quality players and Bobby and head coach Steve Valentine knew a different approach was needed to overcome the 14th best team in the multiverse. They couldn’t change things up too much though, there wasn’t enough skill in the Cardenaoan team to run several gameplans at a high level, so the change needed to be a variation of something the team knew how to do well. So, why not keep Bobby passing……to different targets? Genius.

Mitchell Hartsfield, the 26 year old 6’3 tight end for the soon to be established football team in Rayuela, walked up to BDials yelling his head off with joy.

“BOBBYYYYYYY MY MAN! YOU MADE MY YEAR BOY GREAT FUCKING PASSES MY DOGGG.

Yes, instead of primarily targeting the wide receivers, it was the tight end corps who led Team Nao to victory. 20-37, not a bad 60 minutes.

As the celebrations continued, one would be excused for wondering if the excessiveness was due in part to the players refusing to acknowledge the opponent put before them.

Banija, world #2. Again. For the third time this tournament. Sureeee the Blue and Golds had beaten them both times with a combined score of 60-36. Those games were in the past though, those games were in the group stage, now there was a spot in the semi-finals at stake. The Cardenaoans knew that the 44th and 45th World Bowl Champions were going to give them the most difficult 60 minutes of their lives, so why not celebrate in the moment for a bit?

As Bobby Dials led the team in a dancing line around the room, Coach Valentine knew there was no way he was going to stop them.




[align=center]Image
Victory Over Abanhfleft, Blue And Golds Face Familiar Banijan Foe, Semifinal Spot Awaits!

If there was any doubt remaining that Cardenaoan gridiron wasn’t having a moment, that Cardenaoans don’t enjoy smashing the shit out of someone else for sixty minutes, let those doubts be put to rest. Nine wins, one loss in the group stage, the third highest scoring offense and…well an average defense but who cares, look at the scoreboard! Then to go into the knockout rounds for the first time in our history and emerge with two ultimately straightforward victories, things seem to be rolling for the Blue and Golds. Then there’s the success of Cardenaoan colleges in NationStates College Football competition, with LeBois Santura University making the final four and the New Cardonia State Thunderhawks shocking everyone in their debut season. Yes, it seems gridiron and Cardenao is a match made in heaven, and the 20-37 victory over Abanhfleft has added some spice to the relationship.

As the matchday dawned, hopes were high for a Cardenaoan team that was firing on all cylinders. Bobby Dials…enough said. Marquis Ingram has been phenomenal as he’d racked up over 1400 receiving yards over 11 games heading into this one, Alabaster Red and Elton El-Amin were terrorizing opposing offenses, Badrick Cedella hadn’t missed a single field goal or point after attempt, Team Cardenao was rolling and ready to rumble against Abanhfleft. It was impossible to gather any sort of data about our Fleftian foes as their football federation failed to provide any information about their players, and the box scores from their prior games ominously omitted any actual awarded statistics. All of that to say, who the hell are these guys and why were they in our way? Time to play some football.

The Boys in Blue and Gold started the game with a bang as they marched down the field on their opening drive. It was immediately obvious that Coach Valentine was running a different game plan as the majority of the action flowed through the tight ends and the running backs, with Marquis Ingram surprisingly serving as a decoy. It was a little funky, a lot unexpected, and it worked like a charm as the Fleftians, missing names on their jerseys and faces that were impossible to recognize, were completely unprepared and failed to adapt. Barely four minutes had passed when Bobby Dials found DeAndre Vick in the endzone with a seven (7) yard pass to open the scoring. In front of a cheering crowd, Badrick Cedella slammed home the PAT and the party had officially started. A little over three minutes later, the party was officially put on pause when the Abanhfleft quarterback threw a perfect 21 yard pass to their running back to level the score 7-7 and it was clear this game would be a high scoring one. Once again Cardenao took control of the ball and once again they marched down the field, with Marquis Ingram catching his first target of the game for a 32 yard gain to set up a 1st and goal on the seven (7) yard line. Reno Thai stepped up, took the handoff, shook left…shaked right, dove straight and……just over the line, touchdown to make it 7-13. Up stepped Badrick to continue his perfect streak and the kick…was…not good. The kick was not good, he put it just barely to the right and the perfect start to the tournament was over. Fortunately though, cornerback Ferran Ávilla made up for it two minutes later when he snatched a Fleftian pass out of the air and returned it 30 yards for the touchdown, and Badrick nailed the point after to make it 7-20 as the first quarter came to an end. Team Cardenao was firmly in the driver’s seat and had the quarterfinal spot in their hands.

The second quarter was a much slower affair. Both teams seemed content to hold off and not go 100%. For Abahnfleft, it was because they had no answers against an offense that was moving the ball at will, against a defense that was jamming up running lanes and bringing the heat every snap. For Cardenao, it was because…why would they go 100%? They had a two score lead and threatened to score every time the offense was on the field. Coach Valentine seemingly preferred his players to play with a sense of measure to control their stamina and limit injury risks. If the game became more tightly contested, well they could always turn the firepower back on. To that end, it took nearly nine minutes for the first touchdown to be scored and who else would it be but the Big Dialer calling the endzone’s number with a 8 yard dart to Telesforo Muhammad, 7-27 to Cardenao’s favor and the game was over, and that seemed even more certain as Team Nao forced a three and out and Bobby Dials took the field. And Bobby Dials threw an interception that was taken back 37 yards for a touchdown and a glimmer of hope for the losing team. 14-27, it would take a lot but crazier things had happened in a football game. Less than 40 seconds later, the Blue and Golds were back on the offense at midfield and Bobby found DeAndre Vick on a beautiful route for a 50 yard touchdown pass, 14-34 and the game really was over this time. The Fleftians hit a 46 yard field goal as the half expired to give them 17 points, good enough for half of Cardenao’s total, but that seemed more like a last gasp than a spark of renewal.

The third quarter. That is one of the quarters of football, dread it, fear it, run away from it, but it is one of the four quarters of football. After two barnstorming quarters, the third quarter was right there, ready and waiting to keep the heat going on. Anyhow, zero points scored in the third quarter and no really notable moments of play. Incredible.

That brought the teams to an all important fourth quarter with the score Fleft 14-34 Cardenao. All they had to do was beat us. They didn’t. Just over six minutes left, their kicker nailed a great field goal from 44 yards out. Mack King did extremely well to get just the smallest bit of his finger on the kick, but their guy had accounted for it and smashed it hom to make it 17-34 as Abahnfleft managed to reach half our total score. What a quarter, leading us to the fourth and final quarter.

There was zero way back for the losing team and Coach Valentine knew that, it was time for the backups. And so the second and third string players hit the field to seal out the win for Team Cardenao and what a victory it was. True, the other team nailed a 44 yard field goal with a little over six minutes gone but Badrick Cedella fired back with a field goal of his own after Pascual Cremonesi, filling in at quarterback for Bobby Dials, drove the team down the field. Less than three minutes left, the scoreline read 20-37 and that would hold for the rest of the game and just like that, the Blue and Gold of Cardenao was one of the final eight teams standing with a familiar foe standing between them and the semifinals.

Banija. We’ve met twice in the group stage, with Team Nao winning both games, but this was different. This was the knockout stage of the World Bowl, as far as our team staff were concerned, the record was 0-0 and this game, these 60 minutes, this was everything now.

Here we go!

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Quebec and Shingoryeo
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Postby Quebec and Shingoryeo » Sun Mar 10, 2024 9:02 pm

Quarterfinals Cutoff

Day 4
#1 Drawkland 40–43 Sarzonia #9
#12 Banija 27–33 Cardenao #4

Day 5
#3 Chromatika 16–14 Ko-oren #6
#7 Saint Kanye 19–9 Saint-Jean-Jacques et Burnham-on-Stove #15

Semifinals

Day 7
#9 Sarzonia vs. Cardenao #4 -- Moogoongwha Bowl
#3 Chromatika vs. Saint Kanye #7 -- Stade St. Croix
Last edited by Quebec and Shingoryeo on Sun Mar 10, 2024 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Mon Mar 11, 2024 4:23 pm

As it happens so often in this sport, the gladiators on both undefeated top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Drawkland and ninth seeded, 11th ranked Sarzonia battled it out for almost 60 minutes until the outcome rest on the foot of a kicker.

Fortunately for Sarzonia, the man entrusted with deciding the outcome was Matt Andersen, a young kicker who, despite only recently winning the permanent job, jogged onto the pitch with quiet confidence. He'd been in a big spot before. Just ask Northern Moravica about his career-long 56-yard field goal to beat them in NSCF 26.

Andersen lined up his kick, which would be eight yards shorter. He took the added step of testing the wind. He knew how he wanted the kick to play out. He looked down at the left index finger of punter and holder Evelyn Sutton, then at the ball and backside of long snapper Edison Burkett. He nodded to Sutton, then leaned in and...

The whistle blew. "Timeout, Drawkland. That's their third and final charged timeout. It's a 30-second timeout."

