Ten weeks of hard work, fine-tuning and coming together as a team led the Eagles (9-3) and the Chargers (5-8) to the final stage of the Jewish Community Center of Bayonne’s Indoor Flag Football Senior Division championship game. In the wink of an eye, the underdog Chargers struck as James Johnson blasted in for a 15-yard TD run and a 6-0 Chargers’ lead. It took the high-powered Eagles’ offense three possessions to find the endzone as Anthony “TD” Morrone raced up the sideline for a TD, followed by James Bajor’s two-point scamper for an 8-6 Eagles’ lead.
After zipping passes to Janaaron Aquino and Jaime Betancur, QB James Johnson fed the ball to his running back tandem of fullback Jan Patrick Egan and tailback Michael Tedesco as the Chargers marched into Eagles’ territory. The payoff came when Johnson hit Malachi Smith on a 20-yard skinny post for Smith’s 18th TD of the season, making it 12-8, Chargers. Both teams stayed toe-to-toe as neither squad could pull away. When the Eagles’ Adrianna “Magic” Morrone sailed in on a 35-yard TD reception, the Eagles took a slim 14-12 advantage. One of the game’s turning points came when the Chargers’ Malachi Smith snared an interception, but the Eagles answered with a rock-solid defensive stand to deny the Chargers from retaking the lead.
With eight minutes remaining, the Eagles started to roll as James Bajor made it 20-12 with a 10-yard TD grab. After another defensive stand, the Eagles’ Adrianna Morrone tight-roped wire-to-wire for her second TD of the game, making it 26-12. While their defense held the fort, the Eagles’ offense seemed unstoppable as Anthony Morrone soared up-court for his 28th TD of the season. When Justin DeCicco rumbled in for the two-point conversion, the Eagles’ lead ballooned to 34-12. With the game well in hand, the Eagles gave everyone a glimpse of the future as QB Ryan Ballance took the reins. While calling his own plays, Ballance engineered a 30-yard scoring drive as he tossed a TD pass to James Bajor, followed by a delayed draw to the speedy Tyler Cholankeril as the Eagles took a 42-12 lead.
With under a minute remaining, the Chargers’ James Johnson brought the crowd to their feet with two lionhearted runs as he battled for a first down. Fueled by Johnson’s no-quit attitude, the Chargers’ Jaime Betancur took a short pass and rocketed to paydirt, closing the gap to 42-18. In the end, the Eagles’ eight-minute siege proved to be the difference as they stormed their way to the Senior Division championship.
The Senior Division Players of the Week for week 10 were: Offensive Player of the Week – Malachi Smith, Chargers; Defensive Player of the Week – Anthony Morrone, Eagles; Teamwork/Leadership Players of the Week – Jan Patrick Egan, Chargers, Jared Radil, Bengals.