Needing a victory to clinch a spot in the next weeks of the Jewish Community Center of Bayonne’s Indoor Flag Football Junior Division championship round, the Bears (7-3-1) faced the Jets (1-10), who, in spite of their record, have played the Bears tough throughout the season. After a 15-minute scoreless stalemate, the Bears finally hit paydirt as Alejandro “See Ya” Cifuentes blazed full court for the game’s first TD, making it 6-0, Bears. The defensive tug-of-war quickly resumed as the Jets’ Brian Pipher, Devin Herring, and Adam Brash kept the Bears’ potent offense landlocked for most of the game. Unfortunately for the Jets, the Bears’ league-leading defense played up to their billing as the “Maul Machine,” led by Matt Miceli, Ryan Griffin, Michal Egan, and Akshat Thakur, kept the Jets’ offense grounded.
With just over three minutes remaining and still stuck at 6-0, Bears, the game hit a turning point as the Bears’ Matt Miceli picked off an underthrown Jets’ pass attempt at half-court. From that point on, the Bears ruled as they lit up the scoreboard with 28 unanswered points. The scoring blitz started with Ryan Griffin bolting in for a 10-yard TD, making it 12-0, Bears. The “Maul Machine” then pitched in to make it 14-0 as the Bears’ defense registered its ninth safety of the year. Moments later, the Bears’ speedster Alejandro Cifuentes was off to the races for his second full-court TD sprint to increase the Bears’ lead to 20-0. The Jets seemed to slow the tide for a while as Devin Herring pilfered a Bears’ pass, but the Jets’ offense couldn’t cash in.
With the ball back in their hands, the Bears rolled again as Drew Radil rushed wire-to-wire, making it 26-0. After anchoring the Bears’ stellar defense, Matt Miceli boosted his offense with a zone-to-zone TD dash to balloon the Bears’ advantage to 32-0. The Bears’ defense delivered the final body blow as they set a Junior Division record with yet another safety for a season total of 10 as they made it 34-0. With the contest already decided, the Jets mustered a brilliant drive as QB Devin Herring took the reins and handed off to Thomas Canela who scampered full-court for a TD followed by Kyle Arano’s two-point run as the Bears prevailed, 34-8. The Bears will now play the winner of the Colts vs. Jets playoff game to determine this year’s Junior Division champion.
The week nine Junior Division Players of the Week were: Offensive Player of the Week – Michael Tedesco, Colts; Defensive Player of the Week – Matt Miceli, Bears; Teamwork/Leadership Player of the Week – Brian Pipher, Jets.