They're trying to ice me, Andersen thought. He did another practice kick, then when Sutton got in position once again, he nodded again. This time Drawkland couldn't stop the clock without incurring a penalty. Andersen was ready. The snap came in sharply, Sutton caught it cleanly and placed the ball. Andersen swung through and drilled the match-winning field goal as the clock hit triple zero. Sarzonia defeated Drawkland 43-40.

It would be the only loss the Grid Corps would incur in this 48th World Bowl, but it would come at the worst possible time for Drawkland. That first loss, in the third attempt by the Stars, would end Drawkish hopes of a repeat championship. Drawkland would finish this World Bowl 11-1, two matches short of the promised land.

The victory saw Sarzonia (9-3) exult, mobbing Andersen as they avenged their two group stage defeats against the Drawks. In another time, they would have also claimed revenge for now-former regional neighbours Delaclava, who fell to Drawkland for the last victory the Grid Corps would get. It also meant manager Gavin Davis would not fae questions about going for two after Cameron Stallworth hit Steve Swain on a 46-yard touchdown pass to take a 40-33 lead with 8:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. Stallworth's attempt to run around right end was stopped inches short of the goal line.

Lane Proudfoot led the Grid Corps on a seven-play, 75-yard scoring drive, culminating in his finding tight end Johnathan Kimbrough for a 14-yard touchdown. The extra point drew the match level with 1:28 remaining and Sarzonia out of timeouts.

"We got this," Stallworth said in the huddle as he called the play from offensive coordinator Trent Beaucamp. He threw a screen pass to running back Ty'Relle Clinton when Swain and receiver Matt Largent were both covered. Clinton rumbled for 14 yards before getting out of bounds to preserve the clock. Stallworth again faced blanket coverage and scrambled for nine before scooting out of bounds.

"Had to save time," he said. "I normally take [defenders] on, but we didn't have any timeouts left." With a first down at the Sarzonia 48, he fired an 11-yard pass to Swain, who dove out of bounds. The Drawks argued that his knee came down in bounds, but the call stood after review. Now at the Drawkland 41 with 1:10 remaining, Stallworth found tight end Al Langston for another 11 yards. That pit the ball within comfortable range for Andersen and gave Sarzonia a chance to bleed the clock.

Grid Corps head coach Glenn Romano called his second timeout with 1:02 left, hoping to give his team a chance to get the ball back, but Clinton ran the ball for a one-yard pickup. Unfortunately, he stepped out of bounds while trying to make a cut and head back to the middle of the pitch. That took the clock down to 48 seconds. On second down, Stallworth set up a screen to Clinton for a five-yard gain, but the Grid Corps forced him out with 42 seconds to go. Stallworth took the snap and kneeled down for a one-yard loss.

"Go!" Davis yelled, sending on the field goal unit in a hurry so they could have enough time to get on the field without rushing. That led to the match-winning, giant-slaying field goal.

It wasn't a banner day for Tyler Paige and Sarzonia's defence, but when Stallworth completed 29-of-37 passes for 461 yards and three touchdowns and Clinton ran 26 times for 123 yards and a score, it didn't matter. When Sarzonia had Matt Andersen, it didn't matter.
Last edited by Sarzonia on Mon Mar 11, 2024 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Drawkland
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Brooklyn Beck (S2:E11)

Postby Drawkland » Mon Mar 11, 2024 9:08 pm

"The Conference Room"

The week had come. Dustin and Brooklyn Beck traveled through the portal in Iarokannet Bay to Quebec and Shingoryeo, ready for the Grid Corps Past, Present, & Future meetup. The first matchup of the World Bowl XLVIII playoffs, Drawkland vs Delaclava, was set to play in just a few days. In the meantime, Grid Corps general manager Vincent Lovell wanted to put together an event to drum up hype for the current Corps run and bring some interest for those who may be future stars of the national team roster.

The arrangements were well-kept. Lovell had DISC put all the former and future stars up in the same hotel as the Grid Corps itself, a nice spot a few minutes away from the Camelia Bowl where the match was set to be played. These young and old folk were also given nice arrangements in a luxury box for the game itself, hopeful to be a Drawkian win over their Sonnelian rivals.

Dustin and Brooklyn had traveled together before, so this wasn’t out of the ordinary. Elie declined to come, as she usually didn’t care for the Grid Corps antics. It was just dad and daughter on this excursion. It was just dad and daughter standing in the elevator as they slowly descended to the large conference area on the first floor of the hotel.

“Ready for this?” Dustin asked, breaking the typical awkward elevator silence.

“Me? Yeah,” Brooklyn replied casually, thinking nothing of it.

“You sure?”

“Why wouldn’t I be?”

“I just feel bad.” Dustin admitted sheepishly. “Like I coerced you into doing this.”

“I mean, you kinda did.” Brooklyn slugged her dad on the shoulder playfully. “But I don’t mind. I’m gonna make the most of it.”

“Good. Good mindset.”

They arrived at the conference room, which was arranged in a dozen different lounge areas. Each position group had their own little alcove, with the larger groups featuring a couple. The deal for this day was simple. The players would get to know each other a little better, talking for about an hour. The team photographers and other media members would get some good photo ops, and then everybody would head back to their rooms. Tomorrow, everybody would head out to the practice facility for a little on-field skill show-offs prior to the actual Corps practice routine.

Brooklyn and Dustin were the last to arrive in the circle of quarterbacks present at the event. Brock Braiden and Dakota Edison, the two backup QBs on the Corps, were seated on one side. On another side sat the current and former Cavsar Gladiators, Logan Oakley and Lane Proudfoot. Brooklyn reluctantly took the seat next to Logan, while Dustin took the seat next to Brock, putting the Becks side by side.

I hope dad appreciates this sacrifice, Brooklyn thought to herself, half-jokingly.

Pleasantries were exchanged among the group as the Becks sat down. It was a sort of motley crew. Besides the fact that they played the same position, they didn’t have a ton in common. Eventually Dustin and Brock got into a deeper conversation, with Dustin giving Brock some tips for mobile quarterback play. The staunch pocket passer in Dakota was content to listen, occasionally wishing he’d been blessed with a quicker stride. Lane Proudfoot’s eyes were aimlessly wandering around the room, looking almost everywhere other than the group of passers. Logan and Brooklyn were left on the other end of the circle, awkwardly leaning in.

“Could we at least be civil?” Logan finally said after a few minutes of listening.

“Civil?” Brooklyn echoed curiously.

“Listen, Beck, I know we’re rivals. I know we’re at odds on the field. But come on!” Logan tilted his head. “Can we put that aside for this weekend? You’re the only one here that’s actually part of my generation. I mean, maybe Proudfoot counts, but I don’t really like talking to that guy.”

Brooklyn said nothing, but at the mention of Proudfoot’s name, she shot a glance in his direction. Proudfoot was conveniently looking the other way right as she did.

“So please, could we at least pretend to not despise each other for like two days?” Logan offered his hand for a shake. He gave an earnest glance to Brooklyn.

“Fine.” Brooklyn met the glance, and understood. She met Logan’s hand for the shake. “But we don’t have to like it.”

“For sure.” Logan gave one solid pump to the shake and released. “Honestly, I don’t know why I accepted this invitation. I guess Coach Romano wants me to be on the roster once I’m in the GLD. Can’t deny I want the opportunity to play for the Corps, so, I suppose my hands were tied.”

“I think I’m just here to save my dad from having to talk to Cavsar graduates without having a safety valve.” Brooklyn cocked an eyebrow.

“Uncalled for,” Logan sniffed, but the corner of his mouth betrayed a slight smirk.

“I guess I also bring some more NSCF cred to the event,” Brooklyn mused after a moment.

“They could’ve easily invited Isaac Hext.” Logan leaned back in his chair, trying not to grin.

“I don’t know if I should laugh or groan.” Brooklyn gave a sour look in Logan’s direction. “Whatever, I believe he had more wins last NSCF. Playoff berth and all.”

“Don’t get me started!” Logan snapped. “I respect Coach Linhart, but he coached us out of three wins, almost in a row. Gross mismanagement. If he fucks up my senior year like that, I’ll never forgive him.”

“It’s just nice to be in the playoffs, y’know?” Brooklyn smirked. “The atmosphere is different. The crowd is in a real frenzy. Each play is magnified.”

“And you’d know, right? From all the snaps you were taking?” Logan poked his chin out. “No kidding the crowd was in a frenzy. Your offense couldn’t move the ball downfield all night.”

“Still better than playing in the Auto Bowl for the twentieth time,” Brooklyn glowered.

“I disagree. We always have a fun time in Ranoria.” Logan poked his thumb in Proudfoot’s direction. “We’ve got him to partially thank for that.”

“Yet another reason I’m glad I chose State!” Brooklyn lowered her voice. “Don’t have to be connected to him more than necessary.”

“Hey, he’s … fine,” Logan replied slowly. “When you can get him to talk ball, at least.”

“Uh huh.”

