Minotto, Bajor, Ballance fuel eagles playoff win

With each squad holding (5-7) records, the Eagles and Chargers faced off in a JCC of Bayonne Indoor Flag Football Sr. Division playoff bout. The Chargers struck first as Kevin Aguilar hauled in a full court TD bomb for a 6-0 lead. Two plays later, the Eagles grabbed the lead at 8-6 with a TD pass to James Bajor and a two point strike to Anthony Minotto. Driving for another score, the Eagles fell prey to the Chargers secondary as CB Jalen Nash picked off a pass and returned it wire to wire for a TD making it 12-8, Chargers. With James Johnson and Brandon Kobryn splitting time at QB, the Chargers cashed in again as Kevin Aguilar notched his second long distance TD grab while Johnson’s 2 point scamper put the Chargers up 20-8. Leading by 12, the Chargers were poised to stretch their lead until the Eagles’ Anthony Minotto ball hawked a key interception to foil the Chargers drive. Using a three man rotation at QB, Erik Solis, Chris Ballance, and Ryan Ballance fueled the Eagles up court to set up James Bajor’s second TD catch making it 20-14, Chargers. With just under five minutes remaining, the Chargers stretched their advantage to 28-14 as Jaden Subacz reeled in a coast to coast TD dart and James Johnson latched on to a two point toss. Staying patient, the Eagles worked the ball into Chargers’ territory with quick strikes to Jacob Kowal and Ryan Ballance before hitting paydirt with a TD pass to Anthony Minotto and a two point catch by James Bajor to cut the Chargers’ lead to 28-22. As the bout hit the two minute mark, the Chargers nearly landed the knockout blow but a sure TD connection fell just out of the reach of a wide open Kasper Hooks. With the ball back in their grip, the Eagles rallied to take a 30-28 lead as Ryan Ballance pulled in a TD and two point catch. With one last chance to regain the lead, the Chargers unleashed a desperation bomb to the endzone but their final volley ended up in the hands of the Eagles’ FS Anthony Minotto as the Eagles advanced to the Championship round with a hard fought 30-28 victory.

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