Shockers vs. Woodchucks – Championship Preview

JSGFFL Fall 2015 Championship Preview

#1 Seed Shockers (9-0) against #3 Seed Woodchucks (7-2)

11 AM, January 9th

Winding River Park Field, Toms River, New Jersey

The top two seeded teams of the previous season will square off in the Fall Season’s title game this Saturday, as the undefeated Shockers look to complete perfection against the storied Woodchucks, who are trying to build a dynasty of their own. The Shockers cruised through an unbeaten regular season, and then put an absolute whooping on The Untouchables in a laugher, 60-14. While the Woodchucks had a small midseason slump, losing 2 in a row at one point, they’ve won 5 straight and had The Shockers beaten in Week 3, only to see a prayer answered and a miracle granted. Bryan Soletto was rushed into action at QB with time expiring, and threw up a deep pass to the end zone. Jim Florimont went up and snagged the ball, pinning it to his shoulder to win the game as the clock expired. The rematch is this weekend, and while the first matchup was the best game of the regular season, the sequel could be even more of a classic. Are we due for another championship overtime game?

Game Preview

When The Shockers have the ball:

QB Joe Guiffre has the hips of a salsa dancer in the pocket, and the moxie of a proven leader. Whereas last season he was very entrenched in the statistical races, this season he has one thing on his mind: winning football games. The approach has put his team in the title game. His hard count is by far the best in the JSGFFL, as he routinely gets defenders to jump offsides and give up their right to rush the passer. He has no problem dumping the ball down to a short option if it springs open quickly, and his safety valve of Lineman Anthony Spanola was 1st Team All Pro for his receiving and blocking skills. Charlie Barbarie is as good of a wide receiver as anyone in the league and Guff will go deep to him without hesitation. The dual threat Devon Snead is a matchup nightmare for most teams when he gets his offensive snaps, showing top end speed and great run after the catch skills. Will Dan Calabrease get any offensive looks after his Week 7 explosion? The Woodchucks defense boasts an impressive secondary, and a dynamic pass rush. They pulled in 20 interceptions as a team, which is a byproduct of the man to man coverage they play on the outside with CBs Devon McEllen and Chris Jensen. The deep safety look employed by the ‘Chucks could be the answer to Charlie Barbarie over the top, and the defensive line duo of Garrett Lavaggi and Dave Pankow bring relentless energy all game long. They both are athletic enough to rush the passer and cover Shocker lineman Ryan Pharo and Anthony Spanola in the flats, so Joe Guiffre will need to find the holes in the defense and dissect them with precision. If the ‘Chucks blitz, don’t think for one second Joe Guff won’t test these corners one on one down the field to Barbarie. 

When The Woodchucks have the ball:

QB John Zitani had another spectacular season, and is one of if not the greatest JSGFFL passer(s) of all time. His on field skills are only surpassed by his leadership ability and competitive spirit. Sporting the best offensive line duo in the league (the dancing bear that is Chris D’Addario and the non-stop motor of Garrett Lavaggi), this offense routinely pushes the ball down the field on scramble plays. Billy Ballgame aka Billy Belford has become known for his spectacular catches, and Kyle Spatz is arguably the most slippery player with the football in his hands in the entire league. Dave Pankow is a big, athletic target that can block and stretch the seam. Zitani also loves to hit his tall target in the red-zone, James Tranz. He had better bring his scrambling shoes, because The Shockers vaunted pass rush is still ripping through offensive fronts. Lineman Steve Soletto dropped 21 sacks on the league in 8 games, then went on to have a strip sack that he returned for a TD last week in the Semi-Finals. At one point, he lined up in coverage over one of the best WRs in the league, Anthony Carlo. Coming from the other side, on nearly every down, is Dan Erickson. He had 8 sacks, but is just as much of a presence off the edge. Devon Snead, the best two-way player in the league, and Dan Calabrease play man to man on an island on most downs, with Bryan Soletto and Shannon Hill rounding out a playmaking secondary that thrives in man coverage. Whether it’s the rushers forcing the passer to toss up a duck into the ballhawking secondary, or the defensive backs covering everyone until the rushers can get the quarterback’s flag, this defense is downright filthy. 

Below is the complete roster and starting lineups for each team:

Woodchucks

QB: #18 John Zitani

OL: #51 Chris D’Addario

WR: #4 Kyle Spatz

WR: #3 Billy Belford

WR: #69 James Tranz

WR: #20 Dave Pankow

DL: #0 Garrett Lavaggi

DB: #28 Liam Dolly

DB: #29 Joe DeTroia

DB: #30 Dev McEllen

DB: #31 Chris Jensen

DB: #19 Casey Sirotniak

Shockers

QB: #15 Joe Giuffre

OL: #56 Anthony Spanola

OL: #48 Ryan Pharo

WR: #8 Charlie Barbarie

WR: #33 Devon Snead

WR: #84 Jimmy Florimont

DL: #4 Steve Soletto

DL: #9 Dan Erickson

DB: #33 Devon Snead

DB: #32 Dan Calabrease

DB: #10 Bryan Soletto

DB: #3 Shannon Hill

 

Mike Odom

#JSGFFL

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