The sun never really came out on Sunday.
The sky was overcast, there was a light breeze and the remnants of tropical wave Chantal left many to question whether or not the rains would come down.
However, the rain never came down and the more than 300 spectators and players got the opportunity to watch the best weekend of Flag Football action in Grand Bahama to date.
Yep, its play-off time and every team that came out on Sunday came out to fight tooth and nail to secure a spot in next weekends’ second round of play-offs.
Sadly, four sets of dreams, four sets of hopes, four sets of desires to hoist the GBFFL Championship trophy ended as the clock counted down to zero.
This is play-off competition, and this is where it matters most and it’s when you win or go home.
This is Grand Bahama Flag Football…we fight for every inch!
Here is a peek into how it went down on Sunday at the GB Sports Complex.
Zorbas Destroyers 12
Police Enforcers 38
During last years’ play-offs both teams came head to head and the Zorbas Destroyers sent the Police into solitary confinement.
This year the Police Enforcers came back to make a statement with a blow-out victory over the Zorbas Destroyers.
These are the kind of situations that create rivalries and this may just be the next great rivalry within the league.
The Zorbas Destroyers struggled to get anything right in this game whether it was offence, defense or special teams.
At one point a few players were asking the referee to call the game off and stop the beating.
Things change when the clock is winding down and your team is on the losing end.
Some players crack under the pressure, just ask #15 Xavier Stuart, whose late game melt down was both uncharacteristic and embarrassing.
The Police Enforcers on the other hand took advantage of every opportunity and made a few opportunities of their own through impressive defensive efforts.
Led by QB #11 Drexel Russell the offense went to work like they were issuing traffic tickets at the end of the month.
No one was getting away from these guys! Stellar play from #2 Charles Williams Jr. on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field, allowing the Police Enforcers to frustrate an already sluggish Zorbas Destroyers.
This game never looked as though it was a play-off game, but just a warm-up for next week.
Bah. Rock Excavators 6
Frecon Alliance 0
This can definitely be called the upset of the week.
The Bahama Rock Excavators handed the Frecon Alliance an early exit from the play-offs.
This isn’t a small accomplishment when you take into consideration that the Frecon Alliance has been a dominant team in the past, as well as the start of this season.
They were also this year’s defending champions.
However, as of late the Alliance has been on a decline, with lackluster play and with a smaller than usual squad it hasn’t been the same team despite their constant reassurance that they would have remained on top.
The Bahama Rock Excavators though, have been an improving team.
If you haven’t watched them over the last few weeks you would think that they are a new team, but the truth is that they are a more focused team now.
They still need to listen first then speak later or they may lose key players as the referees are seemingly less tolerant of players disrupting the game.
So what could possibly motivate this group of rowdy guys to focus and play some ball?
A championship! A championship for the Excavators means two things; 1 the opportunity for these former athletes to be back in the winning circle and 2, Respect!
Respect earned from 330 players that never wanted to give them a chance; 330 players that said they would never win big in this league; 330 players that said they were too rough, too unrefined, too “rocks or shots” for uptown flag football.
Now the opportunity of a lifetime is only two weeks away.
Phluid Phactory Bears 0
ISS Marines 6
It’s been said that a word to the wise is sufficient, but week after week the Phluid Phactory Bears were reminded that the only way to ensure a win is by putting points on the board.
This isn’t the regular season, there is no next week game unless you win this weeks’ game.
Case in point the Phluid Phactory Bears have a solid defense, so much so that they held the Marines to 0-0 until late in the second half.
The inability to move the ball late in the game kills a defense that has been pushing hard all game, but we have seen this all season.
The defense will eventually get tired and in a game like this, it’s usually the first team to score that wins.
The ISS Marines on the other hand did just that, they scored.
After failing to score from as close as five yards out on previous attempts they took advantage of a broken defensive play by the Phluid Phactory Bears, the QB # 88 Lawrence Woods connected with WR #81 Alderio Grant for the TD and the six points that would be all they needed to secure a win.
After the score the ISS Marine defense had little work to do as the Bears struggled to advance the ball after that point.
This was indeed a tough game for both teams with respect being both earned and given by both teams.
Cont. Port Stackers 13
GB Shipyard Wreckers 19
You can say that a win by one or by 100 is still a win, I say how you win says a lot.
Just a side note…I’ve watched the GB Shipyard Wreckers all season and they haven’t really won games per se.
I have to clarify that, I take nothing away from their success this season, but this is the #1 seeded team and if you really watched this game you would see that they did not have an easy task facing the #8 seeded Freeport Container Port Stackers!
By no means has the Freeport Container Port stackers been a push over as of late.
They have regrouped and found what they needed to get into the play-offs.
Pivotal players have to be named like QB #28 A. Forbes, WR #10 Yul Marche, LB #7 Sharrad Taylor WR #14 Keel Pinder and WR #16 Alexander Murray.
The GB Shipyard Wreckers have boasted all season of having numerous weapons offensively and defensively, but have had only one breakout game all season.
This is the play-offs guys, if you struggle in round one the journey only gets harder.
To the GB Shipyard Wreckers, next weeks’ match up will be a true test and a game that will have to be won by you instead of being lost by the opposing team.