“Okay, whatever.” The conversation was at an impasse for a little bit. After a minute of silence and attempting to listen to whatever the pros were talking about, Logan turned back to Brooklyn. “So, are you starting next year or what?”

“Me?” Brooklyn turned over to regard Logan carefully. The question seemed honest enough. “I dunno. Gotta beat out Jimmy Chapman in camp. Or be good enough to be actually considered if he breaks down during the season.”

“Shouldn’t be too difficult, based on what I’ve heard,” Logan muttered.

“Hey-” Brooklyn was going to rush to correct him, but stopped herself. She couldn’t do that in good conscience. “I mean, maybe. It’s a long season. I dunno if I’m ready or not.”

“You’re never going to really feel ready,” Logan replied. “The burden of expectations never gets lighter. The stress of going out there and having to be the man, or, whatever, the first few times, it’s going to be crazy. You just have to run into it head-on, and come out the other end.”

“That’s all I’ve ever done.” Brooklyn shrugged.

“And you can do it again. Trust me, getting trotted out there as a freshman is like hell. But if you survive, it’s something you can hold on to and build from. It’s something few can boast nowadays.”

“It’s just tough. I’ve got a lot of ground to cover.” Brooklyn wasn’t sure why she was being so open, but she didn’t have a mind to stop herself.

“So did I. Even with how hyped I was as a recruit, I still was so raw. But the team needed me. The Gladiator faithful believed in me. So I had to do what I could. That can be you, next year.”

“Why are you trying to help me?” Brooklyn narrowed her eyes.

“Because,” Logan leaned closer, “I’m tired of those fucking Chromatiks. I’m tired of being second-best. As much as I hate to admit it, I’d rather the Skyhawks be on top again than those disgusting Felswyr State punks. I want our rivalry games to be more than just eating each other alive in the dregs of the Horizon. I want our destinies to be decided on our field in Week 10. If that means supporting you, if that means supporting Sadeg State, so be it.”

“You’ve got a point.” Brooklyn replied breathlessly. Logan seemed to have a fire in his eyes as he spoke.

“If you’re the starter come next summer, then you better believe I want you playing your best. If it means I have to play my best ball to outduel you, I’d be ecstatic. If we’re gonna lose to you, I want to at least be proud we had to put up a great fight against a great team, rather than stumbling over our own feet like we do too often. This is my senior year, Brooklyn. This is my last chance to etch Cavsar’s name in football history. I need all the help I can get.”

“I will do what I can.” Brooklyn pulled into a mock salute. She couldn’t deny that she felt the same. Drawkland needed both ends of this rivalry to pull their weight. Not just getting by, a couple wins away from being conference relevant, but dominating. Both teams from the same nation dominating had been done before, after all, the NSCF 30 final was between both Ranorian schools. It had never been done by the Drawkians, though.

“The time is coming. I believe in what you can do, what you can be. You’re rough around the edges, but I believe in you a hell of a lot more than Jimmy fuckin’ Chapman.” Logan offered his hand for a shake once again. “Allies?”

Brooklyn regarded the hand carefully. The support was appreciated, but agreeing to this felt like fraternizing with the enemy. It felt like surrendering a certain competitive edge. At the same time, she couldn’t find fault in any of the things Logan said. It was time to rise again. It was time to fight together, in some way.

“Allies,” Brooklyn confirmed. She brought her hand down and returned the firm shake.

Dustin turned his head to look at his daughter right as her and Logan pulled out of the handshake. He narrowed his eyes for a moment, but said nothing. That would be something to ask about later.

“I’ve noticed you’ve been quiet the whole time,” Dustin poked his chin across the circle at Lane Proudfoot. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Nothing’s the matter, old man,” Lane shot back with a sneer. “Just a little bored, is all.”

“Maybe if you were listening, you’d learn a thing or two. I know there’s plenty of room up there, because you don’t use much of it anyway,” Dustin knocked a fist on his own head for effect.

“I got plenty to think about, thanks.” Lane rolled his eyes. “I have to start actually defending a World Bowl title this weekend. Not sure if you remember what that’s like. Some people here weren’t even born the last, or should I say only, time you had to do that.”

“Hey!” Brooklyn protested loudly. Proudfoot was right, though. The only time Dustin Beck won the World Bowl was in his debut season for the Grid Corps, about a half-decade before she was born.

“Don’t take it personally, sweetheart,” Lane threw a wry smile in Brooklyn’s direction. “I just think your old man forgot we’re on level ground.”

“Don’t talk to my daughter like that!” Dustin started to stand up from his chair. “You sick son of a-”

“Picture time!” Vincent Lovell appeared suddenly behind Dustin, who straightened up and casually turned around to greet the Corps manager.

“Good to see you Vince. You picked a great time to show up,” Dustin grimaced.

The quarterbacks gathered into a line, arms linked behind the backs. Braiden-Beck-Beck-Oakley-Proudfoot-Edison, just like they’d been sitting.

“Excellent. Love to see it.” Lovell leaned in to murmur to Dustin. “Thanks for helping me out here.”

“No problem,” Dustin muttered.

“See you all at the practice field tomorrow!” Lovell pumped his fist excitedly. “Be ready to show off those cannons. And for those that can, wheels!” The manager winked at Proudfoot, who rolled his eyes again.

“This oughta be good,” Brooklyn murmured to nobody in particular.
United Dalaran wrote:Goddammit, comrade. I just knew that someday some wild, capitalist, imperialist interstellar empire will swallow our country.

CN on the RMB wrote:drawkland's leader has survived so many assassination attempts that I am fairly certain he is fidel castro in disguise
The INTERSTELLAR EMPIRE of DRAWKLAND
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Saint Kanye
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Posts: 2394
Founded: Jan 28, 2015
New York Times Democracy

Postby Saint Kanye » Tue Mar 12, 2024 10:28 am

As a quarterback who can either throw accurate passes to his receivers or keep the ball to himself and make big plays with his legs, R.J. Linetti of the St. Kanye Surge has built up a reputation over the years as someone that opposing defenses fear. However, he also maintains a list of defensive players that he fears, one of the notable names in it being linebacker Mi-Hyeon Park of the Chromatika Iron Legion. "Big, strong, quick, and most of all smart. If you fail to prepare for her, prepare to fail against her." Aidan O'Connor, like Linetti, is one of the Surge's standout and long-serving players; he too has been asked in the past by the press about which offensive players he'd hate to be matched up with. "Alessandra Mio, no doubt," the Yeezie cornerback answered during one of those times, referring to Park's teammate and the Legion's primary wideout. "She just has a nose for the ball and you can't get caught sleeping or she'll torch you for a big gain or even a score."

The Surge continued to live up to their name and, well, surge through the playoffs of World Bowl 48. After eliminating the Cassadaigua Fillies 26-13 in their Round of Sixteen matchup (the "Stacemiah Bowl" or "Jericho Bowl"), the Yeezie team took down the Saint-Jean-Jacques et Burnham-on-Stove Tapirs 19-9 in the quarterfinals, a game both countries referred to as the "Battle of the Saints". Things continue to intensify as we head to the semifinals.... and who would be waiting for Linetti, O'Connor and the rest of the Surge there but Park, Mio and the Legion?

"Yup, this is one tough test alright," Linetti told the press. "Winnable, yes, but we're gonna have to really grind it out if we want to do so. I don't mind the pressure though, it gives me purpose and brings out the best in me, and hopefully my teammates as well. When the going gets tough, that's when you know you're almost there." Millions of Yeezie gridiron fans will surely be tuning in to the semis clash against familiar foes in the Chromatiks, where the winner will have the chance to fight for the World Bowl trophy against whomever prevails between the Sarzonia Stars and the Cardenao Blue and Golds.

But before that, let us all go back to the Battle of the Saints and how Linetti and company prevailed against their opponents from the incredibly tiny country with the incredibly long name.




1Q STK field goal Rasputin 28 STK 3-0
The Jean-Jacquois got the ball first, but never even got the chance to cross midfield before being forced to punt. Now it was the Surge's turn to score, and even despite the Tapirs being the ones to tighten up their defense this time, they would still manage to put three points on the board.

1Q SJJ field goal Han 35 Tie 3-3
It was a slow start for both offenses that day, neither of them getting anything going during the first period and instead just trading punts, before Tapirs kicker Ji-yoo Han came in with the equalizer.

2Q STK Malloy 10 pass from Linetti (Rasputin kick) STK 10-3
Tight end Greg Malloy, filling in for the injured Hussein Jeffers, put the Surge ahead in the second quarter, outjumping a couple of defenders in the end zone and catching the short pass from Linetti with one hand. St. Kanye had been without Jeffers for the past four games, following a shoulder injury he suffered during the team's first defeat of the group stages against Ko-oren.

