Act of faith or not, Mountain Ministries forfeits football game |

Act of faith or not, Mountain Ministries forfeits football game

BRECKENRIDGE – Perhaps scheduling a flag football game on Sept. 11, when Mountain Ministries is busy conducting related prayer vigils and peace invocations, wasn’t such a good idea.

Some of the players on Mountain Ministries’ flag football team are parishioners of the Agape Outpost in Breckenridge, and some spend their time within the hallowed halls of Silverthorne’s churches.

Too few of the Mountain Ministries team showed up for their contest with the Grass Baskets on Thursday evening, thus ending its unbeaten streak and rudely introducing them to one of the difficulties inherent in every rec league – consistency.

On the other hand, they handed an easy 21-0 forfeit victory to a team that had been coming off an embarrassing 31-0 thrashing at the hands of Easy Street last week.

So, the forfeit can also be looked upon as another act of good faith.

Five Mountain Ministers combined with three zebra-clad referees at Kingdom Park to challenge a hungry group of eight Grass Baskets, in what turned out to be an enjoyable hour of goofs, gasps and grasps of flags.

The Grass Baskets are the men of the Breckenridge Golf Club Maintenance team and these greenthumbs came ready to play. Led by quarterback Neal Burton and all-around big man Greg Nienhouse, the Grass Baskets rebounded well from their loss the week before.

The Grass Baskets team looked fit and organized for the better part of the game. One imagines the 18 holes at the golf club looking quite tattered during the late season, as the crew sits around drawing up offensive and defensive strategies instead of mowing and watering the fairways.

“We didn’t have all of our team here against Easy Street,” Burton said. “This is our full team here tonight.”

He also introduced an effective incentive program for his own performance – he’ll pick up the tab at the postgame “organizational meeting” if the team loses.

To make sure, he ran in the first touchdown himself from 25 yards out after a busted third-down play.

The Mountain Ministries defense proved stingy in the early stages. A determined rush was led by Justin Caldwell and referee Todd Osborne.

Both teams relied on the normal flag football playbook, full of post patterns and option plays. The Grass Baskets gained more yardage on the ground due partially to poor flag-grabbing by the Mountain Ministries defense.

The Mountain Ministries were the first to attempt a bit of razzle-dazzle when quarterback Jason Kinipp flipped the snap to brother Josh, whose toss downfield was too high for referee Rudy Burki and was knocked down by the ubiquitous Nienhouse.

Burton and Nienhouse connected on two long passes to the back of the end zone for the other two touchdowns. Ben Schultz floated a pass to Nienhouse for one extra point, and scooted across the goal line for himself for the other.

Next week’s contests will prove quite different for both teams, however, as they each return to the gridiron with their full cast of characters in place and, for Mountain Ministries, a dose of heavenly determination.

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