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FCF's Daryl Virgies


A few weeks ago, it felt like the matchup between the Beasts and Zappers was an eventual championship preview for the first season of Fan Controlled Football, which has a distribution partnership with VENN. The Beasts had the best record in the league and were adding former Seahawks running back Robert Turbin, while the Zappers had added former Pro Bowl wide receiver Josh Gordon to pair with quarterback Johnny Manziel. And yet, because FCF is anything but predictable, Saturday night’s games turned out to be the opposite of what was expected.

With the best regular-season record, the Beasts were able to pick their own opponent for Saturday’s round of the FCF playoffs. Beasts fans voted on and picked the Glacier Boyz as the opponent, assuming they would be the easiest team to beat and move on to The People’s Championship next weekend. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly work out that way.

Beasts quarterback Quinton Flowers, likely the MVP of the regular season, looked off in the game after dealing with a leg injury in the second half of last week’s contest. As a result, the Beasts’ offense never really got off the ground.

Robert Turbin finally suited up for the Beasts and carried three defenders into the endzone for an early touchdown. He later dropped an easy pass, leading to his former teammate Richard Sherman saying on the broadcast that Turbin’s poor hands were always the running back’s biggest weakness.

The star of the game was former Florida State star quarterback Deonde Francois. It was surprising to see him as the Glacier Boyz’ starting quarterback, taking the spot from Davis Pindell, but he rewarded that faith from the coaching staff with four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. The Beasts were unable to stop him, as he had an answer for every score from opposite squad and then some.

Down 30-20 late in the 2nd half, the Beasts had one last chance to get back in the game with their offense, which made it a very unfortunate time for the FCF play-calling system to face technical difficulties. Beast fans were unable to call plays and watched helplessly as Quinton Flowers threw an interception that sealed the Glacier Boyz’ victory.

Final Score: Glacier Boyz 38, Beasts 20

In the second match-up of the day, Johnny Manziel, finally back from his emergency dental surgery, got the start for the Zappers and sounded excited to be throwing passes to former Cleveland Browns teammate Josh Gordon. However, it only took one offensive series, which ended with Manziel walking away from his own fumble instead of trying to recover it, before Manziel was back to the sidelines in street clothes. It will likely be the last, and lasting, image of “Johnny Football” in the FCF.

The Wild Aces surprised everyone with their draft strategy last week, taking a defense and an offensive line with their first two picks, but it seemed to have paid off on Saturday. Their defense was the story in this one, as the Zappers struggled mightily to get anything going on offense.

The first three Zappers drives ended in turnovers (fumble, interception, interception), with one of those turnovers being returned for a touchdown by the Wild Aces. The Aces carried a 16-0 score into halftime, and stretched it to 24-0 with a dominant offensive series to start the 2nd half where they didn’t even need to pass the ball once to get into the end zone.

Perhaps the most impressive display of dominance was the Aces’ defense standing up to the Zappers offense despite being down a man, a result of the Power Play power-up being used by the Zappers.

In fact, it wasn’t until Josh Gordon grabbed a Logan Marchi pass in the end zone in the final minutes of this game, when it was all but over, that the Zappers got on the board at all. This game could have easily been a shutout in addition to being a blowout win for the Wild Aces.

Final Score: Wild Aces 32, Zappers 6

Fan Controlled Football’s People’s Championship next week will be devoid of much of the league’s starpower, which had been accumulated on the rosters of the Beasts and the Zappers. However, it will seemingly be a matchup of the two best teams in the league, both of whom have figured out a strong balance between offense and defense.

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Fan Controlled Football/Getty Images
DULUTH, GEORGIA – MARCH 13: Daryl Virgies #39 of the Wild Aces runs for a touchdown against the Zappers during the second half of a Fan Controlled Football game at Infinite Energy Arena on March 13, 2021 in Duluth, Georgia.