The championship is set. Army rolled Cornell to advance to its second straight championship game. With the regular season over, some teams finished strong, while others faded hard.
Cornell vs Army
A chance to dethrone a defending champion was not enough to inspire a Cornell team that for lack of a better word, got dominated. On offense, Cornell mustered a measly 37 total yards and zero points after allowing 13 TFL's to a hungry front seven. On defense, several big plays did little to keep Army from putting up 51 points. Keegan West was the safest man in sprint football, not getting sacked a single time. With tons of time, he carved up the secondary for 308 yards and three touchdowns. His backup, Ryan Sullivan, did very well in mop-up duty, adding 97 yards through the air and one touchdown.
On the ground, it was a group effort for Army. Seven ball carriers combined for 128 yards by the time the final horn blew. The two defensive stars of the game were Navonte Dean and Alfonso Nazzaro. Dean capped off a dominant season with a two sack performance, forcing one fumble. For Cornell, Nazzaro finished a great career with a defiant, 19-tackle performance, forcing one fumble. Besides Nazzaro's effort, the one other bright spot for Cornell was Peter Sanchez. Great special teams play, a blocked punt, and an interception made for a great showing by the defensive back.
Mansfield vs STAC
The inaugural season for the St. Thomas Aquinas Spartans ended with a 33-12 loss to the streaking Mansfield Mounties. After starting the season winless through three games, Mansfield rallied, coming together to win four straight games. The Mounty offense capped off a productive season with Colby Alpaugh and Jayden Walker did the heavy lifting in the ground game, accounting for 133 of 198 team rushing yards on the day. Adam Hutchinson put together his best game of the year. Throwing for 193 yards and four touchdowns in addition to running one in, he was the Mansfield offense.
On defense, Mansfield played inspired football. STAC quarterback Luke Sullivan has been solid all year, but was kept in check, tossing just one touchdown on 200 yards passing. Being sacked four times thanks to Chase Moser and Kashef Spratley and knocked down an additional five times, it was a rough day at the office for the STAC offensive line. With a great finish to the season, Mansfield is 4-3.
Navy vs. Post
Having already clinched the CSFL South division, Navy went into their final regular season with a slightly relaxed mindset. After scoring 24 points to start off the game, Navy’s relaxed mindset was still too much for Post to handle, including two 65+ yard touchdowns from Navy. Braydan Chmiel led the Navy offense as efficiently as possible, averaging 8.6 yards per play as an offense. Chmiel completed 7 of 11 passes for 124 yards, 2 touchdowns, and had the slight blemish of 1 interception to cap off an otherwise stellar performance. Caleb Champion led the running game with 105 yards on 11 attempts with 1 touchdown. The Midshipmen put up 421 yards while holding Post to just 250 total yards from scrimmage. Post managed to score once, but still fell 38-7 by the final whistle and really struggled to even make it in the red zone throughout the game. Quarterback Buddy Enriquez of Post had one effective drive, marching his team 78 yards down the field in the 3rd quarter for a touchdown, but otherwise could not break Navy. Defensively, Navy proved they are ready for their matchup against Army in the upcoming CSFL Championship game. Gavin O’Donnel had 2.5 of Navy’s 3 sacks in addition to 8 tackles. Post finishes the season with a 1-6 overall record and a second-to-last-place finish in the CSFL North. Next week’s championship will be an exciting game, especially after how close Army and Navy’s match up earlier this season finished (Army won 17-14).
Chestnut Hill Caldwell
Both the North and South divisions were already decided for by the time these two teams faced off, so it was a match up for bragging rights. Chestnut Hill had a chance to finish second in the CSFL South with a 3-1 in conference record (their only loss coming to first place Navy), while Caldwell sought a 1 in the win column and avoid a winless season. Senior running back Raevon Floyd-Bennett put up the first score of the game with a 65 yard punt return for Chestnut Hill. Floyd-Bennett finished the final game of his career with a unbelievable performance, rushing for 97 yards on 13 attempts with a 54 yard rushing touchdown as well. Both Chestnut Hill and Caldwell’s starting quarterbacks struggled passing, with Chestnut Hill’s Marino completing 7 of 16 passes for just 78 yards over 3 quarters of play and Caldwell’s Tajae’ Irby completing just 9 of 20 passes for 86 yards. Both team’s offenses were overshadowed by their defenses, who combined for 15 sacks total, 2 interceptions total, and 5 fumble recoveries total. Caldwell’s only touchdown was scored by running back Carl Watson, and ended up with an 0-7 season after falling 26-6 to Chestnut Hill. Despite a 4-3 overall record, Chestnut Hill wraps up their season with a second place finish in the CSFL South thanks to a 3-1 in conference record.