Select a Super Bowl
FINAL 1 2 3 4
Cowboys 4 0 17 0
Stripling Warriors 0 66 2 25
PLAYED AT: Capitol Hill
WINNER: Stripling Warriors
MVP: Jordy Nelson
Super Bowl XXII features a childhood playtime theme of Cowboys and Indians as the Cinderella Cowboys face off against the Stripling Warriors.

The Warriors survived the ultra competitive AFC, finishing the season as the number 1 seed with a 9-4 record. Though they finished on top, they were very close to missing the play-offs all together. The Warriors had a chance to clinch a play-off spot two weeks prior to the end of the season by winning one of two against conference rivals, the Belching Betty's and the Jokers. Unable to win either dropped them from first in the AFC to third with the Ruff Riders 1 game out. To make matters worse, the Warriors conference record was 2-3 while the Belching Betty's (4-1), Jokers (4-2) and Ruff Riders (4-1) all had far better conference records working on their behalf. Going into the last week of the season, the Warriors needed a win to make the play-offs but whether they finished as the top seed or a wild card depended on what happened to the other three teams. The games were played and the Warriors prevailed over the Econs, the Betty's lost to the Ruff Riders and the Jokers lost to the Acey Birds. The results placed the Warriors back at the top, dropped the Betty's to number two, the Ruff Riders rose to number three and the Warriors nemesis, the Jokers, fell out of the play-offs.

Following the first round bye, the Warriors faced off against the Ruff Riders. In only their third year in the league, the Ruff Riders made it to the Conference Championship game by shutting out QB Drew Brees and the Betty's. Having lost to the Ruff Riders back in week 3, the Warriors had a chance to make right what went wrong earlier in the season. The Warriors big three, Philip Rivers, Ezekiel Elliot, and Jordy Nelson did enough offensively to keep the Warriors ahead of the Ruff Riders and their star running back Davanta Freeman. Freeman's 139 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns earned Player of the Week honors but fell short of the win. The Warriors defense came up big when it mattered most, forcing Freeman to fumble on the one yard line and creating two WR Davante Adams drops in the end zone to preserve the victory and send the Warriors to their 11th Super Bowl appearance, most in league history.

The Cowboys were in 6th place of seven teams in the NFC with two weeks left in the season. The chances of making the play-offs didn't look good. They had a few things working in their favor though. Tom Brady as their QB always gave them a chance, rookie RB Jordan Howard was an emerging star, and in week 5, free agent WR Tyreek Hill joined the team and was put to work in the running, passing and return game. The last and possibly most important thing working in their favor was, despite finding themselves in 6th place, they were only one game out from the third and final play-off spot. Those four advantages played out perfectly in the last two weeks of the season. The Cowboys won both games, catapulting them into the play-offs.

As the third seed in the NFC, the Cowboys needed to find their inner road warrior. Facing the last two teams they lost to, the Road Runners and the Advanced Darkness, in hostile environments wasn't going to be easy. The Cowboys avenged their week 10 loss to the Road Runners, dispatching them 92-43 behind Tom Brady's 406 yards passing, 3 touchdowns and Tyreek Hill's 2 touchdowns, one receiving and one 78 yard punt return.

In the NFC title game, the Cowboys were facing the best team in the league, the Advanced Darkness. Having lost only two games all year and currently on a six game winning streak, the Darkness were heavy favorites. With the young talent and veteran leadership, the Cowboys were brimming with confidence which carried over to their game play. With solid performances from RB Jordan Howard, WR Alshon Jeffery, WR Tyreek Hill and TE Zach Ertz, the Cowboys were able to put enough points on the board to take the lead. Keeping the lead was left to the Cowboys defense. Incredibly, they only allowed one WR Odell Beckham Jr. touchdown, shutting out QB Aaron Rodgers, RB Le'Veon Bell, RB DeMarco Murray, WR Julio Jones, and WR Golden Tate. On the backs of the defense, the 6-7 Cowboys beat the 11-2 Advanced Darkness 64-56, pulling off one of the biggest play-off upsets in league history and sending the Cowboys to their first Super Bowl birth.

