AFFL Ultimate Final – TMT vs Fighting Cancer
by Ryan Gayle
In the battle for American Flag Football Supremacy, Texas Money Team had revenge on their minds as they took on familiar foes Fighting Cancer for the AFFL title.
In last year’s tournament, Fighting Cancer knocked off Texas Money Team 35-26 in America’s Championship to advance to the Ultimate Final. Fighting Cancer went on to win the 2018 AFFL Ultimate Final with a 26-6 victory over Godspeed. This year, both teams had very different paths to reach the Ultimate Final. Texas Money Team had to navigate through the tournament and picked up wins against the Spaniards (30-0), the Strong Island Bulldogs (26-13), the Freaks (36-30 OT), and the Dream Team (46-20). While Texas Money Team were putting in work, the defending champion Fighting Cancer entered the tournament on the final day, defeating the Florida Fury 41-40 in double overtime.
That was a significant victory for Fighting Cancer due to the former NFL talent on the roster such as Michael Vick and Danny Wuerffel and players with spectacular athletic abilities like Nate Robinson, who has made a name for himself in the NBA.
Texas Money Team came into the game motivated, but Fighting Cancer was able to overcome their fatigue from the double-overtime victory over the Fury and win the Ultimate Final 22-14. For the first ten minutes, both team’s defenses were playing lights out. Neither team could punch the ball into the end zone until Diere “Fresh” Franklin launched a bomb to Alfred McDonald Jr. for a 97-yard touchdown. Surprisingly, that ended up being McDonald’s only reception of the game.
Throughout the tournament, McDonald has been scorching defenses by using his size to jump over defenders and meet the ball at its highest point and using his elusiveness to make defenders miss. He had two touchdown performances against the Freaks and the Dream Team, but besides that big play, Fighting Cancer’s defense found a way to shut him down.
After Texas Money Team’s quick strike, Fighting Cancer responded before halftime thanks to the elusive ability of Darrell Doucette, nicknamed “Housh” due to his resemblance to former NFL receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, and Ouslet Volcy. Doucette evaded the rush and threw a dart to Volcy on a crossing route, which Volcy ran in for a touchdown.
At halftime, Texas Money Team held an 8-7 lead.
In the second half, Fighting Cancer showed why they are the best Flag Football team in the world. At times, Texas Money Team struggled to keep up with Fighting Cancer’s receivers, and Doucette took advantage. All game, it seemed like Doucette was attacking Anthony Webb through the air, and eventually, it led to Webb committing a pass interference penalty in the end zone. With the ball being placed at the 1-yard line, Doucette found Brandon McCray open for the touchdown, and Fighting Cancer took a 14-8 lead.
Later, Fighting Cancer increased their lead when Doucette launched a rocket to Terrance Bunting for a huge touchdown to ensure the win. Texas Money Team did respond when Franklin found Will Cole to punch it into the end zone, but that score was a case of “too little and too late.”
Doucette led the way for Fighting Cancer, completing 17 of 22 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. McCray caught six passes for 71 yards and a touchdown, and Volcy had three receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown.
Franklin led Texas Money Team’s aerial assault, completing 21 of 29 passes for 364 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Corey Webb had a spectacular game, catching ten balls for 132 yards. Alfred McDonald Jr. had one catch for 97 yards and a touchdown.
Congratulations to Fighting Cancer for winning their second straight AFFL title!