2Q SJJ O'Shaughnessy 23 pass from Bellerose-Deslongchamps (Kick failed) STK 10-9
Kick returner Anne-Élisabeth Guirguis almost took the ball to the house on the resulting kickoff by Chris Florence, but got knocked out of bounds at the Yeezies' 30-yard line. On the first offensive play of the drive, Arielle Bellerose-Deslongchamps (yeah, even a lot of the player names are long here) got sacked by Jerome Whitlock for minus six yards, only for the Tapirs to regain those and more with a 13-yard run by François-Pierre Guirguis (relation uncertain). Arielle (yup, let's go with that, much easier) then targeted Ryleigh O'Shaughnessy with a throw, who then ran all the way to the end zone to potentially tie things up once more. Except, Han would miss the extra point wide right, keeping them at nine points to St. Kanye's ten.

3Q STK field goal Rasputin 43 STK 13-9
If you thought the first quarter was bad, the third saw only Rasputin get points on the board. Han attempted field goals twice, the first going wide left this time around, and the second simply not having the distance.

4Q STK Weber 72 fumble return (Two-point conversion failed) STK 19-9
The Surge protected a dangerous four-point lead throughout much of the final quarter, their attempts to increase and make it a two-possession lead getting foiled. Linetti even got picked off by Félix Lajeunesse-Flanagan with 3:17 remaining, but luckily for him and the rest of the team, Flanagan got brought down by Malloy before he could make it a pick six and give the Tapirs the lead.

Now Arielle and the rest of the Jean-Jacquois offense marched onto the field again. François-Pierre took the handoff from his quarterback, saw the Yeezies blitzing up the middle, tried the right side instead.... and ran into the massive but also agile Whitlock. The ball popped loose, with both white and dark purple-clad players scrambling to grab it, until eventually Surge safety Devlin Weber picked it up and ran with it for the 72-yard touchdown. The Yeezies decided to go for two, which initially seemed cocky especially to the pro-Tapir crowd, only for Linetti to simply kneel down during the attempt. Down by ten, the Tapirs needed to go for a quick score, recover the onside kick, then score again, but they wouldn't even make it past step one of that plan as O'Connor avenged his quarterback and intercepted what would have been a long bomb from Arielle to O'Shaughnessy.




If it was any consolation for the Tapirs, it was the fact that the Jean-Jacquois reporter Jean-Alexandre Guindon's prediction for them came true: it was indeed a closer result than the teams' two group stage meetings in the previous edition of the World Bowl, where the Surge prevailed 41-27 and then 61-10. Even the Yeezies' head coach Jeff Delphine took notice of how much of an improvement their opponents made since the last time they met: "From 3-11 to 6-4. From not even close to sniffing the playoffs, to knocking out a 9-1 Kytler team in the first round, and making it to the quarters. The Tapirs are a young team, but they have a lot of potential. I for one look forward to see how they progress in the succeeding Bowls. We'll be ready for them, just as I'm sure they'll be ready for us too."

Now, back to the upcoming Chromatika game, which will be held at the massive 102,000 seater Stade St. Croix in Joongyeong. Coach Delphine said in the same press conference, "This is a game where it won't be enough to go toe to toe with them physically, we gotta do so mentally as well. Their defense will look to shut down our potent air attack, plus with the likes of Park and the heavy hitters up front, R.J. and the backs will have a hard time on the ground as well. But if we keep them guessing as much as we can, we'll have the opportunities to sneak plays past them. As for their offense, they'll look to control the tempo, so we have to act fast, and rely on our strength with the blitz. Special teams - I have my trust in James' ability to get us out of trouble. All in all, it should be an exciting and engaging battle, one you fans wouldn't want to miss. We'll need every ounce of support we can, so please do your part just as we do ours in practicing and strategizing." The Surge, being seeded seventh to the Iron Legion's third, are the designated away team and will thus wear their white jerseys, paired with purple pants.

Three days after his teammates won the quarterfinals, Jeffers announced that he had made a full recovery from his shoulder injury and has a good chance of being available to play against the Iron Legion. "I thank everyone for helping me get through such a terrible time for me, realizing I'm not in a capacity to contribute to my team and their goals," he said. "But now I'm back, and I'm ready to show my worth once more."

--------------------------------------------------------
| MD | Opponent | Rank | Score | Record | Place |
--------------------------------------------------------
| 1 | Equestria | UR | W 34- 7 | 1-0 | 1st |
| 2 | @Ko-oren | 4 | W 27-20 | 2-0 | 2nd |
| 3 | Zantalio | UR | W 43-10 | 3-0 | 1st |
| 4 | Delaclava | 29 | W 36- 6 | 4-0 | 1st |
| 5 | @Crpostran | UR | W 40-22 | 5-0 | 1st |
| 6 | @Equestria | UR | W 39-24 | 6-0 | 1st |
| 7 | Ko-oren | 4 | L 13-16 | 6-1 | 1st |
| 8 | @Zantalio | UR | L 24-27 | 6-2 | 2nd |
| 9 | @Delaclava | 29 | W 27-14 | 7-2 | 2nd |
| 10 | Crpostran | UR | W 82- 0 | 8-2 | 2nd |
| R16 | Cassadaigua | 12 | W 26-13 | 9-2 | QF |
| QF | SJJeBoS | 31 | W 19- 9 | 10-2 | SF |
| SF | Chromatika | 5 | | | |
--------------------------------------------------------
Gale Force Racing (NSSCRA Main Tier)
18 Jeremiah Brooke (S9 Champ, S13 Runner-up) | 27 Stacie Houston (S7 Champ, S12 Runner-up) | 46 Thea Alvarez (S10 Runner-up)

Skip Stiller Speedworks (NSSCRA Second Tier)
20 Sage Caldwell | 22 Pyotr Lavrentiev (S13 Champion) | 30 Lexi Patterson

Champion:
IBC 20, 22, 23, 24 (Basketball)
NSCAA 11 (College Basketball)
IC7 II, VI (7ball)
Arena Bowl VI (Arena Gridiron)
NSSCRA 9 (Stock Car Racing)

Runner-up:
World Bowl 42 (Gridiron)
NSSCRA 10, 12, 13

Bronze:
IBC 19

YOU JUST LOST THE GAME!


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Sarzonia
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Founded: Mar 22, 2004
Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby Sarzonia » Tue Mar 12, 2024 12:02 pm

After the Sarzonian national gridball team's players finally had a chance to catch their breaths after their 43-40 victory over Drawkland, they knew the next steps were the more difficult ones.

For manager Gavin Davis and the managerial staff, their work began almost immediately after Matt Andersen's 48-yard field goal sailed through the uprights. Sure, they wouldn't yet know the identity of their opponents in the semifinals, but they knew it would be another tough test for a team that's gotten used to them.

They found out later that their opponent would be Cardenao, the fourth seeds in this 48th edition of the World Bowl. They'd just gotten through with a hard-fought 33-27 victory over Banija, Cardenao brought a 11-1 record into this matchup after winning Group C with a 9-1 record and then winning their first two knockout round matches. They were riding a 10-match winning streak after an improbable 19-6 home defeat to unranked The 14 Stars. The Blue and Golds would wear the home kits against Sarzonia despite being a lower ranked side than Sarzonia's No. 11 because the Stars were the ninth seeded team. However, whether it was rank or seeding, Sarzonia would not be cowed.

"We just beat the top-ranked team in the multiverse and the No. 1 overall seeds," running back Ty'Relle Clinton said. "No disrespect to Cardenao because they've been a team on a mission and they beat some strong teams to get here, but we're pretty good too." Clinton shook his head when he was asked if he had been rooting for 12th seeded Banija to pull off a second consecutive upset to face the Stars in the semifinals.

"We would have relished the challenge of facing Banija," he said. "We always do. But we can't control who we're up against in the knockout rounds. We can only take care of business, and that's pretty much what we've done all World Bowl." To wit: Sarzonia have lost only one match against a lower-ranked opponent, dropping an away match to No. 17 South Americanastan on Matchday 8 by a 21-10 score. Sarzonia's other two losses came against Drawkland.

Davis and his fellow managerial staff were all busy studying the video of Cardenao, hoping to get an idea of their tendencies and find an advantage. One thing Davis said he noticed was the team's propensity to score a lot of points.

"They're a tough team offensively," he said. "We know we can put points up, but we're going to have to figure out how to stop them." One source familiar with the team's thinking said defensive coordinator Tyler Paige hoped to use exotic coverages and different looks to confuse starting quarterback Bobby Dials, citing his age (21) and lack of professional experience. However, Paige publicly said the results the Blue and Golds have achieved with Dials under centre make that task a difficult one.

"He may be in college, but his team's record speaks for itself," Paige said. "They're one win away from the World Bowl final for a reason." As for the rest of the offence, Paige is likely to utilise eight-man fronts and run-blitzes on obvious running downs to try to slow down star running back DeAndre Vick. Also of concern for Paige is the team's receiving corps, with Marquis Ingram's 6-foot-4, 221-pound frame in particular being a grave concern.

"They don't make it easy," Paige said. "We're going to have to get them into obvious passing situations and hope we've got the guys who can not only stay with them on the pitch, but be able to win the physical battles."

One thing Davis said he wasn't worried about was place kicker Matt Andersen. He said the match-winning field goal against Drawkland erased that worry once and for all.

