Tychy Falcons sneak past Warsaw Mets in dying seconds to stay unbeaten

The Tychy Falcons remained undefeated in the Polish Football League after downing the Warsaw Mets 40-37 to win their fourth straight game but they needed last second heroics to do it.

Warsaw Mets quarterback David Ash had given his team a late-game 37-34 lead after finding Jan Omelanczuk in the end zone for a touchdown and then also for the two-point conversion. There was time for one last drive and newly signed Falcons quarterback Gabriel Losada made good. With literally seconds to spare he drove Tychy down the field and then floated a pass to tight-end Dominik Niedziela in the corner of the end zone for the game-winning score.

The game was a battle from the start.

The Mets received the opening kick-off and started at the 40-yard line after a gutsy return from the Finnish import, Rufail Khalifa (#21). Former Texas Longhorn David Ash (#4) came out slinging it out of a mostly empty set. After what initially looked to be a promising drive, the drive stalled at the Tychy 20-yard line and the Mets were forced to settle for a field-goal from kicker Dominik Szymanski (#22).

Two weeks ago LaParish Lewis (#6) was sent in to play QB for the Falcons after De Ge went down with a knee injury, he showed what a dangerous weapon he is with the ball in his hands. It was now up to him to set the Falcon drive off but a form-tackle jarred the ball loose and the Mets recovered. Warsaw went to work from the Falcons 32, but a drive marred by a scuffle that broke out between the Mets left tackle and Falcons d-end resulted in a 15-yard penalty and ejection against Warsaw, ending the drive with a punt.

Tychy Falcons new QB Gabriel Losada Photo: Dorota Murska

Newly arrived replacement QB Gabriel Losada (#2) came out with something to prove. On four separate occasions he launched the ball 40+ yards down field, with one connecting to wide-out the speedster Mateusz Patalas (#81) to take them down to the four-yard line. Two plays later tight-end Dominik Niedziela (#83) was able to beat Mets corner Khalifa off the line on a slant and go in for the score, bringing the score to 7 – 3 Falcons.

On the following Mets drive Ash was forced to go it himself after a string of dropped passes and gashed the Falcon defense with his legs, but the team were still unable to get into the endzone after going for it on fourth. Losada would continue to launch it on almost every play, but with limited success giving the ball back to the Mets only a few plays later. Ash would then get one of his own in to running back Witold Szpotanski (#25) on the second play of the drive which would set up a 40-yard field goal that the Falcons blocked.

Losda’s trigger-happy arm would start to lead to turnovers on the next series as the Met defense forced an interception giving Warsaw great starting field position. But, again, the team were forced to kick a field-goal that sailed to the left, leading to a frustration that started to seep in due to an inability to finish.

Losada and the Falcons came out as aggressive as ever on the ensuing drive putting together an aerial attack that the Mets defense simply didn’t have the answers for. The drive would be capped off by a 20-yard wheel-route from running back Jan Szwej (#19) to put the Falcons two scores clear of Warsaw.

Ash was able to get something going on the next drive as a 70-yard pass to Krzysztof Andrukonis (#13) would take the Mets to the Falcon three-yard line before Ash ran it in himself to keep Warsaw in the game.

The Mets were able to force another interception the following drive but were unable to do much with it, handing the ball back over to Tychy at the halfway line. The next few drives from both sides saw very little action due to dominant defensive stands until a muffed punt by Falcon returner Lewis led to Ash positioning himself to launch a 30-yard dart to Jan Omelanczuk (#80), taking the Mets back into the lead to close the half out 15 – 14.

The opening Warsaw drive in the second-half lacked any real production allowing Losada and the Falcon offense to own their new identity. And claim it they just did on only the third play of the drive with a 50-yard bomb from Losada to Robert Szmielak (#14) for the score. A failed two-point conversion would keep the score at 20 – 15.

After little success from the Mets on the following drive, Falcons would begin to get the ground game going for themselves as Szwej continued to slash the Mets defense before running it himself from the five-yard line.

Warsaw Mets LB Zachary Blair #42 was outstanding for the Mets Photo: Dorota Murska

As the pressure started to mount, the Mets felt they could not let another game get away from them. They were able to put together an aerial attack that may have been part of one of the longest drives in PFL football this year. The drive however paid off and resulted in a score and two-point conversion by Khalifa to bring the score 27 – 23 Falcons.

Tychy could feel the Mets start to creep back into the game and decided to get the gun-slinging mentality back. And on a 35-yard deep throw intended for Patalas fellow wide-out Tomasz Nowak (#5)  would step in front of the ball at the last minute and run in for the score himself, again extending the contest to a two-score game.

Determined to get their first win of the season, Ash and the Mets continued to put up impressive numbers through the air on two consecutive drives. And in just a handful of plays, the Mets were able to get two scores thanks to the pin-point accuracy of Ash’s throws, to take them back into the lead 37 – 34.

But then, late in the fourth, with the whole field in front of him Losada showed the Falcons exactly why they chose him to replace De Ge in the back-end of the season. He marched down field with poise and precision to find Niedziela in the back corner of the endzone to steal the win from Ash and the Mets in a Tychy thriller.

This will undoubtedly hurt the Mets as they were mere seconds away from clinching their first win of the season. But the team should take solace in the strides their offense has made as well as coming so close to beating one of the league favorites. Tychy will walk away happy due to the performance of their new QB Losada who has shown that he will vertically attack any defense throughout a game regardless of interceptions or turnovers. 

The Falcons will take on another of the league favorites, Bydgoszcz Archers, next week in what may be a preview of the final, while the Mets will take on the also winless Warsaw Eagles.

Daniel Mackenzie is a Press Association graduate who works in journalism and communications in the third sector. Daniel began playing football for the London Warriors and Team Great Britain and has since played across Europe.