Salem Freedom Bowl (June 25th/26th)
The competitive division tournament winner was a new team on the scene, Seattle 20Pick6. This was their first tournament in the 8v8 blocking format. Previously, players on the team had found success in the Seattle Metro 5v5 league as well as various co-ed and other women’s teams around the Puget Sound region. The team initially struggled in the tournament with some rule variations and schemes that were unfamiliar to them, but they adjusted very well and found the keys to success. They were able to hold off a very good Salem Blitz team in the championship with a 12-6 win.
In the Women’s Elite Championship, The Grant Pass TIght Endz finally get the monkey off their back and brought home the elusive championship trophy. Not only did they go undefeated throughout the tournament, but their defense also did the almost unthinkable and didn’t allow a single score the entire tournament. We will say it again, NOT ONE POINT the entire tournament! To claim the crown they had to knock off a resilient Medford Empire team that seemed to find rhythm during the game but never enough to put a full drive together and score. The Tight Endz capitalized on the opportunities and cashed in with well orchestrated drives that resulted in two TD’s for a 12-0 win!
In the Comp Division, the Grants Pass Kaos, who seemingly formed overnight, found ways to win throughout the whole tournament. In the championship game they found ways to keep drives alive and got a final score to put away a stingy Crusader team and bring home their first championship.
Finally, in the Elite Championship, the Seattle Baddogs battled through a tough game with the Salem Rooskies, in which they almost gave the win away on an ill-advised pitch as time was winding down. The Rooskies were able to score and went for a 2pt conversion and the win but failed to connect. The Baddog’s faced off with the Skally Wags in the Elite Championship game, a rematch of a matchup from day 1. Skally got the best of the first match, but this game was a bit different as the Baddogs focused on ball control and the running game. Skally found ways to move the ball but struggled as the field compressed. The Baddog D-Line found ways to get pressure on the Skally QB and forced a few bad balls on key downs to end drives. In the end, the Baddogs came up with a crucial drive as the game was winding down, punching in a score to all but clinch the game.
Final 14-0 Baddogs.
Seattle Show Up or Shut Up (July 16th/17th) - 7v7
The three time defending champions, Hands Team, was of course registered. And a variety of other teams, mainly from the greater puget sound region. The tournament did draw the Vancouver Cobras down from Canada and the Yakima Grid Iron Gang, from eastern Washington. The interesting thing about 7v7 format is it attracts some teams that do not typically play in larger regional tournaments, and it lends itself well to the Seattle area, which has a few strong 7v7 blocking leagues throughout the year. However, because 7v7 is played on a smaller field, certain styles of play are muted and the competition is a little more balanced.
The odds on favorite to win the tournament was again Hands Team, day 1 seemed to say the same thing, as they went 2-0. Some other successful teams from Day 1, Da Winners 2-0, Boom Crew 2-0, & Game of Cones 2-0.
The day 2 tournament was where the surprises started. Early on a few teams failed to show up, ending up in auto advancements for a few teams and essentially a first round bye. But the real surprise was when Hand Team lost to Last Minute. This opened the door for many other teams to come in and find ways to to get into the championship game, which was exactly what started to happen. As the dust settled the final four teams were: Game of Cones, Beast Squad, RNS and Da Winners. Game of Cones won in a slug fest against Beast Squad, a game that really came down to the last few plays of the game. RNS beat Da Winners to advance their first Championship. In the Championship game, The Game of Cones veteran leadership at the QB position really cemented the win for them. Once they got some momentum going, GOC was able to pull away to secure their first tournament championship.
Congrats Game of Cones!