GILDVALE GRIFFINS BATTLE TO HARD-FOUGHT 1-1 TIE WITH THE FLYING SAUCES
The Gildvale Griffins
managed to squeak out a 1-1 stalemate vs. the Flying Sauces
halfling squad in a surprisingly bloody match that left four Griffins seriously injured and confusedly muttering, “I thought the wee lass just wanted a pat on the head” as they were carted off the pitch. The ‘wee lass’ they were referring to was the halfling catcher Rosie, who seemed more interested in attacking prone players than catching anything, knocking out two Griffins and seriously injuring a third with vicious kicks and stomps as they lay stunned on the pitch.
“We had employed one of the taller goblin refs for the match, so I guess he just couldn’t see her,” said Griffins coach Daeron Beanbreaker after the game. “Heck, I didn’t even see her most of the first half, just saw these explosions of blood spattering out from my downed men, and wondered what in blazes was going on. Then at halftime, I saw this cute little pig-tailed half-maiden on their sidelines with blood all over her boots, and I thought, well I’ll be stewed and pickled!”
The Flying Sauces got on the board first with a long, well-blocked touchdown run by the Sauces halfling hefty Heastean, who racked up 33 rushing yards on the day. The score was made more remarkable by the fact that both of the Sauces treemen rooted themselves to the pitch early in the half, leaving the halflings to do most of the blocking.
“I definitely think the pitch may have been illegally watered before the match,” said Flying Sauces Coach Halfabrain. “Because we made sure Arnold and Betty were well hydrated before the opening kick-off, and then, next thing I know, they’re rooting into the mud, guzzling like a couple of parched saplings.”
Despite being rooted, Arnold managed to pull off one of the matches highlights when the Altern Forest treeman executed a chain-block-ogre crowd-surf. Slamming a sturdy branch into Willden Proudhand’s shoulder, Arnold knocked the Griffins lineman into Gorak Stoneblood, who tumbled into the crowd, surviving the ensuing stomping from the raucous fans, and removing two arms from a local black smith before returning to the match.
With two treemen rooted and the Griffins closing in, Heastean looks to be in trouble, but moments later he was scampering into the end zone to put the Flying Sauces up 1-0
The Griffins evened the score in the second half when noble blitzer Mace Bruisenbower reversed field in a well-executed 22-yard bootleg to race to the endzone as halflings dove at his heels. Despite finding plenty of green grass ahead of him when Bruisenbower cut from the right sideline clear across field toward the left, he was chased down by three Sauces halflings, who caught up to him just yards from the goal line. Griffin lineman Manderly Honorborn lowered a shoulder into one, giving Bruisenbower room to spin away from the other two and score the first Gildvale Griffin touchdown in franchise history.
“Huzzah for the Griffins!” said Bruisenbower in a postgame interview. “I’m proud to know my name will go down in Griffins lore for all days to come. But could you ask the scribes perhaps to leave out the fact that this touchdown came against a team whose players stood about as tall as my shin?”
Bruisenbower looked to be in the clear after reversing field (first image), but the Sauces quickly closed in (second image), forcing an Honorborn block and a nifty spin move from Bruisenbower to get the Griffins on the scoreboard
The Flying Sauces threatened to pull out a last-second victory as Heastean broke into the clear late in the second half. Gildvale lineman Ashton Hightower, however, made a game-saving blitz, juking away from one halfling to get close enough to dive at Heastean. Unfortunately, he misjudged Heastean’s height and dove over the little hefty. Fortunately, he landed on him. Unfortunately the spike on Heastean’s helmet (or, more precisely, the dinner knife tied to Heastean’s helmet) opened a long gash in Hightower’s belly. Fortunately, Heastean dropped the ball as Hightower’s bloody body crashed down on him.
The Flying Sauces had one last shot to score before the final whistle, but as halfling catcher Flore stooped down to scoop up the ball, she slipped in Hightower’s blood, and crashed to the pitch as the match ended in a tie.
“I meant to bleed right there,” said Hightower after the match. “I want credit for that tackle as well. As a lordly retired knight of the proud Gildvale realm, I know how to aim my blood, and it was no accident that she fell while trying to get the ball. So credit where credit is due, thank you very much.”
Asked how he could claim the tie was a ‘moral victory’ after the game, Coach Beanbreaker got prickly with the scribes and reasserted that he was proud of his team.
“Proud? What in blazes are you getting at? You can be sure I’m proud of the bold effort my men displayed out there on the field,” he said. “Were the other players all less than half our size? Yes. Were they slower than us? Yes. Did their treemen take root three times during the match? Yes. Were half of them maidens? Yes. Were they armored mostly in cookware? Yes. But … but … Beg pardon, where was I going with this? Next question, please.”