The two teams met in week nine with the Warriors winning on the road 75-34 behind solid performances from QB Philip Rivers (275 yds, 2 td's), RB Ezekial Elliot (18 car, 92 yds, 2 td's), and WR Jordy Nelson (7 rec, 94 yds, 1 td). The Cowboys were without QB Tom Brady and RB Jordan Howard in that game so the results could be very different this time around.

With the Cowboys riding a four game winning streak and all the confidence in the world having knocked off the Advanced Darkness in the NFC Championship game, the underdog Cowboys look to finish this improbable run with the Super Bowl trophy in hand. The Warriors big three however, plan to stay hot and finish with a league record seventh Super Bowl victory. Time to get to the game and find out what happened.

The Game
The first quarter was a defensive battle. The Cowboys stymied the Warriors offense, shutting them out in the first quarter and taking a 4-0 lead into the second.

During a TV timeout, prior to the start of the second quarter, QB Philip Rivers gathered the team together and pointed to the big "0" next to the Warriors name on the scoreboard. With all the energy and passion that only Rivers can display, said something that resonated with his teammates. When the Warriors walked onto the field to start the second quarter they looked renewed and laser focused. The Cowboys had no chance.

The first play from scrimmage QB Philip Rivers hit WR Jordy Nelson down the left sideline for a 48-yard catch and run. On the next play Rivers threw a 10-yard pass up the seam to Nelson, who found a soft spot in the zone, then made CB Tavon Young miss on a tackle before lunging forward to get the ball into the end zone. The Warriors now had the lead and never looked back.

Now it was the defenses turn. Each time Tom Brady went back to pass the Warriors broke through the line and sacked him for a loss. Three sacks and a punt put the ball back in the hands of the Warriors.

The Warriors offense took the field and once again Rivers moved the ball quickly and efficiently, hitting WR Larry Fitzgerald, WR Jordy Nelson, WR Tyrell Williams, WR Demaryius Thomas, then Tyrell one more time for the 1-yard score. Before the Cowboys knew it, the Warriors were on the board again. Rivers spreading the ball around left the Cowboys defense chasing their tails.

Inspired by the continued success of the offense, the Warriors defense came out jacked and sacked Brady three times in a row to force a punt for the second straight series.

More of the same continued for the rest of the quarter. Jordy Nelson made it easy for Rivers. He was catching everything thrown his way. At the end of the first half the Warriors were up 66-4.

The Cowboys received the kick to start the second half returning it to the 30-yard line. The very next play Brady handed the ball to Tyreek Hill who bounced it to the left. The blocking was spot on opening a hole down the sideline for Tyreek to take it 70 yards to the house. The Cowboys sideline was blowing up. Could they turn this thing around? Was this the spark they needed to shift the momentum? For the rest of the third quarter it appeared it might. At the end of the quarter the Warriors were still ahead 68-21 but the Cowboys were on the move.

Having scored only 2 points in the third quarter the Warriors put the ball in the hands of first-year RB sensation Ezekial Elliot, to salt the game away. On the third series and 4th play, the Cowboys came with a blitz. Rivers handed the ball to Zeke who took it up the middle then cut back to his right. The corner over ran it allowing Zeke a clear path through the line. With only a safety in pursuit, Elliot neared the goal line. The safety dove to make the tackle at the same time Zeke dove into the end zone for a 55-yard touchdown run! The rookie and HFFL's leading rusher celebrated the touchdown by jumping into a giant Salvation Army kettle behind the end zone, disappearing then popping back up like a jack-in-the-box. His little celebration sparked a huge increase in Salvation Army donations including a rather large donation from Zeke himself. Thanks Zeke!

The Cowboys tried to counter but the Warriors defense went on another sack attack. LB Denzel Perryman, rookie DE Joey Bosa and DT Damion Square sacked Brady on successive downs forcing another Cowboys punt.

With the Warriors up 79-21, coach Helaman handed the ball to QB Russell Wilson. Philip Rivers was done for the night having put up 322 yards passing, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception and 1 fiery speech at the beginning of the second quarter, down 4-0, that sparked a 66-point outburst before the end of the half.

