Hitmen 38 :: Venom 26

Anti-Venom discovered in the belly of the beast

After two back-to-back and unexpected losses to the Venom, Muskego would settle for nothing less than victory. On this cool summer's eve - Vengence would be had

  • 8 turnovers push the Hitmen to Victory

    The phrase, "One & Done" is often used to describe play-offs in the sport of football. Unlike other sports there is no seven game series or double elimination style tournament to determine a champion. Each game is a proverbial fight to the finish. To steal a line from the big screen - Two men enter, One man leaves. In the playoffs there is no re-meatch, there will be no next week. If you lose, you go home and watch everyone else play from the couch. The IFL is never short on drama, every game has something riding on it aside from the W/L. Muskego had lost a game against the Venom earlier in the year by a score of 13-12 - a game that many felt they let slip away taking not only the win from under the Hitmen, but taking their pride with it. On this given Sunday the stakes were even higher, as the winner would move on to the NFC Conference Championship while the loser would see their 2009 season end.  The Hitmen felt that they have had the talent to get the job done all season, but injuries and a lack of team cohesiveness had kept them from reaching their full potential.  It was now that they needed to realize that potential, or suffer another loss to the Venom and spend an off-season wondering what could have been.  The game started slow, with the Hitmen unable to get any momentum offensively.  The defense was able to force a couple of turnovers, but unable to shut down the big play of the Venom, as Milwaukee led after one quarter 6-0.  The Venom would tack on another score in the second quarter before QB Brent Staudt would hook up with Carmelo Velazquez in the corner of the endzone for the 17 yard TD pass.  After the extra point by Mike Georgalas, the Hitmen would ride the storm into halftime up 12 to 7 over the Venom. Down but not out, the Hitmen needed an inspired second half of football to win the game.  After a plea from the head coach  to come together as a team, running back #22 JoJo Moore addressed the team with an emotional and inspirational message.  JoJo had lost his mother to a long battle with cancer just days earlier.  He spoke to the team about although he knew that his mom was pain free and in a better place now, losing her reminded him to live today, and to make the most of every opportunity given to you each day.  He reminded the team that they had an opportunity to do something great in the second half of this game, and to leave everything out on the field and to play with no regrets.  It was a message the Hitmen needed to hear. Team Happens When you get old in life things get taken from you. That is a part of life. But you only realize that when you start losing stuff. You find out life is a game of inches. And so is the game of football. Because in either game, life or football, the margin for error is so small - one half of an inch too late or too early and you don't quite make it. One second too fast or too slow and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are all around us. They are in every break of the game every minute every second. On the Hitmen we fight for that inch.We tear everyone around us to peices for the inch. We claw with our fingernails for that inch. Because we know when we add up all of those inches that is going to mean the difference between winning and losing. Living and dying.In any fight it is the one who is willing to die who is getting that inch. Some of us are still willing to die for that inch - That's what living is! The six inches infront of your face. No one can make you want it. When you look around at the men around you, you might just find someone who will sacrafice himslef for this team because he knows you would do the same. That is the definition of a team. We all come together to as a team or die as individuals. That's football.       Destiny Awaits The Hitmen kicked to the Venom to begin the second half.  Bill Iwaskiewicz streaked down the field and, when the Venom failed to secure the ball, Bill jumped on it to give the Hitmen possession.  A few plays later, QB Andrew Janatis would hook up with WR Tyler Hunt for a 35 yard Touchdown strike. The second - 66 yards to Carmelo Velazquez, and the third - 25 yards to Kurt Bork.  The fourth and final touchdown of the quarter would be scored on defense, when  the one known as Numba 99  would scoop up a Venom fumble and rumble 10 yards into the endzone for the score becoming the oldest defensive linemen in IFL history to score a touchdown at 42 years old.  