WORLD LEAGUE – There was only a single lead change in the Week 10 Premier Match, the weekly showcase match in the World League. The Mexico Aztecs took advantage of having players in the Thursday game to go up by a score of 35 points on the Jerusalem Cheeseheads, but once the Sunday games began, the Cheeseheads just kept methodically putting points on the board, taking over the lead in the first quarter of the afternoon games, and never looking back. Once they began playing from behind, the Aztecs started looking as if they had lost steam, while Jerusalem continued to extend the lead. Mexico attempted a late comeback on Monday Night Football, but in the end, they fell short, losing to Jerusalem, 62-90.
These two former World Champions have faced each other now 6 times in league history and it’s only the second time the Cheeseheads have come out on top. Now 4 games into a win-streak, Jerusalem advances to an impressive 7-3-0 record, but that does little more for them but keep pace in the Eastern Conference, with wins put up by the teams above and below them in the standings. The Aztec’s loss leaves them owning a 6-4-0 record which is still good enough to keep a two game lead on what’s turned out to be a much weaker Western Conference, but the longterm outlook for the Aztec’s is shakey after Thursday’s decision came down, upholding their star halfback’s six game suspension.
Elsewhere in the league, the Old England Patriots have captured a milestone they’ve been chasing all season, posting their historic 50th Win in franchise history, and doing it with an exclamation point, destroying the Defending Champion Dacusville Devils 109-60. The Patriots become just the 4th team in the Association to accomplish such a feat, winning the Association’s Gold Star Award, and doing it in 82 total games, including 4 playoff appearances over 5 seasons – 2 of them as either the #1 or #2 seed – and have scored 8,052.96 points in their World League career. Not only does England’s win mark such an important milestone, but it becomes incredibly important in the playoff race as it improves their record to 8-2-0 to tie for the top spot with just 3 weeks to go in the Regular Season.
The other big story to come out of the Eastern Conference in Week 10, is the upset loss of the league #1, the AF#14 Scandinavian Stars. Taking on the expansion Cali Rox, the Stars were the gambler’s favorites in this one, but after an exciting shootout that featured several lead changes all afternoon, Rox’s Cali franchise took control of the game with a 50 yard field goal – one of 4 field goals on the day – and never relinquished beating the Stars 84-69. Scandinavia is now 8-2-0, and still in the Eastern Conference #1 spot, but, thanks to England and their 50th win, only have about a 30 point lead on the Patriots for first overall.
With three weeks to go, the race for the all-important #1 seed and the first round bye that goes with it is going to come down to every point scored. That’s even more the case with Jerusalem’s win, putting them just 1 game back, and the London Falling are in the conversation as well, sitting just two games back with a 6-4-0 record after their Week 10 win, 116-84, over City of Champions. England must face the Cali team that upset Scandinavia next week, while the Stars get the Buenos Aires Blue Dogs and their 4 game losing streak and Jerusalem faces the last in league City of Champions. London will play New Orleans, who righted a 3 game dive in Week 10 with a win over Milan.
Mexico will fall to 6-4-0 now, but still in control of the Western Conference, and still with a 2 game lead after the Conference second and third place teams both lost in Week 10. Dacusville and Buenos Aires both go further below .500 with the losses, each team now at 4-6-0. Completing a 4 way standings tie, New Orleans and Cali both improve their records to 4-6-0. Incredibly, with 3 weeks of Regular Season play remaining, all 4 of these sub .500 teams are still in playoff contention, and even in the running of the Conference #1 seed and first round bye. In last place, however, City of Champion’s week 10 loss to London mathematically eliminates them from the 2017 playoffs.