CROCFINS (AND NUFFLE) TOP MASKED VICTIMS 3-2
The Miswampi Crocfins recovered from their disastrous opening match
with a surprising 3-2 victory over the Masked Victims, who apparently offended Nuffle by desecrating four skulls shortly before the match. In a game that featured multiple onside kicks and sauruses and skinks surprisingly taking down attacking mummies and ghouls, even when apparently overpowered, a Crocfin team so depleted it started four journeymen did just enough to hold on to the win, as the Masked victims rallied from a two score deficit to nearly force a late tie.
“I was really just hoping the reptiles would all survive this one with all their heads and limbs intact, so seeing them perform like that was downright inspiring,” said Crocfin Coach Mickon McDandy, who was curiously dressed in knickers and a jerkin decorated with bright tropical flowers as well as a pair of orange plant-based boots he called ‘Crocs.’ “What? Why are you looking at me like that? Hey, I just came from a saurus funeral before the match, and apparently this is the proper attire. It was rough paying my respects Van Crinkle (the Crocfin saurus who died in the opening seconds of his first match last week). He left behind a wife with 114 eggs to hatch. My heart goes out his family—or is ‘lounge’ the right term?”
The Crocfins’ first score came in the opening minutes when, shortly after they kicked off, Masked Victim mummy Serenity Pirouetta tripped over a loose leg bandage as she attacked Crocfin saurus Orlandy Ribberts. As both Pirouetta and Ribberts went down in a pile of blood and bandages (in a pirouette of all things), the shocked Masked Victim squad stared in disbelief. Speedy Crocfin skink Micky Gesticky took advantage of the distraction and quickly scooped up ball deep in Masked Victim territory.
Gesticky wasn’t speedy enough, however, to outrun ghoul runner Ivy Alixa, who blitzed the exposed skink with blood in her eyes, and all over her teeth and the rest of her as well. Shockingly, both went down. Lowering a spiked shoulder into the tiny skink’s ribs, Alixa seemed caught off guard by the total lack of resistance and tumbled headlong into the bloody grass as if she’d just tackled a pile of empty armour. When the dust cleared, Gesticky rolled over, found the ball beneath him, and quickly gathered it to make the run to the endzone and put the Crocfins up 1-0.
Alixa charges at a terrified Gesticky, who closes his eyes and prays to Essylliss
“Me get so scared when me see dead ghouly girl running at me, so me just close me eyes,” said Gesticky after the game. “Then when me open me eyes, ghouly girl is snoozing on grass, and ball right there. Me still so scared of ghouly girl so me just grab ball and run away. Good thingy away was toward the endzone, because after five steps me hear crowd cheering, and me realize me score touchdown!”
On the ensuing kickoff, the Crocfins tried to surprise the Masked Victims with an onside kick, blitzing up the field while the ball was still in the air. The maneuver allowed two skink journeymen to get near the ball, which paid off when Pirouetta’s leg swathing again came undone as she once again targeted Ribberts, sending both to the pitch in a tangled mess.
As Masked Victim coach, Jingus the 21st, threw up his hands on the sidelines, muttering some arcane necromancer’s lore about ‘quad skulls,’ journeyman skink Ian Silentstone clumsily bobbled the ball off his snout and then into his hands. After a couple of well-placed blocks and a slithery between-the-legs skink dodge, he ran across the goal line for the Crocfins’ second score.
Down 2-0, the Masked Victims struck quickly before the end of the first half to get on the board with a deftly blocked touchdown run by ghoul runner Remington Almude. Almude broke into the open deep in Crocfin territory after some powerful blocking from the Masked Victims mummies. Despite a desperate blitz from skink journeyman Julius Fastsnake that took Alumde down and left the ball on the edge of the sidelines, Almude quickly sprang back up to his decaying feet, snatched the ball up and sprinted across the goal line.
The Crocfins got some breathing room in the second half as Treek Trill raced for an early TD after grabbing the kickoff and running behind—and then quickly in front of—his blockers. Blazing up the field, he left undead defenders and many of his own teammates stumbling far behind him as he executed a back flip into the end zone.
Trill leaves defenders far behind as he backflips into the endzone
“They call me the ‘Swamp Cheetah,’!” said Trill, breaking into a wide, slimy smile after the game. “Me fastest skink in the realm. Tell any elfy or ratty-man come race me. I’ll show you!”
Down 3-1 midway through the second half, the Masked Victims made some desperate, but expertly executed, moves to draw with in one in the closing minutes. Almude again moved into Crocfin territory along the sidelines, but this time the Crocfins had him closed in. In a dazzling display of dexterity, however, Almude tapped into some ancient elfin blood, dodging through a pair of skinks, spinning past another two, and then sprinting across the goal line.
Almude looks to be surrounded before making a dazzling multiple-dodge sprint over the goal line
After the match it was confirmed that Almude did, in fact, have elf blood in him. However, it was not in his lineage, but rather some elf blood he drank before the match having ravaged an elven tribe a few miles from the Crocfins’ HardCroc stadium. League officials are currently looking into whether consuming elf blood should be considered a performance-enhancing drug, but made no official comment on the issue.
Jingus the 21st, on the other hand, thought the score might have had more to do with some half-time adjustments to appease Nuffle. “Look, after that kind of a start, I made a few mage-cast calls at half time, asked some necromancer friends to offer four virgin skulls to the temple of Nuffle to replace the desecrated ones,” he said after the match. “And I think that turned the tide, but just a little too late.”
While sentinels in the village bordering Miswampi are still searching for four missing maidens, those skulls of atonement seemed to pay off again in the following kickoff when the Masked Victims blitzed up the field for their own onside kick, giving themselves a chance to scoop up the ball for a last-minute equalizer. Unfortunately for undead fans, Crocfins journeyman skink Ian Silentstone was able to dive on the ball, amid a cage of skinks and sauruses, running out the clock for the victory.
“I’m darn proud of these slimy, scaly fellas,” said McDandy. “They played their reptile hearts out for their fallen teammate today. They told me they wanted to dedicate this win to Van Crinkle and his family. Or, actually, just before the me and my heavily armed assistant coaches got them back in their cages, they said they wanted to celebrate by feeding me and my loved-ones to Mrs. Van Crinkle so she could regurgitate us for her offspring. But in lizardman culture being fed to a mother and her brood is the highest form of compliment and celebration. So here’s to a great first win!”