On January 10th, the final MCS major tournament before the Ultimate Madden Bowl concluded. In the end, Mr. Football ended up winning the MCS Playoffs Challenge. With this win, the MCS veteran secured the $30,000 grand prize, and slotted himself into the #3 seed in next month’s Ultimate Madden Bowl. Let’s take a look at how it all went down.
Each of the two semifinal matchups in the Playoffs Challenge featured an MCS veteran matched up against someone newer to the MCS scene. The first game featured Kiv, who came into the finals with 126 career MCS wins, going up against TJ who came in with 26. However, TJ came into the game ranked 9th in this year’s MCS Power Rankings, compared to Kiv’s 24th place ranking. With less than a minute to go in the first half, TJ held an impressive 21-10 lead. However, Kiv was able to find Deion Sanders down the left sideline for a touchdown to cut the lead to 21-17.
Most players would be satisfied to just cut into the lead going into halftime. However, on TJ’s next offensive play, Kiv undercut a corner route to pick it off and take it to the house. In less than 20 seconds of game time, Kiv went from being down 11 to being up 3.
TJ wouldn’t go away though. As Kiv got the ball at halftime and looked like he was set to score again, TJ forced a fumble and was able to steal momentum. After a chain of big passing plays, TJ found a receiver in the corner of the endzone to regain the lead. TJ’s defense allowed him to hold that lead, and win the game 28-24.
On the other side of the bracket was Mr. Football, #10 in this year’s MCS Power Rankings, going up against Strap, who was 29th and also making his MCS Live Final debut. However, Strap held his own and had the game tied at 14 with Mr. Football at halftime. The second half was where Mr. Football would pull away. He scrambled for a score with QB William Perry on the opening drive of the second half and ran for another score with Todd Gurley on his second drive of the half. This would be the only scoring after halftime, as Mr. Football won 28-14 and secured a spot in the final.
The final game of the tournament was now set with two top-ten rated players in this year’s Power Rankings. Both fighting for a belt, money, and to improve their seeding in the upcoming Madden Bowl. What more could you want?
On the opening drive, TJ worked his way down the field methodically to get on the board first 7-0. Mr. Football responded with a quick 65+ yard touchdown to Deion Sanders. Both players would settle for field goals as they went into halftime tied at 10.
Mr. Football wasn’t done with big plays. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Chris Johnson used his blistering speed to escape for a 50-yard touchdown run to give Mr. Football the lead. TJ wasn’t phased though, as he repeatedly found holes in Mr. Football’s defense as he worked the ball down the field to tie the game.
Mr. Football got the ball back and wasn’t quite able to break off another big offensive play. As he moved down the field, his offense stalled inside the red zone. With over four minutes remaining, he settled for another field goal to take a 20-17 lead. TJ now had a chance to put together another long drive to possibly win the game.
TJ eventually found himself in a similar situation Mr. Football had on his previous drive. He had the ball at his opponent’s 32 yard-line on 4th and 6. Instead of trying a long field goal to tie the game, TJ went for the win. TJ tried to fit the ball over a defender on a crossing route for the first down. However, Mr. Football’s linebacker jumped up and snagged the ball. He then proceeded to take it all the way back to seal Mr. Football the 27-17 win.
This win gives Mr. Football his much sought after first MCS title belt. He also walks away with the $30,000 grand-prize. Going into the Ultimate Madden Bowl, Mr. Football will be the 3rd seed and face the winner of an upcoming tiebreaker. TJ is seeded 5th, and will have a rematch against Kiv in the first round of the Madden Bowl.
If you want to know more about how Mr. Football was able to secure his first MCS belt, check out our interview with him on our YouTube channel.