Finally, with 10 seconds remaining, Matt Massucci, the starting cornerback for Alpha Q, sealed the team’s first victory of the season with an interception on fourth down, preserving a thrilling two-point victory over the Free Agents.
It was a back and forth game, and it was obvious the team with the ball last was going to win. After Alpha Q took a late four-point lead after a Brieanne Galvin touchdown reception with one-minute, 13 seconds left, it was up to Alpha Q’s Defense to secure the victory.
“We knew it was on us,” Massucci said. “We knew we needed one play and this game would be ours.”
That play almost never happened had it not been for a series of fortunate events, which eventually lead to the game-sealing interception.
Down by four the Free Agents started their drive by completing a five-yard pass. However, on second down, Corinne Pawlowski blew past the offensive line to record her fourth sack of the game and set up a third and long. On third and long, the Free Agents completed a long pass over the middle appearing to be within inches of getting the first down, however the referees marked the ball just short of a first down. This, however, did not sit well with members of the Free Agents. After verbally discussing their anger with the call, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty was called on the Free Agents setting up a fourth and 15.
The next play will be one discussed for a very long time. On fourth down and 15, the starting quarterback for the Free Agents fired a pass across the middle to a wide-open wide receiver racing down the sideline for what appeared to be a game-winning touchdown with only seconds remaining. However, yet another mistake appeared to take place. A member of the Free Agents was unable to get off the field in time, leaving an extra man on the field for the team, resulting in a five-yard penalty. After the referees huddled together, a flag was dropped, and a penalty was enforced for having too many men on the field, setting up once again another fourth down.
The third time, however, was not the charm. On fourth and 20 with only 10 seconds remaining, facing heavy pressure again from Pawlowski, the Free Agents quarterback forced a pass over the middle which was jumped and intercepted by Massucci, sealing Alpha Q’s first game.
“Its amazing,” Captain Rodney Konzelmann said. “We have been so close before, and so far away at the same time, to finally come down with a win. I can’t even express it.”
Konzelmann was one of the many members of Alpha Q to have a career day. He recorded two interceptions in the first half, both setting up offensive touchdowns. Center Joe Sulecki also had a very successful day, recording five receptions and two touchdowns. However, no first came at a more crucial moment then Brieanne Galvin’s first touchdown reception of the season, and what proved to be the differential score in the game.
“This is what we’ve been waiting for; it finally all came together”, Quarterback Connor Hughes said. “This team has so much talent, so much ability. We just haven’t been able to put it all together all at once yet. This game, we finally did. Who knows, maybe this is the start of something really special.”
Alpha Q will have their work cut out for them next week as they play the defending champion Team Awesome. Team Awesome handled Alpha Q in their first meeting 62–30, however they are coming off a last-minute loss to the Bernstein Bears that revealed the unbeatable can be beaten.
“We aren’t going to get too far ahead of ourselves just yet,” Hughes said. That team, they are good. That quarterback is lightning fast, containing him has been a task few teams have even come close to doing. We have our work cut out for us.”
If you would like to attend an Alpha Q game visit their fan page at www.facebook.com/alphaqflagfootballteam.