Kanata, ON — The defending champion Irish Stout moved to 6-0 on the 2010 season with a 25-18 victory over the Co-Op Dragons, but it certainly wasn’t easy. Several defections affected the rosters of both teams as Marc “Shoes” Jessome was a scratch due to being inadequately shod, Bevan “Ow-ey” Watkiss was rehabilitating a sore forelimb, and Ron “Fair Weather” Burman was sleeping off the victory party from the previous week. The Stout lined up Johnny “Butterfingers” O’Connor, James “Butterfingers” Muir, Kirk “Butterfingers” Ireland and Paul “How Many Different Ways Can You Curse Dropped Passes?” McRae to start the game. The Dragons initially could only field Peter “Laser Arm” Arseneau, William “How Do You Catch This Thing” Jia, and Michael “The Squid” Liu. Slotback Jin “Lightening” Kang was late getting to the contest, but managed to join his teammates for the second quarter.

Starting 3on3, the Dragons took the ball at their 20 and calmly marched to a touchdown as the long arms of Liu came down with the ball over Muir. Leading 6-0, the Dragons returned to the offensive after back to back drops by Muir and Ireland led to a rare Stout punt. With the addition of Kang, Arseneau fixed his steely gaze on the Stout defense and threw another looping pass to Liu that cleared the outstretched arms of Muir for a stunning 12-0 lead. Drops for both sides continued as the teams exchanged punts. “I haven’t seen offensive football like this since Pop Warner,” groused McRae, “Don’t you guys know I carry Stickum in my bag?”

The slow-starting Stout have been down before however, and McRae finally connected with Ireland on a long bomb to close the gap to 12-6. Following a Dragon punt, McRae then hit O’Connor with a deep throw to the one yard line and followed up with a quick toss to Muir in the left corner. Suddenly it was all knotted up at 12-12. In the past, the Dragons might have folded and allowed the Stout to run away with the game, but on this day the young squad had other ideas. Using quick end-arounds to Kang and short passes, the Dragons moved into scoring territory with the payoff coming with yet another Arseneau to Liu TD. The Dragons now had a lead of 18-12.

Time was running out as McRae barked out the signals on the Stout 20. A short pass to Muir put the Stout at midfield, followed by a scoring pass to Ireland. As the game stood tied at 18-18, the Stout’s shifty offense created an opening for Ireland in the left corner as he caught the conversion and hit the back pylon for a 19-18 lead. McRae was still venting, “I threw 7 TD’s last week and 7 today but only 3 of them were actually caught!”

The Dragons still had a last gasp, but they were unable to capture the magic of their early possessions. After 3 straight running plays, another McRae-Ireland TD on the final possession provided the insurance and the Stout barely escaped Entrust Cryptography Field with a victory — their 34th straight. The defeated Dragons held their heads high knowing they had taken the Stout to the brink. “The Stout are who we thought they were and that’s why we took the damned field,” screamed Arseneau at the post-game press conference, “If you want to crown them, crown their ass! They are who we thought they were and we let them off the hook!” He then stormed out, apparently late for lunch with his long time pal, Dennis Green.

BOX SCORE
November 10, 2010
Irish Stout 25, Co-Op Dragons 18

Passing
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McRae      4 TD, 1 PAT
Arseneau   3 TD

Receiving
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Ireland    3 TD, 1 PAT
Liu        3 TD
Muir       1 TD