They laughed at the strategy, but Nathaniel shook off the doubters. On the day of the draft, Nathaniel mourned his lack of preparation, so he proceeded to stick to his comfort zone. He loaded his offense with a stockpile of absurd SEC talent, drafted nine players out of the SEC East, subsequently dubbing his team the “SEC East all-stars”. Nathaniel was given the lowest odds of our three podcast personalities to win the title, but it didn’t matter.
After a 7-1 regular season, Nathaniel took a bye to the championship round, at which point he rolled over Cal, the preseason favorites, in a two-game sweep to claim the title. Here’s a recap of the championship round:
Nathaniel 55 Cal 33 (Box Score, and Play-by-Play)
Playing at home to start the series, Nathaniel actually struggled to start, falling behind by two possessions, 16-7, late in the second quarter. But in the final five minutes of the half, Nathaniel outscored Cal 24-0 to seize control. LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Hillaire broke off touchdown runs of 46 and 34 yards, sandwiched around a field goal, to take a 24-16 lead. Then, Nathaniel got some help from his Georgia defense, which intercepted Trevor Lawrence with three seconds left. Joe Burrow took a shot at the end zone and connected with DeVontae Smith for a touchdown.
Nathaniel iced the game in the third quarter as Edwards-Hillaire continued to torch Cal’s Ohio State defense, rushing for 28 and 66-yard TDs. Another Burrow-Smith connection made it a 21-point quarter and a 52-19 lead. Two late touchdowns for Cal did little to ease the brutal loss. Edwards-Hillaire rushed for four touchdowns and 213 yards, Burrow threw for 354 yards and three scores, while Lawrence threw for 348 yards in the loss.
It was deja vu early for Cal, as he watched Clyde Edwards-Hillaire take a screen pass from Burrow 73 yards to the house en route to an early 13-0 deficit. However, playing in his home stadium – the “Big House” in Michigan – Cal didn’t go away. A Chuba Hubbard touchdown run kept him within 20-10 at halftime.
Lawrence scrambled and beat the defense to the edge early in the second half, running it in from 11 yards out, drawing within three points. After Nathaniel kicked a field goal, Hubbard snared a short pass and raced 55 yards for a 24-23 lead. However, it would be his only lead, as on Nathaniel’s next possession, second-string running back AJ Dillon, a second round pick in this year’s draft, burst up the middle for a 38-yard touchdown run. After a two-point conversion, it was 31-24, and Nathaniel held on for victory. Edwards-Hillaire racked up 161 all purpose yards to gain postseason MVP honors. Michael Pittman had 100 receiving yards in the loss.
Over the course of two dream league seasons, Nathaniel and Andrew each won a title, and the final records were as follows:
- Nathaniel (15-10)
- Andrew (10-11)
- Cal (9-14)