"He's young, but he was super-clutch for the [Woodstock University] Climbers," Davis said. "He was clutch against Drawkland too. Hopefully, we can be in a position where he can help us win against the Blue and Golds."
First WCC Grand Slam Champion
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Chromatika
Minister
 
Posts: 2837
Founded: Aug 05, 2015
Democratic Socialists

Postby Chromatika » Tue Mar 12, 2024 8:13 pm

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

The Last Dance of the Firehawk
V. The Grind


Barry Johnson's Field
Quebec and Shingoryeo


It had been a tough match against the Dragonflies, but that was expected. Every single tackle that the Ko-oren defense put on the Iron Legion was like hammer striking iron, and the Iron Legion's defense was doing its best to match the intensity. The First Quarter had produced a total of seventy-three yards of total offense put together between the two squads, along with three turnovers; it took until the middle of the Second Quarter before Alastair Thorebourne cashed in from three yards out to open up the scoring, set up by a nice throw from Pier Masman to Séverin Longtin that just beat out Nikolai Dimitrov's outstretched fingers. Chromatika had answered - as they always did - with Lana Rhodes starting to gain steam, but was stopped with Sarai Gwenderyn sacked by Gabe Payne, stopped at the Dragonflies' twenty-one. Dwayne Markseon did manage the Field Goal, and the game went into halftime with the Iron Legion down 3-7.

Chromatika got the ball first in the second half, and they had a different game plan - to move Gwenderyn outside the pocket. This bought her a second more than she had in the first half, and she started to dissect the Dragonflies' defense, utilizing both Niles Gwivern and Demitrius St. Pierre, with Alessandra Mio playing the decoy. Completing a third-and-nine to Rowena Hastroff, the drive entered the Red Zone, and the pump fake froze the Dragonflies for a full second, allowing Gwenderyn to simply scamper into the end zone, giving Chromatika its first lead at 10-7.

Ko-oren would answer rather quickly. Alastair Thorebourne was having himself a day, and as someone who was able to contend with both Park Mi-Hyeon and Jere Rinaldi, he contributed fifty-one of the eighty yards needed for the Dragonflies as they marched down the field in a nine minute, thirty-four second drive - with Pier Masman finding Adèle Minchin up the crease for nine yards, the Dragonflies re-taking the lead with a minute left in the Third Quarter. It was going to be a classic.

With the Fourth Quarter starting, Defensive Coordinator Kasen Harrowitz stopped rotating his players, and committed the full might of the starting defense against the Dragonflies. Cara Setri and Nicole Manstrom started to play further up to the line, trusting the likes of Lisa Bonsoon and Paul Mattieu to hold up on the back end. The commitment to the run seemed to work, and with the defense starting to do its thing, it was all up to Gwenderyn and the offensive side of the ball.

Ko-oren, to their credit, continued to play hard. Nothing came easy. Gwenderyn bought time with her legs before finding Alessandra Mio in her best catch of the night of twenty-one yards - she was held to just four catches for sixty-eight - to make it to the Dragonflies' side of the field. Lana Rhodes got the ball to the Dragonflies' thirty, but there, the drive stalled again. Gwenderyn's throw to Gwivern was perfect, but Evert Noorddal arrived at the same time of the ball, and managed to jar the ball loose, preventing the third down conversion. Dwayne Markseon was up to the task, and Chromatika bit into the lead, 13-14, with about eight minutes remaining.

The Dragonflies would manage only one first down in their next drive, the Iron Legion continuing to play hard, getting the ball back with less than five minutes left. Unfortunately, the Iron Legion's next drive wasn't much better, going three-and-out. The defense would have to hold once more - and it did. Ko-oren ran the ball all three times - trying to run out the clock and get some timeouts out of the Iron Legion. Misha Florentine did not bite, and the Chromatiks got the ball back for the final time with barely over three minutes left and all three timeouts.

Sara felt the wind, and it was still aiding Chromatika, blowing toward the Dragonflies' goalposts. Dwayne, as a professional, would be good from fifty-seven from this range - the Iron Legion would only need to get to the Ko-orenite thirty-nine yard line. Two passes sandwiched between a run got the ball to the Iron Legion's forty-one, the team starting to run the no-huddle without issue. The pinpoint accuracy of Gwenderyn, coupled with the confidence the team was gaining, was starting to grind on the Ko-orenites.

Niles Gwivern, Constantina Perrier, then Ulrich Jefferson... A minute and thirteen seconds left on the clock. Ball on the Dragonflines' forty-three. Gwenderyn took the snap, turned away from the rush, and while falling down, side-armed the ball to Rhodes - who took it the last five yards needed to get to the thirty-eight.

Ko-oren took its first timeout then, and the Iron Legion spent three plays to burn the Dragonflies' timeouts to the bone. On third-and-eight, they chose to run, and with forty-two seconds left, Dwayne Markseon took the field, a fifty yard Field Goal needed to win the game.

With all the timeouts spent, Ko-oren couldn't ice the clock. The ball at the middle of the field, the wind helping him... Dwayne Markseon knew this was the moment. Park Si-U's snap was perfect, as was Nellie Katt's hold. Markseon hit it true with his right foot, and the ball hung in the air for a full second before making it with plenty of distance.

All that was left was for the Iron Legion to hold on, and when Lisa Bonsoon batted down the last-ditch effort with eleven seconds remaining, the Iron Legion had prevailed.

As Sarai Gwenderyn rushed to Sara McAllister, the previous Firehawks kicker was beaming. They had played the game that was in front of them, taken opportunity by the horns, and ultimately prevailed. Sure, a harder opponent in Saint Kanye awaited in the Semifinals, and even if they won that, the World Bowl Championship would remain - but the Iron Legion had finally won a game coming back from a deficit, and were left standing.

Perhaps, this Iron Legion team was different. Perhaps, they could actually pull this off.

For now, all they could do was believe.
Former User of the Nations of Yesopalitha and Falconfar

Champion: WBC 52, NSCF 24, 26, 28, and CoH 82
Regional Tournaments: AOCAF 55 Champions, 52 & 63 Runners-Up
WC Proper Appearances: Second Place: 93 Semifinals: 76 Quarterfinals: 77, 78 Round of Sixteen: 79, 80, 87, 88, 92 Group Stage: 81, 83, 84, 86, 89
CoH Appearances: 77 (Ro16), 85 (Ro16), 90 (Champions), 91 (QF)
KPB Ranking: 5 (Pre 95)
RP Population: 22 million

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Cardenao
Chargé d'Affaires
 
Posts: 365
Founded: Mar 30, 2022
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Cardenao » Tue Mar 12, 2024 8:56 pm

Image
Impossible ‘Threepeat’ Against #2 Banija, World Bowl Semifinal Awaits Blue And Golds!!!


In the game to end all games, the Blue and Gold uniforms lined up against those from Banija for the third time in the 48th World Bowl. While Team Cardenao had emerged victorious from the prior two meetings, the stakes were never higher before going into this all important second round clash. A victory and a spot in the semifinals was theirs. Defeat and they would be lost to history as just another team. No, win now, again, against the second best team in the world and suddenly everything would be possible for Cardenao. To be in the semifinals, what an accomplishment that would be considering this is our first ever venture into the World Bowl playoffs.

The foe this time? A familiar one indeed as we lined up against Banija, the second best team in the world, for the third time this tournament. The two teams battled damn hard but there had to be a winner in a game of football and on both occasions the Blue and Gold flag flew highest. All of that though was in the past, that was group stage football, that was peewee football shit compared to knockout stage football. And with that in mind, it was time to play.

Truth be told, the first six or seven minutes of the first quarter were pretty brutally boring. Both teams seemed hesitant to really commit to getting the offenses fired up, neither side really shot out to a fiery start but, as the clock neared seven minutes gone and Cardenao at the Banijan 47 yard line on a second and 8, we’d expect Bobby Dials to take the snap, step up in the pocket, and throw a dart to move the chains. With so much hanging in the balance, Coach Steve Valentine decided to switch things up and called a power run for DeAndre Vick. Why would you do that against the second best team in the world? Because nobody, not them, not the fans, not me, not even your own players would see that coming, and once Vick split the trenches and sidestepped the linebacker to set a trajectory towards the end zone, nobody could stop him and he ran it all…the…way to the house. 7-0 Cardenao, it was on. The first quarter ran out without many more major events and the Blue and Golds started the second quarter with possession of the ball.

