Junior Defies Odds, Wins Madden Tournament

Sophomore+Gabe+Sims+%28left%29+plays+Sam+Gellman+%28right%29+in+their+semifinal
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Junior Defies Odds, Wins Madden Tournament

Sophomore Gabe Sims (left) plays Sam Gellman (right) in their semifinal

Sophomore Gabe Sims (left) plays Sam Gellman (right) in their semifinal

Sophomore Gabe Sims (left) plays Sam Gellman (right) in their semifinal

Sophomore Gabe Sims (left) plays Sam Gellman (right) in their semifinal

Jacob Hamburger and Max Wilson

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Generally, if one visits the CHS Media Center, they can practically hear tumbleweeds rolling in utter silence. But this past Tuesday, the library was less like church and more like the Superdome, as all four high school grades squared off in a Madden NFL ‘18 showdown.

Before junior Sam Gellman faced senior Tyler Pinnel in the final, the stage was set by two semifinals, the first of which was held between Pinnel and freshman Luis Abreu. Widely considered a shoo-in for the championship, Abreu was well-known for his talented on the virtual gridiron. The freshman was in the top 1% of Madden players worldwide only a few months ago, receiving praise for his use of advanced techniques such as nano blitzes and hot routes.

But if things always went according to plan, what would be the point of playing? After keeping it close in the first half, Pinnel scored 21 unanswered points to best Abreu, 42-20. The senior, playing as the Buffalo Bills, relied on his ground game with running back LeSean McCoy (11 rushes, 179 yards, 3 touchdowns), occasionally throwing to Charles Clay (6 receptions, 117 yards) in crunch time. Despite posting over 220 yards through the air, Abreu struggled to generate a running game as the New York Giants, totaling -1 yards rushing. Pinnel’s defense was led by Jerry Hughes, who posted 4.5 sacks.

With Tyler’s place in the final cemented, junior Sam Gellman and sophomore Gabe Sims played for the opportunity to face him. Gellman, as the Los Angeles Chargers, played Sims, as the Atlanta Falcons, in a hard-fought game. As they entered the fourth quarter in the back and forth game, the score was tied at 29 apiece. Amid staunch defensive efforts by both squads, Gellman put the game away with a 25-yard Josh Lambo field goal as time expired, winning the game 32-29.

After Sims defeated Abreu 29-22 in the consolation game with a last second-touchdown, Gellman and Pinnel faced off in a much-anticipated championship game. The title game was an offensive affair, with a combined 80 points scored by both teams. After pulling away 28-7 by halftime, Gellman coasted to a 58-22 win behind 485 total yards of offense compared to Pinnel’s 301. Leading the way for Gellman’s Chargers were quarterback Philip Rivers (24-33, 388 yards, 6 TDs) and dual-threat running back Melvin Gordon (240 total yards, 2 total TDs). The difference was in each’s ground game, as the Chargers posted 104 rushing yards while the Bills put up a measly 30. Turnover-prone Bills’ quarterback Tyrod Taylor (2 INTs, 2 fumbles) also had a strong role in Buffalo’s loss.

Only time will truly tell the value of Gellman’s triumphant win, but current results indicate it could be crucial to the juniors’ efforts after the grade finished in last place for both the Scavenger Hunt and the NBA 2k18 competition.

 

Standings:

  1. Sam Gellman — Junior
  2. Tyler Pinnel — Senior
  3. Gabe Sims — Sophomore
  4. Luis Abreu — Freshman