Infamous’ Jeff Dermam Division 3 X-Ball got off to an almost awkwardly predictable start.
New to the division, the cocky Chubby Chasers we’re knocked out before the playoffs began and the Exalted, Grimace Gang, and New England Voltage were all eliminated before the playoffs began as well.
Those prior eliminations after the preliminary round left the juggernaut New England Infamous to face Deadbox Factory in the first semi-final. In the second semi-final Boss Ballers took on New England Outlawz.
Deadbox Factory took Infamous to the wire for the first four points. The first point saw an interesting strategy from Deadbox Factory who held back behind the first line of barriers. Infamous had no answer to that strategy, but Deadbox would not attempt this maneuver a second time.
Deadbox Factory’s Aaron Blanchette and Jeremy Brito stood out in the losing effort though. Blanchette mainly targeted and shut down the snake side while Brito tore through the middle of the field.
Infamous‘ Matthew Gemma controlled the middle of the field from the third point on. On the snake side, everything Deadbox Factory tried to do was shut down by Infamous‘ Benjamin Wobbe.
At a 2-2 tie, Infamous wouldn’t look back. They would go on to win the next two points en route to a 4-2 victory as time ran out. Living up to the hype and potential I heard all weekend about this team, we will be seeing them in the finals.
In the second match-up, Boss Ballers learned that they couldn’t rely on Star players A.J. Wood and Jason Ward. New England Outlawz looked to make it a point to eliminate them as early as possible at every possible point.
Outlawz Billy Peters ran up the snake taking out two in the process. This led to a 3-2 lead with 3:13 left in the game. interestingly enough, at one point, both semi-final games were tied at 3-2 with 3:13 left to go.
Jason Ward had a nice move up the middle to take out two guys on his way to a point with 1:04 left on the clock. The team as a whole was able to keep the game tied until there were only 21 seconds to go. The New England Outlawz won 4-3 as time ran out to advance to the finals.
Outlawz Anthony Coviello started this interesting new trick towards the end of this game by running up the middle of the field to the 50 directly off the break. In this game, it worked extremely well. That move may have proven to be the game changer.
The final that everyone predicted came true today. New England Outlawz went on to face New England Infamous as a result. As with all games, we started off with twelve minutes on the clock. It didn’t take long for the Outlawz to strike first. With 11:17 left in the clock, The buzzer is hung.
Coviello continued to run his suicide mission against Infamous‘ Matthew Gemma. At points, they were on opposite sides of the 50 shooting in different directions without any idea the other was there.
The second point saw another battle between Gemma and Coviello. Gemma won this one and snagged two more kills on his way to tying up the game at one with 10:18 left to go. With two points down in less than two minutes, this game looked on pace to be high scoring.
Things started to slow down at the third point. Both teams realized they needed to get a point and throw some clock away. Peters flew up the middle very majestically, took two out, and hung it to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Outlawz. The next round saw everyone die with no point awarded. 5:42 left on the clock.
Control and momentum shifted at this point. Outlawz made quick work of Infamous causing them to concede in order to save clock. With a 3-1 lead at this point for the Outlawz, something interesting happened for the 4th point. Craig Lilley was the lone man alive for the Outlawz when he was faced against two from Infamous. The two guys in black had no idea where he was and they stayed back.
Without moving or saying a word, Lilley was able to bleed the clock down to 37 seconds. This was the most heads up play I’ve seen all weekend. He knew the clock needed to burn and that Infamous was not a team to take lightly. Infamous got flustered and had one too many guys on the field leading Outlawz to take their final point on an automatic point due to the penalty.
When asked after the game about how they handled Infamous the second time around after losing 5-4 earlier in the day, Bledsoe said “The key difference between the prelims match and this match was penalties, I think we had 4-5 penalties after a strong first two points with them, going into the finals we knew we had to tighten things up and give them a different look, “Sauce” dominated the 50.”
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