The game plan was more of the same in the second set of 15 minutes as we aired it out on offense with Bobby Dials throwing the ball with liberty. He connected with fellow LeBois Santura Bronco wideout Saivion Ware for a 23 yard gain but the Banijan defense stood strong to force Badrick Cedella into a 23 yard field goal to make the score 10-0 in Cardenao’s favor. This scoreline sparked some life into the Banijan offense, who shook off the sluggishness of the first quarter to put together a solid drive that combined run and pass plays to break into the Blue and Gold’s redzone. The Banijans tried once, they tried twice, they tried thrice but Mack King’s wall held firm to force the kicking unit onto the field, who delivered a 21 yard field goal to get the world #2 on the board, 3-10 and the game had some spice to it. Both teams traded quick three and outs before Bobby Dials picked out Nejc Graciano and DeAndre Vick with 18 and 12 yard passes respectively to put the Blue and Golds in solid position before DeAndre Vick ran the ball to the 13 yard line and it was time for some Cardenaoan red zone action. Well the air game had been going well so far, so why not hit Marquis Ingram on a double slant route with a 13 yard bullet to make it 3-17? Why not indeed, the board now showed Banija 3-17 Cardenao. The Banijans took possession of the ball with a sense of desperation, there was plenty of football left for sure, and you know they would bet on themselves considering the level and amount of quality throughout their team, but every second that passed was another second they were two scores behind. And then Mack King sacked the quarterback, the ball popped free and found its way into Chase Dworaczyk’s hands, and our offense took the field once again. A couple of choice runs and a few high-yardage completions later and Team Cardenao now had a 4th and goal on the one yard line. A field goal would be smart, make it a three score game and get a little more breathing room, but with 1:30 left on the game clock there was plenty of time for the Banijans to march down the field and score a touchdown. Coach Valentine weighed the options and must’ve figured, ‘fuck it, just go for it. If we don’t convert then they have to cover the entire football field,’ and so Bobby Dials snapped the ball, charged forward into the gap, and scored his first running touchdown of the tournament. 3-24 in Cardenao’s favor as we went into the halftime break and the party was officially starting.

Barely two minutes into the second half and that party hit a slight snag when the Banijan quarterback dropped back and scanned his options before invoking some sixth sense to evade Mack King coming for his back, scrambling out of the pocket past Elton El-Amin and 18 more yards down the field into the endzone. It was the Banijans first touchdown of the game and couldn’t come at a better time for them as the updated scoreline displayed 10-24. A lot of game left and now our old friend Madame Momentum was firmly on the world #2’s side. The Banijans executed their defensive gameplan to perfection, stuffing the run lanes, bringing BDials down in the backfield several times, it was impossible to get anything going on offense and the Blue and Golds only managed to get a first down on one of their four drives in the third quarter. Not ideal when you’ve got a team that’s decent at football breathing down your neck. Fortunately though, the Banijan offense wasn’t clicking to its fullest potential and, despite two trips to the redzone, they failed to further capitalize on their defensive dominance and we went to the last quarter with a two score lead.

After a quarter of impotence, the Cardenaoan offense started to roll a little again as the first three drives all resulted in first downs and we were finally back in enemy territory. Reno Thai took the first run for an inspiring four yard gain before Bobby said fuck this and found Saivion Ware for a 20 yard gain that put us in field goal territory. Unfortunately the next two sets of downs failed to turn into a third attempt in the redzone and we were forced to settle for a 24 yard field goal, 10-27 with 11:20 on the clock. It was a three score game but there was a lot of time left on the clock. Too much time and to make matters much, much worse, the Banijan offense had finally woken up. All of a sudden they were connecting with every pass, every run was getting that extra yard or two, it was all going there way to the point that it was no surprise when their tight end easily caught a 15 yard pass in the endzone to make it 17-27 with a little over nine minutes left to go. A lottttta football left. So much football left that our offense, once again, went three and out and handed the ball back to the enemy, which is great to see as a fan. Slowly but steadily the Banijans worked their way down the field, into our half, into field goal range, into the red zone, to the 1st and goal, and finally, thanks to their wide receiver pulling in a contested four yard catch, into the endzone. 24-27 with less than five minutes to go and it was time for the drive to end all drives. The Cardenaoans had to burn the clock, while advancing down the field, while also scoring another touchdown and not leaving enough time on the clock for Banija to go back down the field. Things started well, run it on first down, chew the clock. Run it on second down, chew the clock. Shit, third and medium, too long for a run so trust in Bobby and……first down! Now repeat the process and we ground our way into Banija’s half with over a minute to go. Run it on first down, stonewalled. Run it on second down, stonewalled. Run it on third down……fumbled with Banija recovering it with less than a minute to go.

Squeaky bum time, they had no timeouts left, get a stop on first down and that would likely be the game……annnnd they connected on a 54 yard hail mary to set the Banijans up within 30 yards of our endzone. Time for one last set of downs but the Blue and Gold stood firm to deny the first pass, to deny the second pass, and to smack the third down pass out of the air. 22 seconds left on the clock, fourth down and a field goal attempt to tie the game. And they put it away, 27-27 and the sons o’ bitches did it, the Banijans came back from being 21 points down earlier in the game. Incredible job boys, well done to secure the victory, but credit has to be given to the Banijans, the second best team in the world certainly played like it as they rallied back to force overtime.

27-27 going into overtime, the score might as well be 0-0 as the teams went into it. The Banijans won the coin toss and elected to take the first possession and it was time for the final battle. Unfortunately, their hot offensive streak threatened to continue as they steamrolled down the field and entered our territory. Their QB stepped up, undoubtedly full of confidence after picking apart the Cardenaoan defense for two straight quarter, he snapped the ball, saw the perfect option, released the ball with a flick of the wrist……right into Alabaster Red’s outstretched hands and the Blue and Golds had a chance to finally put the game to bed.

On our 49 yard line, a spot in the World Bowl semifinal on the line.

Bobby Dials took to the field. This was his chance, and when he took the ball into his hands, dropped back in the pocket, and saw Deacon St. John streaking downfield with a yard of separation from his defender, he knew this was his moment.

St. John caught the ball with ease, turned on the jets, and airplanned into the endzone with his 51 yard reception, the game winner for Team Cardenao.

Victory, sweet…sweet victory and another chapter in this impossible fairytale. No my fellow Cardenaoan, you are not dreaming. We are into the semifinals of the World Bowl, we are 60 minutes away from glory.

And we play Sarzonia.

Fuck.

[pre]Passing:
Bobby Dials 33/46/71%/363 yards/2TD--2 sacks--105.6 rating

Rushing:
RB DeAndre Vick 19 rushes/113 yards/1TD--6Y/A--47yd long
QB Bobby Dials 6 rushes/16 yards/1TD–2.3Y/A–12yd long
RB Reno Thai 7 rushes/12 yards--1.7Y/A--4yd long

Receiving:
WR Saivion Ware 15TGT/10REC/105 yards/1TD--10.5Y/A--23yd long
WR Marquis Ingram 6TGT/6REC/91 yards/1TD--15.7Y/A--24yd long
TE Nejc Graciano 9TGT/5REC/62 yards--12.4Y/A--18yd long
WR Deacon St. John 1TGT/1REC/51 yards/1TD--51Y/A--51yd long
RB DeAndre Vick 7TGT/4REC/19 yards--4.8Y/A--12yd long
WR Telesforo Muhammad 3TGT/3REC/17 yards--5.7Y/A--8yd long
TE Kendall Arnold 3TGT/3REC/24 yards--4.0Y/A--6yd long





Bobby Dials looked straight down at the ground as he bounced his feet up and down. The sound of the crowd above in the Moogoongwha Bowl, roaring for Cardenao, yelling for Sarzonia, all eyes soon to be glued on the field. This was the highest level a Cardenaoan national team had competed at and the pressure to succeed was definitely there.

Truth be told, he was nervous. It had been a year full of big games for the iconic quarterback for the BSU Broncos and the captain of the national gridiron team, and it had been a year full of losses for him.

Big 8 Championship game against Richardson University, the highest level of collegiate conference play? Richardson University 21-14 Bobby Dials after overtime.

NSCF Semifinal game against, who else but Richardson University? Richardson University 27-26 Bobby Dials.

Now, a World Bowl semifinal. He was the first to participate in all three in the same competitive year, and he was 60 minutes away from being the first to lose all three.

Alright, Bobby…get the fuck up. This ain’t the first time shit has been down. Remember all those losses when you were doubted? Richardson once, twice, however many times, nobody thinks you can get over that hill. Remember when they said, sure he’s good but Alabaster Red is the real reason for success? But what did you do? You proved them wrong. You started slinging the ball with the best of them, shit you even started running some. You brought the Broncos further than ever before, you brought Team Cardenao to right here, right now. You made the haters shut the fuck up and showed the world what you're made of.

Alright, you've lost a couple of tough ones. But guess what? Everyone does, one or another. These losses don't define you, they never have. They're just bumps in the road, part of the journey. And every journey, they have their good moments and you’ve had some with more on the way. It ain’t about how you fall, it’s not how many times you do, it’s about how you get back up, if you do get up. And Bobby, you always get back up.

See, you're not just any player, Bobby. You…are…a…legend. You've got ice in your veins and you thrive under pressure. You live for moments like these, you’ve prepared your whole life for this. Bobby, you’ve got the heart of a champion, you’ve just needed the opportunity. Well here it is.

So what if you're on the brink of something historic, good or bad? Embrace it. Use that shit as motivation. Let’s take this to greatness. Show the world why you can be one of the best. Show the world why you belong here, why you're destined to be great.

