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14.05.2010 Bogazici Sultans
Stalemate along Bosphorus: Boğaziçi Sultans and Čačak Angel Warri
Don't let the title get to You if you are a fan of hard-fought football decided by inches. Both teams kept looking for a break-through all afternoon. Despite the effort they have put in the game, the trick-plays they have tried, and the long field goal attempt on the very last play neither team managed to add points on the board to shake the balance.
When the visiting Angel Warriors kicked off the game on a sunny Istanbul afternoon the setting in the Uçaksavar field was awesome with an enthusiastic crowd. Hooligans, the Sultans fan-group as they call themselves, provided the audio effects as the Angel Warrior Cheer-leading squad did the same for your visuals.
Angel Warriors started their first offensive drive of the game from Boğaziçi 45. With a combination of run and pass plays they managed to move the ball to Sultans 7 yard line in 5 plays. An illegal formation call moved them back but they answered with a solid 12 yard run for the first score of the game and after the failed PAT attempt the scoreboard of the Uçaksavar field read 6-0.
After a couple of series, with consecutive runs of RB Kivanc in 4 plays the Sultans were on their opponent's 7 yard line at the end of the 1st quarter. The officials put the ball on Čačak 2 yard line following a defensive offside and WR Anil (#8), lined up under the center, took it to the house. After the failed 2pt attempt the scoreboard had its ultimate shape for the day: 6-6.
The second half was a battle in the trenches. Angel Warriors were hardly moving the ball, Čačak offense was limited to a total of 3 first downs and 52 total yards by the Sultans defense on their 5 second-half drives.
4th quarter witnessed another long Boğaziçi drive eating up most of the clock. After 29 yards of rushing and 2 first downs Sultans QB was sacked by a blitzing outside linebacker for a loss of 10 yards which created a 3rd and 12. The young QB managed to find WR Anıl (#8) open on the sidelines for the first down. When the Sultans handed the ball off to their RB Kıvanç on the next down, he gained 7 yards for his team moving the ball inside Čačak 30. The next time he touched the ball, he was not that fortunate as he was hit hard by the Čačak defense to fumble the ball.
Čačak offense had their last opportunity for the day with less than a minute remaining on the clock. They failed to produce anything and they did not use the option to punt either giving the ball back to Sultans at their own 30 yard line with 17 seconds left in the game.
Final two plays of the day paced the heart-beats of the audience. First Sultans faked a WR reverse and passed the ball. WR Berkuk Kankuş (#46) was wide open down the field, but the pass fell well short of that.
With no time left on the clock, Sultans sent their strong footed kicker Fatih onto the field. As he approached the ball, everything seemed like a textbook example. A good long-snap and a perfect holder created a dramatic field-goal attempt. As the ball gained altitude it seemed like it was going to be long enough, but when the ball came down, it went off target and rookie kicker missed it by a couple of centimeters wide left.