Well, we have officially made it. The Spring League’s six week season is over, and the 2021 Mega Bowl is upon us.
After what was some entertaining football down the stretch, the Linemen and the Jousters both came out of their respective divisions on top, and now will battle it out on FOX to see who takes the trophy home.
Both of these teams have elite offenses, along with stout defenses. With how much was on the line today, it was bound to be an exciting matchup, and it most certainly was.
To start the game, the Linemen received the football, but the Jousters defense was ready, and forced them to punt quickly.
The Jousters were marching efficiently, until Luis Perez coughed up the football, and the Linemen recovered. However, a defensive penalty negated the fumble – but it wouldn’t matter, because two plays later, Jordan Wyatt intercepted Perez, giving the Linemen possession.
Despite the great field position, the Linemen’s offense could not capitalize, as they had to punt for a second time.
Luis Perez redeemed himself on the second drive. After starting on their own nine yard line, he methodically pushed the ball down the field. Perez found Tyler Palka for an important gain, then hit Joshua Simmons in stride for a 35 yard TD, making it 7-0.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLJousters strike first with Luis Perez finding Joshua Simmons in the end-zone.
The Linemen were able to respond in the early second, swiftly marching down, but ultimately settling for three. Jonathan Song knocked through the 28 yarder, and it was 7-3.
On their first drive in the second quarter, the Jousters continued to move the football well, as they took quite a bit of time off the clock, while moving the chains. Perez fired a bullet to Darren Woods in the end-zone, and the Jousters took a 14-3 lead.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLJousters add to their lead after Luis Perez connects with Daren Woods to add six.
As the first half trickled down, Ryan Willis smoothly took his team down the field, and DJ Davis ran it in from two yards out, making it 14-9. The Jousters had an opportunity to score late, but Anthony Ratliff-Williams stayed in bounds when he shouldn’t have, which ended the half.
What a way to start the second half: Drew Anderson came in as QB for the Jousters as usual, and threw a bomb to Joshua Simmons, who took it to the house 55 yards, giving the Jousters a quick 20-9 lead.
When the Jousters got the ball back, they took a much different approach compared to their first drive in the quarter. They ran the ball on every single play, and did get inside the 10 yard line, but ultimately had to settle for a 21 yard FG, making it 23-16.
Similar to the Jouster’s previous drive, the Linemen opened up the fourth quarter with a solid march down the field, but were held to a field goal, as Song hit from 48 yards out to get his team back within four.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLLinemen continue to fight back.
Jonathan Song adds three with another successful field goal, bringing them closer to the #TSLJousters.
When the Linemen needed their defense to get a stop, get a stop they did. The Jousters had to quickly punt, handing the ball back to their opponents with five minutes to play. However, the Jousters defense also did their job, forcing the Linemen to punt it right back.
Just when it seemed like the Jousters had a chance to close it out, a couple massive sacks from the Linemen gave them one last opportunity to make a late push.
In an absurd play, DJ Davis fumbled the football, and Isaac Vico picked it up and ran it into the endzone – but a two minute fumble rule prevented the Linemen from scoring the TD. Instead, they took over at the 16 yard line.
After dropping a pass in the end-zone, Isaac Zico hauled in his second score of the day, putting the Linemen on top 26-23 with under a minute left to play.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLLinemen take their first lead of the day after Issac Zico grabs another touchdown.
The final sequence was quite the spectacle. Perez came back into the game, and found Donnie Ernsberger across the middle – who proceeded to fumble it, but Tyler Palka recovered to keep it Jouster football.
However, on the very next play, JJ Dallas wrestled a 50/50 ball away from Ratliff-Williams, putting the nail in the coffin on this one.
The Linemen let up a TD on the first play of the second half but shut the Jousters out after that and handled business on the other side of the ball. They comeback to capture the #TSL2021 Mega Bowl!#TSLLinemen: 26#TSLJousters: 23
What a fun season of TSL football. From start to finish, it was enjoyable across the board, from the players, to the coaches, to the FOX broadcasts. Hal Mumme’s Linemen came away with the 2021 Mega Bowl trophy, after a big victory over the Jousters in the season’s final game.
To be fair to the Jousters, they played an incredible game, especially defensively. Ryan Willis, arguably the league’s best quarterback, was held to only 167 yards through the air on 36 attempts, and the Jousters offense generated quite a few points through the first three quarters.
However, they simply failed to get it done down the stretch. Many will be left wondering if the switch from Luis Perez to Drew Anderson in the second half was actually worth it, as Anderson struggled to get his offense going, with the exception of that first pass to Simmons.
On the other hand, despite Willis not having success pushing the ball down the field, he did enough to get the job done. Also, the Linemen’s run game with Tra Minter and DJ Davis made a massive impact, which allowed them to take a late lead, one they didn’t let go of.
At the end of the day, the Linemen took home the Mega Bowl trophy, as they won six straight games to cap off an incredible season.
With the buzz the TSL generated this year, we can’t wait to see where the league goes in the future, along with the development of the USFL’s return. Spring league football fans, get excited. The road ahead is bright.
Did you enjoy watching The Spring League this season? What did you think of the Mega Bowl game? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!