This is your moment, Bobby. This is your time, this is your shot, your chance to write another chapter in your legacy, the biggest one. So far.

So come on, put your helmet on, get your chinstrap all nice, and get out there and kick some ass. 60 minutes, leave it all on the field, and make history. Believe in yourself, because I sure as hell do.

Let's ride.’
Last edited by Cardenao on Tue Mar 12, 2024 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Quebec and Shingoryeo
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Postby Quebec and Shingoryeo » Tue Mar 12, 2024 9:04 pm

Semifinals Cutoff

Day 7
#9 Sarzonia 23–12 Cardenao #4 -- Moogoongwha Bowl
#3 Chromatika 23–21 Saint Kanye #7 -- Stade St. Croix


World Bowl 48 Championship Game

Day 10
#9 Sarzonia vs. Chromatika #3 -- Apple Bowl
Last edited by Quebec and Shingoryeo on Tue Mar 12, 2024 9:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Wed Mar 13, 2024 10:59 am

When this 48th edition of the World Bowl began, Sarzonian national gridball team manager Gavin Davis was facing questions about whether or not he would remain in charge of Sarzonia after the competition ended.

He'd face other questions during the qualifying campaign, but he and the Stars answered the most pressing questions during the knockout rounds. They had one more answer as they defeated fourth seeded Cardenao 23-12 in the Moogoongwha Bowl in the first semifinals match Sarzonia competed in since World Bowl 15 in Delaclava.

The Stars notched 389 yards of offence behind running back Ty'Relle Clinton's 154 yards rushing and two on 36 carries. He added three catches for 34 yards and Cameron Stallworth completed 19-of-24 passes for 201 yards. More importantly for Stallworth, he wasn't sacked once.

"We made it a point of emphasis to slow down their pass rush," Davis said. "I'm real happy with how we controlled the line of scrimmage."

Defensively, Sarzonia (10-3) used stunts, blitzes and exotic coverages to confuse Blue and Golds quarterback Bobby Dials, resulting in four sacks, one lost fumble and three interceptions. Dials finished the day 24-of-44 for 219 yards. The Stars limited Cardenao to four field goals and 36 yards rushing on 16 carries.

"We wanted to pressure [Dials] and force him to make bad throws," defensive coordinator Tyler Paige said. "We were able to do that and force Cardenao to become one-dimensional."

The Stars will face Chromatika in the World Bowl final at the Apple Bowl. The Chromatiks defeated Saint Kanye 23-21 at Stade St. Croix in the other semifinal. The Stars faced Chromatika in the group stage during World Bowl 47, losing both meetings, including a 50-16 drubbing at the Henza Center.

Stallworth said the team wasn't motivated by revenge, saying that each World Bowl was "It's own thing."

"Each competition is different, whether it's different players or the same ones growing with each other," he said. "Besides that, this is the final. If you need incentive to play this one, you're in the wrong field."

Clinton said Chromatika's lofty rank and higher seed won't deter the Stars from giving the Iron Legion everything they can handle."

"We've been the lower seed in each match," Clinton said. "We knocked out the No. 1 team in all of gridball. We beat two top-five seeds in a row to get here. We respect Chromatika because they're certainly good enough to get here, but we ain't afraid of nobody."

This will mark Sarzonia's fifth appearance in a World Bowl final, with Sarzonia defeating both Delaclava and Bluth Corporation in World Bowls 11 and 14, respectively. The World Bowl 14 final took place at Joe Gibbs Stadium in Woodstock, making Sarzonia the first host nation to win a title. The Stars lost World Bowls 10 and 15 to Bluth Corporation and Delaclava, respectively.

This is the Iron Legion's second World Bowl final. They lost the World Bowl 45 final to Banija 37-20.

Will the Stars claim their third title and finish their Cinderella run with the glass slipper and a handsome prince? Or will the clock strike midnight and turn their magic carriage ride back into a pumpkin? We'll find out soon enough.
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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Thu Mar 14, 2024 3:54 pm

The night before kickoff of the World Bowl final between Sarzonia and Chromatika, Sarzonian national gridball team manager Gavin Davis couldn't sleep.

He thought about the members of his managerial staff he played with in World Bowls past. He remembered his playing days when he couldn't sleep before World Bowl finals. He remembered a couple of his then-teammates, now assistant managers who also had trouble sleeping.

Wonder if Cam can't sleep either, he thought. Cameron Stallworth was experienced on the World Bowl stage, but this was his first time playing for all the marbles. Davis remembered World Bowl 10, the excitement of playing for the title for the first time. He remembered the anticipation, and then the disappointment of losing to Bluth Corporation by two possessions.

Then he recalled World Bowl 11, how the Stars went undefeated during the group stage and got a chance to face regional neighbours, close friends and multi-sport rivals Delaclava in that World Bowl. He remembered feeling the pressure of not wanting to fall short of the sport's ultimate prize and the possibility of establishing a legacy of being a team that couldn't win the big one. The image of his waving off kicker Adam Novak and throwing a walk-off touchdown to capture that trophy flashed through his mind.

Davis smiled for a moment, remembering how he escaped a tongue-lashing from Gregg Williams for going rogue. He remembered World Bowl 14 at Joe Gibbs Stadium, how Novak's right leg delivered another walk-off victory, this one over Bluth Corporation by a single point. He remembered how loud the supporters in Woodstock celebrated becoming the first host nation to win a World Bowl.

Finally, there was World Bowl 15, which saw Sarzonia come up one match short, this time against Delaclava. It continued an odd pattern of facing the same finals opponent four World Bowls apart, and each losing team avenging their setback in the next match.

Davis couldn't sleep the night before any of those World Bowls despite arguably having the most control of any individual over the outcome. Now, he had the helpless feeling of standing on the sidelines and watching someone else operate in the huddle. His huddle. Or what used to be his huddle. He heard the telltale buzz from his mobile phone. He hoped it wasn't one of his kids forgetting the time difference between Sarzonia and Quebec.

Turned out it wasn't. It was Stallworth, predictably texting "Can't sleep, coach." Davis picked up his mobile, thought for a moment, then texted back, "I can't, either." He paused for a moment, then texted, "I couldn't sleep before any of the World Bowl finals I played in." He put the phone back down on the nightstand, wondering if he'd just shot himself in the foot by admitting his self-doubt. He thought again, thinking It might help Cam. After all, Davis played in four finals and won two as the quarterback. If Stallworth knew being nervous or anxious before the biggest gridball match of his life was normal, it might help him be more at ease.

Davis heard that buzz again. What now, he thought before he looked. There were two texts, one from Stallworth saying, "Thanks coach!" The other was from former manager Williams.

"Can't sleep?" Williams texted. "Nope," Davis texted back. "I couldn't, either," Williams responded. Davis looked at that text and smiled. There was relief at not being the only one feeling that nervous about managing in his first World Bowl final. There was also the full circle moment of Davis being on both ends of the "your feelings are normal and valid" encouragement from a mentor who'd had the same experience previously.

Davis turned his phone off, deciding he'd have one more go at trying to sleep. There would be a time and place to evaluate where this unexpected run to the final would land Davis in Sarzonian gridball history. The legacy of this team at this moment wouldn't be written yet. Right now, Davis decided he'd try his hardest not to worry about the things he couldn't control and focus on what he could. Right now, that was his effort at trying to get some sleep.
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Postby Chromatika » Thu Mar 14, 2024 7:56 pm

Chromatika 23, Saint Kanye 21

1st Quarter
11:31 STK TD - Deshawn Fredericks 33 yard pass from R. J. Linetti (James Rasputin Kick) - CMT 0:7 STK
07:01 CMT FG - Dwayne Markseon 42 yard Field Goal - CMT 3:7 STK

2nd Quarter
13:11 CMT FG - Dwayne Markseon 51 yard Field Goal - CMT 6:7 STK
09:28 CMT FG - Dwayne Markseon 46 yard Field Goal - CMT 9:7 STK
01:06 STK TD - Gregory Silk 28 yard run (James Rasputin Kick) - CMT 9:14 STK

3rd Quarter
10:58 CMT TD - Alessandra Mio 38 yard pass from Sarai Gwenderyn (Dwayne Markseon Kick) - CMT 16:14 STK

4th Quarter
14:19 STK TD - Hussein Jeffers 15 yard pass from R. J. Linetti (James Rasputin Kick) - CMT 16:21 STK
00:28 CMT TD - Sarai Gwenderyn 3 yard run (Dwayne Markseon Kick) - CMT 23:21 STK

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

The Last Dance of the Firehawk
VI. The Last Gasp


Apple Bowl
Quebec and Shingoryeo


It would come down to this.

Their second World Bowl Final - with the first being a loss to Banija not that long ago. The Iron Legion, on a mission to get a title for their soon-to-be-retired legend, reaching the final stage of the tournament, to face a rather familiar foe - the Sarzonia Stars. Chromatika had swept them in the tournament prior, but that didn't say anything to how hard it would be take down Sarzonia now.

