Steve Luciano/Associated Press
Week 3 of Fan Controlled Football began with the news that Johnny Manziel would be unable to suit up for the Zappers and ended with his team earning its first victory of the season anyway.
Manziel was sidelined after undergoing emergency dental surgery, leading the Zappers to turn to backup quarterback Braden Smith, who delivered with a game-winning drive to defeat the Wild Aces, 34-30, as time expired.
Smith took the ball with five seconds remaining and the Wild Aces (1-2) leading by two, dropped back to his own 3-yard line and delivered a strike to wideout Travis Toivonen in the end zone for a walk-off touchdown.
Toivonen was hit with the franchise tag by the Zappers (1-2) earlier in the week in a move that immediately paid off. That the Zappers nearly blew a 22-8 halftime lead didn’t matter as much as the fact that they were able to rally back and avoid falling to 0-3 on the season.
Smith proved more than capable of leading the offense with Manziel injured and may have earned some snaps down the line as the Zappers continue to build out their franchise. Having two proven quarterbacks gives the team plenty of options moving ahead.
The win was just the first of two epic finishes Saturday as the Beasts improved to 3-0 and remain the only undefeated team in the league thanks to some late heroics by Quinn Porter. The tailback dove into the end zone with no time left on the clock to secure a 28-22 victory over the Glacier Boyz (1-2).
Just because there was no time remaining in regulation didn’t mean the two teams would let things calm down. They continued with trash talk on social media, riling up their fanbases even more.
Beasts star Quinton Flowers continues to look like the best quarterback in the league as he used both his arms and legs to disrupt the Glacier Boyz. Flowers found his recently franchise-tagged teammate, wideout Troy Evans, for an early touchdown that put the Beasts up 8-0 early, but it was one of the team’s Week 3 draft picks who proved to be one of the biggest difference-makers Saturday.
Wideout Christian Saulsberry was the No. 4 pick of the first round Wednesday, rejoining a Beasts team on which he tallied three catches last week for 29 yards and a touchdown. The selection proved a wise decision, as Saulsberry hauled in the game-tying touchdown with 33 seconds remaining.
With things knotted at 22 and the ball on the goal line, Flowers tossed the snap over to Porter to steal the win.
The Beasts are not only the team to beat in FCF—but also the only club to beat every other team in the league. One franchise has fan-controlled football figured out. The rest are working to catch up.