Looked like the Warriors were all about running the clock out with Wilson in the game.

First play from scrimmage Wilson dropped back to pass. The Cowboys defense pressured Wilson who scrambled looking for an open man. Unable to find one, Wilson ran out of bounds for a 10-yard loss.

The Warriors were not shutting it down until the game was over. Wilson took the next snap and hit Larry Fitzgerald for 15 yards on a slant over the middle followed by Jordy Nelson down the left sideline for another 10 yards, keeping the drive alive. The very next play Wilson dropped back, spotted Jordy open on the left once again and let it fly. Jordy came down with it before being pushed out at the 9-yard line for a 33-yard gain. With first and goal Wilson handed the ball to Zeke who battle rammed it up the middle for 7 more yards. On the ensuing play, Wilson dropped back looking for an open man. The Cowboys coverage was good forcing Wilson to scramble buying time before firing a rocket Jordy's way in the back right side of the end zone for another score. The Warriors were now up 86-21 with no signs of slowing down.

The Warriors defense continued to insure there would be no comeback. The Cowboys went four-and-out with the Warriors taking over on downs. With a short field it became the Ezekial Elliot show. First down, Elliot took the ball up the gut for 8 yards. Second down, Wilson dropped back, waited for the pressure, then dropped a short screen pass to Zeke. It looked like he would be tackled at the line-of-scrimmage but no; he eluded tacklers, taking it 11 yards before being pushed out at the 1-yard line. Once more, Zeke was given the ball. He ran directly at the line before bouncing it to the right toward the sideline. The blocking was great, allowing Zeke to run untouched for his second touchdown of the game.

The next 6 min. of the game were a formality. Neither team did much. When the clock hit 00:00, the scoreboard read Warriors 93, Cowboys 21. After losing in the AFC Championship the previous two years to the Jokers, the Warriors made it back to the top, extending their league record of Super Bowl wins to seven.

WR Jordy Nelson was named Super Bowl XXII MVP, finishing with 9 receptions for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns. "What an opportunity it is to play this game and to get to the Super Bowl," Nelson said. "I'm thankful I was able to help our team win the most important game of the year." "Jordy deserves this in everyway," RIvers said. "He's been such an addition to our team. A great example of hard work and always giving your best."

Speaking of QB Philip Rivers, he now joins QB Peyton Manning, as one of only two QB's to lead their team to 4 Super Bowl victories. He also becomes the first to win 5 Super Bowl rings, winning his first in Super Bowl XII as the back up to QB Carson Palmer. He even threw a touchdown in that game, a 7-yarder to WR Terrell Owens.

After the game, HFFL Network sideline reporter extrordonaire, Ed Werder asked QB Philip Rivers what he said before the start of the second quarter that seemed to ignite the Warriors scoring fest. "I reminded them how close we were to completely missing the play-offs," Rivers said. "How hard we fought all year to win despite the rash of injuries to key players (RB's Jamaal Charles, C.J. Anderson, WR's A.J. Green, Keenan Allen and TE Jordan Reed) that could have stopped us cold. We never gave up when faced with adversity so let's not start now! Ed, we were overthinking things in the first quarter. We were too tight, needed to loosen up, relax and simplify the moment. Last thing I said was 'let's go out there and have as good a time as we did in the backyard when we were all five-years-old.'"

Well, there you go folks. What began as a childhood playtime theme, Cowboys and Indians match-up, ended with the Warriors claiming victory on the backs of a bunch of five-year-olds.
Super Bowl XXII
Week 16
Pos. Player Pts.
QB Tom Brady 0
RB Isaiah Crowell 0
RB/WR Jordan Howard 0
RB/WR Alshon Jeffery 0
WR/TE Tyreek Hill 13
WR/TE Zach Ertz 4
K Roberto Aguayo 0
Def. Baltimore 4
Pos. Player Pts.
QB Philip Rivers 16
RB Ezekiel Elliot 19
RB/WR Jordy Nelson 24
RB/WR Demaryius Thomas 2
WR/TE Larry Fitzgerald 3
WR/TE Tyrell Williams 11
K Dan Bailey 6
Def. San Diego 12