Not that Chromatika's path had been any less difficult. South Americanastan proved to be a harder task than advertised, and the game against Ko-oren was the dogfight that everyone expected. Saint Kanye waited in the Semifinals, and the Yeezies were definitely up to the task. R. J. Linetti and the offense was tricky, their defense held Gwenderyn for a half before eventually yielding, and it took a pump fake that froze the entirety of the Saint Kanye defense for a full second for Gwenderyn to sneak around the left end for the final score. For the second straight game, the clutch factor being provided by Gwenderyn ended up mattering - as well as the continued play of the offensive line.

Sara McAllister Drumov could tell that the grind of the tournament was starting to get to her. Sure, during the game, the adrenaline of just being near the action made it so that she was fine to continue to coach Dwayne and the kicking unit; however, whenever that adrenaline showed any signs of wearing off, the fatigue was waiting just underneath. Her chronic migraines also returned, and though she made a point to not show it as much as possible, everyone could tell the reason why this would indeed be her last tournament as a member of the Iron Legion in total.

Not that Michel Drumov liked this, of course. He was starting to hover a bit longer in the mornings to make sure that she would be taking all the precautions before heading out the door. Michel understood better than anyone how much gridiron meant to Sara, but she also knew better than anyone what she meant to him. She was meeting with her doctor every week via video call to make sure it wasn't too much, her travel in Quebec and Shingoryeo was being handled delicately with the best care available, and the Iron Legion made sure to let the Quebecois authorities know of her condition in case she needed to be treated in emergencies. No, if this was going to be her last hurrah, she was going to see it through till the end unless she ended up in intensive care, and there was nothing that was going to change that.

So, Sara found herself going over the weather reports of the day with Dwayne, talking about the wind, the moisture level, and other such things that would influence the ball in the kicking game. Dwayne knew her well enough to treat it like any other day - not calling to attention her condition or the importance of the game in question - but she could tell that he was nervous, it being what it was.

"I'm superbly confident that you're ready for this," Sara encouraged him, "You've made all the kicks the team needed throughout this run, both Si-U and Nellie are a well-oiled machine, and Sarai is on a mission. You just stand by for when you're needed with me, and we'll take care of it together when the time comes. You've trained for this for a long time."

Dwayne smiled meekly before nodding and replying, "I don't want to disappoint you."

"You won't," she reinforced before continuing on.

Dwayne wasn't the only person among the Iron Legion with this nervous energy. Park Mi-Hyeon, Jere Rinaldi, Nellie Katt, Sarai Gwenderyn, and Alessandra Mio were veteran enough to convert the nervousness into positive reinforcement, but some of the others were struggling.

That was when Sara had an idea that flashed through her mind. Michel would never agree to it, and her doctor might give her some severe words in their next meeting, but she couldn't think of anything else that would lift the team's spirits than her idea.

It didn't take as much convincing as she thought to pass the idea by Misha Florentine. He just asked her if she was really up for it, and when she said that she was, he simply nodded and said he'd let her do the plan before they headed back into the tunnel just before introductions.

They finished their pregame warmups - and just before the team started to head back, Misha managed to gather everyone's attention. He didn't say anything, but motioned to Sara - who just signaled to Park and Nellie. The two of them exchanged a glance before joining Sara.

"I see the nervousness in your eyes," she addressed the team, "As if the moment is too big for you, as if you're not ready for the test in front of you."

Everyone was hanging onto her every word - she was a well-known figure whose legend preceded her, a person who had the ear of so many figures in the locker room, and a consummate professional.

"I don't believe in the impossible. I believe that with enough hard work, faith, and belief, anything is possible. I've been told from my Junior year in college to never kick again - to stay away from the game and to let sense win. I chose to remain in the role I have now because I believed that it was my destiny," she continued.

"Let this show you the definition of impossible. Let this portray that when you believe, everything is possible," she finished.

Then, she walked to the forty-five. Si-U snapped the ball, and Nellie's hold was perfect.

Sara McAllister kicked the ball hard and true - and it sailed through the uprights, straight down the middle.

There was stunned silence, then roaring applause.

As the Iron Legion walked into the tunnel for introductions, an aura of hope was spreading...
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Quebec and Shingoryeo
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Postby Quebec and Shingoryeo » Thu Mar 14, 2024 8:46 pm

Final Cutoff


World Bowl 48 Championship Game:

Day 10
#9Sarzonia 46–46 Chromatika (59–53 OT)#3


Congratulations and Commiserations.
Last edited by Quebec and Shingoryeo on Thu Mar 14, 2024 9:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Sarzonia
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Postby Sarzonia » Fri Mar 15, 2024 8:39 am

CHICOUTIMI (ASP) -- One way or another, history would be made at the Apple Bowl.

Sarzonia were playing in their fifth World Bowl final, and first since they lost World Bowl 15 against then-regional neighbours Delaclava. The Sarzonian national gridball team were seeking their third title and their first since winning World Bowl 14 in walk-off fashion at Joe Gibbs Stadium in Woodstock.

Chromatika were making their second World Bowl finals appearance. The Iron Legion were seeking their first championship, having lost in their title match debut against Banija in World Bowl 45.

The match came down to the wire once again, as Matt Andersen hit a 45-yard field goal with no time left in regulation to force overtime, then cornerback Will Donnelly intercepted a Sarai Gwenderyn pass in the end zone and returned it for a 102-yard pick-six, delivering a 59-53 double overtime victory to the Stars.

"She [Gwenderyn] didn't put the ball where she wanted," Donnelly said. "[Linebacker Calvin] Jacks got pressure on her throwing side and she threw it off platform."

Sarzonia won the overtime coin flip and elected to receive, a decision manager Gavin Davis said he made because he wanted to give his defence some rest.

"We'd been out there defensively for 36 minutes during regulation," Davis said. "Our players were gassed. I wanted to keep possession for a while and help our players get their legs back." Davis acknowledged the overtime format, giving the offensive team the ball on.the opponent's 25-yard line didn't lend itself to that strategy, but he said he didn't want to give Chromatika the ball straight away.

The first offensive series didn't start off to plan as defensive end Jill Lia sacked Cameron Stallworth on first down, dropping him for a nine-yard loss. Running back Ty'Relle Clinton was in the medical tent being evaluated for a concussion, and reserve running back Tom Bennett missed his assignment. Stallworth misfired on a pass out in the flat to Paul Edgerton, who replaced Bennett on second and long.

After the pass fell incomplete, Stallworth looked at the sidelines for the next play from offensive coordinator Trent Beaucamp when he saw Clinton emerge from the tent with his helmet on. The television camera caught Stallworth smiling.

"I knew when I saw Ty'Relle with his helmet on that he was cleared to play," Stallworth said. "The medical staff wouldn't let him wear it if he couldn't play." Clinton didn't see the pitch on 3rd and 19, but Stallworth hit Steve Swain for an 18-yard pass, giving the Stars their first big decision of overtime. Davis signaled to go for it and Clinton powered over left end for a two-yard gain and a first down at the 14. Clinton ran for four yards on first down, two yards on second down, then Stallworth hit Swain for a touchdown.

Chromatika ran the ball twice for two yards before Gwenderyn hit Demetrius St. Pierre for a touchdown and extra point. The Iron Legion would start the second overtime with the ball and defensive coordinator Tyler Paige decided to walk up safety Cliff Longoria to build an eight-man front. The play called for linebacker Artem Roshovski to run blitz and force Gwenderyn to throw the ball.

That set the stage for Donnelly.

The victory gave Sarzonia a 3-2 record in World Bowl finals, with all three coming in walk-off fashion. Each of Sarzonia's two losses were by two possessions. Davis felt the sticky cold wetness of a Gatorade shower as soon as Donnelly stretched out the ball over the goal line with his right hand.

Davis then felt the arms of left tackle Matt Frost on his back as he leapt in jubilation. It was his first World Bowl victory as a manager after two wins as the starting quarterback. The questions swirling about his future on the sidelines when each World Bowl began would be silenced.

As for the Iron Legion and whether revenge for a 50-16 beatdown during the World Bowl 47 group stage was a topic of discussion, Davis said winning the final in dramatic fashion was plenty revenge.

"Would you rather win by 34 in a meaningless group stage match or a World Bowl?" Davis asked. "I'll take this, gladly."

The matchup against Chromatika marked the first World Bowl final for Sarzonia that didn't feature either Delaclava or Bluth Corporation as the opponent.

Stallworth, who finished the day completing 36-for-55 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns with two interceptions, sat on the stool in front of his locker with a smile that signaled elation over the win, relief that such a trying match was finally over and contentment that critics who questioned if he was the right person to lead the Stars under centre were silenced.

He and Davis just answered them in the best way imaginable, by bringing a third World Bowl trophy back home to Woodstock.
First WCC Grand Slam Champion
NSWC Hall of Fame Inductee (post-World Cup 25)
Former WLC President. He/him/his.

Our trophy case and other honours; Our hosting history

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