Coming into Turkey Bowl 7, Team Joe Anthony was riding a 3 year winning streak. But this year his teams inexperience- and a record breaking performance by “The Natural”, would ultimately lead to his demise at the hands of the Big Dawg.
The game started with Team Anthony receiving the ball. On first down, they went for broke- trying to attack “The Natural”. An under-thrown ball by Joe lead to and interception. A few plays later, team Dawg struck first, after an underneath pass to “The Natural” went for six. “He was wearing cleats, and every time he made a cut- it was game over for me”, said “Swiss Mike” of Team Anthony. After receiving the kick off, Team Anthony then hit Danny on a drag across the middle. He made one man miss and was off to the races.
After Team Dawg couldn’t respond, Team Anthony struck deep on a quick snap- which got them all the way down to the 5 yard line. Just when it looked like they would take the lead, “The Natural” struck again- picking off a soft pass to Dominique in the endzone. Joe Anthony said after the game, “I shouldn’t have thrown that ball. I saw her coming open in the middle of the field, but he came from the other side and just stepped in front of it.”
A play later, Team Dawg struck on a chair route to “The Natural”- burning “Swiss Mike” who could only shake his head. In need of a big play, Team Anthony went deep again to Dominique who was wide open in the endzone- only to have “The Natural step in front of his third ball of the day- this time returning it the length of the field for a Touchdown and putting Team Anthony down two scores- his largest deficit in the last 3 Turkey Bowls. A couple of dropped passes stalled Team Anthony’s next drive, and Team Dawg looked like it would put the game away just before the half. But a great play on they ball by Anthony showed us why he has been so hard to beat in the past. Dominique threw a great block down field on “The Natural” which allowed Anthony to take it to the house- getting them back in the game just before the half.
Team Dawg would strike again though on their first drive of the second half. Hitting “The Natural” again on a stutter and go- which Anthony tried to jump. With his team down two scores again, the halftime adjustments Team Anthony made finally started to work. They methodically moved the ball down the field with short passes to “Swiss Mike”- putting them in position for another score. This time, Anthony took no chances- running it in himself from five yards out- bringing the score to 24 – 18 in favor of Team Dawg.
Team Dawg took over looking to put the game away with only a few minutes left on the clock- but Team Anthony played hard and forced the turnover on downs with only a minute left on the clock. “I was really proud of how my team played at the end, they showed a lot of heart- and it gave us a chance at the end,” said Anthony. But it wasn’t to be as “The Natural” got his fingers on the final pass of the game, and “Swiss Mike” couldn’t corale it. “Mike played great defense all day, but his inexperience on offense really hurt them,” said “The Natural” after the game.
All in all it was a huge win for Team Dawg- even though they came into this years game as favorites again. They got over the hump- pulled by the horse that was “The Natural”. “This is only the beginning”, said Anthony, “I am going to shed this weight and go back to shutting him down next year.”