HIGFFL Championship Game: Bacchus 26 / In Between 24
Congratulations to the Bacchus Honey Badgers. HIGFFL 2015 Champions!
Game pix and Championship Party pix below.
The Honey Badgers cared. We won. The difference: the 2=point conversion after their first touchdown. The hot sun was quelled by a cool cross-field breeze, but the men on the field were putting blood, sweat and tears into the game.
A record turn-out crowd (Team Mimosa) featured some regular spectators and folks from Lima Kokua, The Aloha Bears, The Gay Men's Chorus of Honolulu, The LGBT Legacy Foundation and the owners of Bacchus (David and John), In Between (John) and Wang Chung's (Danny). Thank you to all your athletic support! :-)
Getting down to business- First up on Saturday morning was the 3rd place game between Hula's and Wang Chung's. Hula's jumped out to an early lead and seemed to be running away with the game until late in the second half. With under two minutes to go, the Happy Endings were down 2 scores to the Fifty Shades of Gay. In a bizarre turn of fate, the qb in gray scrambled on a 4th and goal and ran time off the clock when he could have put the game away with a score. A quick TD by Wang's followed by an interception put the Happy Endings near the goal line with 3 seconds to go with a chance to win! And win they did! Steady concentration by qb Michael H-K gave them the touchdown and 2-point conversion to win the game 27-26.
A last minute heartbreak and the deepest darkest shade of gray (or gay) for the Hula's team. Countered by the jaw clenching jubilation that is a true happy ending for the Happy Endings.
To all players on Hula's and Wang Chung's - congratulations for coming out and playing to win.
After that match, team and group photos were taken on the field as everyone anticipated the Championship Game. John Blatt from Lima Kokua (and Bacchus and In Between) and Willie Sabel from HIGFFL (and The Aloha Bears and The Honey Badgers) spearheaded the barbecue and served up chicken, bratwurst, hamburgers, bacon and chili.
Bacchus started on defense and showed an aggressive defense - batting away numerous throws from Chane, the IB QB.
Still, several first downs later and the Balls and Dolls were on the board. Their 2-point conversion failed and they led 6-0.
On the next series, the wind took one of Aaron's throws and landed it in the arms of a man in red. A few minutes later and IB was ahead 12-0. It seemed as though it was going to be a long day. Did the Honey Badgers really NOT care?
Sure they did. With five minutes remaining in the half, Aaron methodically maneuvered the team down the field and the let the ball fly in a beautiful arc into Brandon's hands. The two point conversion worked (again with a Brandon catch) and the score narrowed to 12-8. The next drive featured Brandon, again - this time picking off a Chane throw and scoring a touchdown. The point after failed. A few plays later, it was halftime and Bacchus led 14-12.
The second half featured a few interceptions on both sides. The teams were playing competitively. Collisions, injury time-outs, penalties all made the build up to the ending super-intense. A great 40-yard run by Grant and a downfield catch by Dayne highlighted the Honey Badger second half offense. Elliot, Jim and Andrew kept the Balls and Dolls on their heels with high intensity second half defense.
The teams swapped the lead several times, 14-18, then 20=18, followed by 20-24, and with about thirty-six seconds remaining in the game, 26-24.
The last thirty seconds were tense. Time-outs were swapped and the men on the sidelines were crossing their fingers and shouting support for their favorite teams and players. Two quick plays put IB on the 20 yard line with 2 seconds to go. They needed a score and tried their best, but on a second lateral pass, the ball bounced on the field and time expired. And Bacchus was the Champion!
The Bacchus Honey Badgers are what comes In Between Balls and Dolls! And we congratulate the players on both teams for a spectacular season and great sportsmanship.
Finally, a shout-out to the referees. Such hard work and dedication is admirable. Thank you!
Below are pix from both games and some from the sidelines, too. Click on a photo to enlarge.