Madden NFL 20 Bowl Quarterfinals Results: Reigning Champ Drini Eliminated

Blake SchusterCorrespondent IIIMay 16, 2020

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Donald Traill/Associated Press

Drini's attempt at winning back-to-back Madden NFL Bowl titles fell apart in the quarterfinals Friday. 

The 2019 champion suffered a stunning 12-7 defeat at the hands of Joke thanks to an ill-timed safety in the fourth quarter. 

Joke will now face Pavan for the right to play for the Madden NFL 20 Bowl belt. 

Here's how Friday's action played out. 


Quarterfinal Results:

CleffTheGod def. Lil Man 13-10

DCroft def. Noah 10-3

Pavan def. Young Kiv 13-6

Joke def. Drini 12-7


Semifinal Schedule:

Joke vs. Pavan

CleffTheGod vs. DCroft


Cleff pulled off his second upset victory in as many days after taking down Henry in the wild-card round on Thursday. To get past Lil Man on Friday, he used wideout John Ross and all the speed he possesses. First, Cleff hit Ross for an 80-yard touchdown to take a 10-0 lead, then, late in the fourth quarter, Cleff found Ross again to set up a field goal at the two-minute warning. Those extra three points proved crucial as Lil Man scored a quick touchdown with Gale Sayers on the ensuing possession. 

Unfortunately for Lil Man, he was unable to recover an onside kick after the score, which allowed Cleff to break out his victory formation. 

Madden Championship Series @MaddenLeagueOps

Celebration rating for @CleffTheGod ⬆️⬆️⬆️ #MaddenBowl https://t.co/r4zbB7qbtT

The day's other upset saw Pavan push past Young Kiv after falling behind 6-0 in the first half. Once Pavan connected on a field goal to get some points on the board, momentum quickly began shifting. An interception on Kiv on the following drive put Pavan at midfield and one play later he drove ahead to the 17-yard line. 

A touchdown to end the drive put Pavan up ahead for the first time all game, and it was more than he needed to lock up the win with Pavan getting picked off again on his next possession, this time in the end zone. 

"In the first half I was kind of over-adjusting," Pavan said afterwards. "Too many adjustments for the plays he was making. In the second half I started playing more aggressive. I told myself it's now or never, you're down 6-0 and he's got the ball. It's time to make some plays."

Madden Championship Series @MaddenLeagueOps

Here is the moment the @Raiders club champ @PavanLakhat secured his spot in the semifinals of the #MaddenBowl. #RaiderNation https://t.co/W4HLt5Hd4N

DCroft's victory over Noah was another match with plenty of drama at the end. In earning his first EA Major semifinal appearance, DCroft stopped Noah on fourth-and-10 with a minute left to secure a chance to reach the final four, where he'll face CleffTheGod. 

"I love this team," DCroft said. "I feel like this is the perfect team to make a deep run in this tournament."

No one was more excited on Friday than Joke, however. After knocking off Drini, he's ready to prove he's learned from his past mistakes on the major stage and pick up his first belt. 

"It's my third final four and I've lost the previous two," Joke said. "I'm going to take it one game at a time. I'm going to take a drive to clear my head for an hour and then start preparing." 

Madden Championship Series @MaddenLeagueOps

Did not take @Jokeeee_ long to respond to Drini's TD with one of his own❗️ https://t.co/YGQHI1NhWe

Drini, Lil Man, Young Kiv and Noah will each head home with $10,000 for finishing in the quarterfinals. The advancing players are all guaranteed at least $20,000 in the semifinals with second place securing $25,000 and the winner notching $65,000. 

The semifinals kick off at 5:00 p.m. ET with the championship game following right after. All matches are streaming live on Twitch and YouTube as well airing live on ESPN2.