Kanata, ON — A crisp autumn day framed the most exciting game of the young OFL season as the upstart Co-Op Dragons came within a single yard of potentially upsetting the highly favored Irish Stout. The Stout fielded their strongest roster to date led by QB Paul “The Mad Bomber” McRae and consisting of Kirk “Flash” Ireland, James “Smooth” Muir, Bevan “Boo Boo” Watkiss, and Louis “Plus Vite” Aubin, claimed off the waiver wire following his league mandated suspension for what were termed “lewd acts”. The Dragons were quarterbacked by the wily veteran Peter “The Rabbit” Arseneau, who was throwing to Marc “Stretch” Jessome, Jin “And Tonic” Kang, and William “My Hands Are Even Worse Than Bevan’s” Jia.

The wind was blustering a bit so the visiting Dragons, having won the toss, took the wind. The Stout deferred and the Dragons began at their 20. Arseneau, who is demonstrating uncanny accuracy this year, moved the ball down into scoring range, but could not crack the goal line. McRae answered with a TD throw to Ireland but the flea-flicker conversion attempt was snuffed out by the aggressive Dragon defense. The Stout led 6-0, but only briefly, as Arseneau hit Kang in stride for the tying score. “I thought I saw another one of those cool jets flying by and didn’t see Jin flying past me,” said Ireland. “I like jets.” Aubin recorded the first interception of Arseneau this season as he stole the conversion pass. “Tabernosh, I play ten minutes and I’m in the stats already!” he exclaimed.

The back and forth contest continued as Muir scored on a pass that just navigated its way through the arms of Jessome. Jessome, however, came back to make a catch and fall over the pylon with the football, knotting the contest at 12-12. McRae uncorked a bomb that Muir cradled into his hands in the left corner, but after the conversion pass deflected off of Watkiss’s kisser, the score stood at 18-12.

Watkiss, perhaps motivated by his offensive shortcomings, suddenly became a beast at nose tackle. His hirsute form could be seen deflecting passes, tackling runners in the backfield, and sacking the passer — all celebrated with monosyllabic grunts. The Dragons were forced to punt the ball back to the Stout.

You could almost hear the disembodied, legendary voice of NFL Films’ John Facenda saying “Great teams aren’t always great — they are just great when they have to be” as McRae dropped back and fired a laser to Ireland in the right corner, threading the needle through the defender’s arms.

The Dragons displayed some moxie of their own and worked their way into Stout territory, with the payoff coming on an Arseneau to Jessome pass for the touchdown.

Leading 24-18, the Stout needed only to run out the clock to assure victory. However, their offensive execution was, to put it mildly, offensive. First, a bungled handoff resulted in a wobbly throw into traffic by Ireland that was nearly intercepted. An uncharacteristically inaccurate throw by McRae was nearly picked off by Kang, followed by a sack of McRae by Jia. The Stout literally seemed to be trying to hand the game to the Dragons. On the final play, another flea-flicker nearly went horribly awry as Ireland tossed a pass that could easily have been mistaken for a wounded migratory bird. Naturally, the ball was easily intercepted by Jessome, who bobbed and weaved his way through the dazed Stout until he was tagged one yard short of the endzone and the tying points.

“I don’t like to make coaching changes during the season,” said Stout GM McRae, “But that was the worst playcalling at the end of a game I have ever seen. You play to win the game! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!!!”

Clearly, the Dragons are closing the gap with the Stout, but, for now, the Stout stand tall on top of the OFL with a 3-0 record while the Dragons dwell in the cellar at 0-3.

October 18, 2010
Irish Stout 24, Co-Op Dragons 18

McRae      4 TD
Arseneau   3 TD, 1 INT
Ireland    1 INT

Ireland    2 TD
Jessome    2 TD
Muir       2 TD
Kang       1 TD

Aubin      1 INT
Jessome    1 INT