Friday, November 29, 2013

Great American Classic: Turkey Bowl '13

9TH Annual Turkey Bowl Leaves Us Hungry For More

Commodores score on fourth and goal to hold off Renegade Comeback; Win 28-21

  Next year will mark the tenth anniversary of the Turkey Bowl, a newer Thanksgiving Day tradition that is finding it's way into the places of the Classic American Holiday for those in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa Metro Area. A flag football game that starts earlier in the day at just after 9 o'clock A.M. has the makings of something special and popular with the whole family. Dad and kids are getting out of the house to leave Mom and the ladies a chance to stay home and soak up the early morning holiday conversation, watch the parades and get things started in the kitchen without interruptions from the family. Of course, Dad says that's his excuse to play in the game and this year's game is sure to be looked upon for years to come as one of the greats as the Renegade took on the Commodores, a match which ended in a shootout with 35 points scored in the final minutes of the contest.

The Commodores never trailed, but had to sweat a little as their opponent managed to keep it close down to the last seconds when the Renegade Offense failed get the ball snapped on a fourth down play as time expired, giving the victory and bragging rights that come with a win.Each side played with heart and grit and it showed as bloody faces and beards ruled the day.

 Here are a look at team photos, not all players are present.

The game started with a Renegade possession that saw more yards loss than gain and a turnover on downs on their own side of the field. 

On the second play from scrimmage, after a loss on the fist, the Commodore's Gunner, Ken Koske scrambled from the pocket and found himself in the end zone after a brilliant run from midfield for the first points in the game. Score Commodores 7, Renegade 0.

The second possession for the Renegade started inside it's own 10 yard line after a bumbled ball on the kick return. The Commodore Defensive line was working hard to establish the line of scrimmage, first and second down for the Renegade both ended in negative yardage plays. Even causing some controversy over a potential safety on second down, the original call on the field was overruled but the Renegade however found the ball placement about an inch from it's own goal line. It was three plays into the drive before any positive yardage was gained by the Renegade offence. Despite the positive yardage on this drive the offense still failed to convert a first down. 

After two miserable drive attempts by the Renegade now it would be the Commodores who failed to move the ball and once the Renegade got the ball back they decided it was time to make a quarterback change. Thomas Osterkamp replaced Garrett Olson and it seemed to be the right choice as the Renegade was able to convert a first down with three running plays from Osterkamp. 

Still unable to stop the pass rush by the quicker and smaller Defense, the Renegade decided it was time to use a little trickery. Someone forgot to tell the offense trick plays aren't suppose to be so obvious to the opposing teams Defense. This was the case as a reverse screen pass by Osterkamp to Olson was broken up by Ryan Koske. On the pitch back from Olson, Koske leaped to snap the ball from mid-air, returning the interception for an uncontested touchdown, a play that would end up resulting in his receiving the player of the game and the Gobbler Award. Score Commodores 14 - Renegade 0.  

Things went back and forth for awhile and neither team could seem to find the ability to move the ball beyond a couple of first downs. Both Defenses had found groves and the fast paced start had slowed to a bloody back and forth contest. The game began to look more like a Rugby match then a flag football game. Pride was in play for everyone.  

Time was running out and just 30 minuets remained in the contest, which operates from  a running clock. Renegade had the ball and begun to put together a convincing drive that included a penalty resulting in a first and goal, two running plays later the offense registered it's first touchdown of the game as the Offensive line took control of the line of scrimmage for the first time all day, easily handling the smaller Commodores defensive front. Score Renegade 7- Commodores 14.

This would prove to be the spark that both teams needed as the game began to quickly change. The ensuing kickoff was returned to midfield where the Commodores took over on Offence. After the successful drive by the Renegade it would be the Commodores turn to place together a drive that would get them to first and goal. 

This teams Offence wouldn't be able to produce the same success running the ball at the goal line that it had in the open field. Quickness gave way to strength and brawn.
Commodore Running back Ryan Koske was provided with great edge blocking all day, but couldn't produce the same success up the middle when it counted. 

After unsuccessfully being able to run the ball at the goal line, the Commodores' passing game needed to come up big and it did on a broken play a tipped pass by the Defense found itself in the hands of Eric Olson for a touchdown, in very dramatic fashion with a 14 point lead again and time running out. 

Score Commodores 21- Renegade 7.

The next two drives by each team saw scores including a forth and goal conversion by the Commodores to again go up by 14. A pass from Ken Koske to Eric Olson. Score Commodores 28 - Renegade 14. 

With just 10 minutes to go in the game a 30 second play clock was instituted and the Renegade once again began to drive getting into Commodore territory, then seeing the drive end because of a failed fourth down conversion. 

A stop on defense however could get the Renegade back in the ball game, they needed a big play, something that hadn't happened all day for them; and they got one, an interception by Keith Baker for the Defense was returned for a touchdown. Score Renegade 21 - Commodores 28.

An onside kick was inevitable and everyone knew it but the Commodores couldn't seem to get organized on Special Teams. The kick hadn't traveled ten yards yet when Eric Olsen for the Commodores jumped ahead of the play and touched the ball, after a scramble for the lose ball a Renegade player picked up the ball giving his team a chance to get another score to try and tie up the game.

With three minuets left in the game on a running clock, the Renegade struggled to get a first down, then on fourth down they got a play from Osterkamp their QB and a first down. After another penalty and an automatic first down the ball was advanced down to the five yard line. With inside a minuet left one the clock  three incomplete passes resulted in a fourth down for the Renegade who now had just one final chance to reach a tie. It would be the last play of regulation in the ballgame either way but some confusion and the inability to get the ball snapped just before zero's on the clock showed. The game ended giving the Commadores a victory and bragging rights till next year. A perfect start to a perfect day and the beginning of a new American Tradition. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!! 

K.D. Queen

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