The 28 points the Hitmen put up in the 3rd quarter would be more points than they scored in a game all season.  They were truly playing inspired football.  The Hitmen defense continued to harass the Venom, forcing turnovers and taking them out of their game.  The Venom would score but only once in the 3rd quarter. With the lead in the 4th quarter, the Hitmen turned primarily to their ground game to suck life from the clock which was keeping the Venom's hope of a victory alive.  Their ability to run effectively despite the Venom playing primarily a "run defense" was a key to the success of the game.  The "tailback quartet" of Booker Stanley, JoJo Moore, Darell Ellison, and Steve Miick ran hard all night and combined for 150 yards on the ground.  The Venom were able to score one more touchdown in the 4th quarter to make the score 35-26.  However, the Hitmen answered back with a 25 yard FG by Georgalas, forcing the Venom to have to score 2 touchdowns with just minutes left on the clock and essentially preserving the victory.  The Hitmen would drive deep into Venom territory once again late in the game, but were content to run the clock out and walk away with a 38-26 victory and a date with the Madison Mustangs in the NFC Conference Championship. "I'm really proud of how the team responded in the second half of this game.  To see the guys feed off of each other's emotion and intensity was exactly what we needed as a team.  We've been waiting for this kind of output all season.  I'm glad it's coming now, as we will need all the momentum we can get going in to Madison next week."-Head Coach Jason Blawat The Venom are a tough team who always play the Hitmen hard.  It would take a total team effort to come away with the win, and the Hitmen got that from all 3 phases of the game.  Offensively, Hitmen quarterbacks Janatis and Staudt were a combined 13-25 for 225 yards and 4 touchdowns.  Even more importantly, neither threw an interception.  Velazquez led all receivers with 7 catches for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Stanley led all running backs with 12 carries for 73 yards and a 2 point conversion run.  Defensively, the Hitmen allowed several big plays to the Venom.  However, they made up for it forcing 7 turnovers.  Fumble recoveries by Tony Saglin and Raetz  along side interceptions by linebackers Corey Sticker & Jake Klipp. Of course, the defensive backs were not to be out done by the boys upfront. Following suit were defensive backs Anthony Evans,  Brandon Blawat, and Jackson Clerveaux with interceptions of their own were all  instrumental in giving the Hitmen offense more opportunities to put points on the board.  Perhaps the biggest boost to the Hitmen was the play of their Special Teams.  Led by Darrell Ellison, the players on Special Teams played with more heart and desire than they had all season, and it translated into points on the scoreboard.  Ellison was a one man wrecking crew on kick coverage, accounting for 4 tackles.  He was also the leading kick returner, with 3 returns for 90 yards - a 30 yard average per return.  Iwaskiewicz, in addition to recovering the opening half kick, punted well all night, putting the ball to the sidelines and keeping it out of the hands of Venom stand-out Solomon Cabell.  Kicker Mike Georgalas was 3-4 on PAT and 1-1 on FG and easily had his best game of the season.  Top to bottom, this was the best the Hitmen had played all year. The Hitmen will need to ride this wave of momentum into Madison, as they take on the defending Ironbowl Champion and undefeated Mustangs in the NFC Conference Championship.  It as been two years since the Mustangs lost a game, but their last loss came at the hands of the Hitmen in the 2007 NFC Conference Championship.  The Hitmen will look to conjure up a bit of that magic as they play for a chance to go to Ironbowl XIII.

    Hitwarrior2008 on: 28 Aug 2009
    Hey alright. We made it to the conference championship. Too bad though we have to face Madison...oh who cares I still love you guys. You guys are my favorite team no matter how bad they blow us out.

    quick stats

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    Hustle Player

    Darrell had a big game for the Hitmen in the win over the Venom. He had 4 solo tackles on special teams, and had 3 kick returns for 90 yards - a 30 yard average. True to the name of this award, it was Darrell's Hustle and Intensity on the field and on the sidelines that helped give the Hitmen the spark they needed to come away with the victory. Darrell was literally, the Hustle player of the week!