Ed Crouch's Late TD Gives Wild Aces 2021 FCF Championship over Glacier Boyz

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2021

South Florida tight end Elkanah Dillon (85) runs past Navy cornerback Elijah Merchant (14) for a 41-yard touchdown reception during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

The Wild Aces are the inaugural Fan Controlled Football champions after taking down the Glacier Boyz, 46-40, in Saturday's People's Championship.

Ed Crouch scored the game-winning touchdown as time expired in the second half. Crouch faked the handoff to fool the defense and open a running lane into the end zone.

Wild Aces @FCFWildAces

WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS #theaceiswild https://t.co/R8lHchht5I

The play capped off an incredible comeback by the Wild Aces, who put 20 unanswered points on the board to close things out.

The Aces got into a position to win after denying the Glazier Boyz on five straight plays inside the 5-yard line. The Glacier Boyz used a power-up to get a fifth down and hand themselves one last chance to take the lead inside the final two minutes.

David Pindell tucked the ball and scrambled to his left but was unable to hit pay dirt.

Wild Aces @FCFWildAces

DENIED https://t.co/AnE1q9xrvS

Former Florida State star Deondre Francois set the tone for the high-scoring affair when he found Andrew Jamiel for the game's opening touchdown with a little more than three minutes off the clock.

Fan Controlled Football @fcflio

The @FCFGlacierBoyz strike first. That’s a TD for @AndrewJamiel. Watch on our app, @Twitch, @watchvenn and @NBCLX. https://t.co/g7olp5wrxo

The Wild Aces quickly tied things up, but they were playing from behind for the majority of the game's 60 minutes. Francois gave the Glacier Boyz a double-digit lead heading into halftime after hitting Jamiel in the end zone with 10 seconds remaining.

Fan Controlled Football @fcflio

.@AndrewJamiel has 3 TD catches in the first half. Watch on our app, @Twitch, @watchvenn and @NBCLX. https://t.co/eVgkd37hhl

The Wild Aces had an opportunity to chip away at the deficit with three seconds remaining, but the Glacier Boyz held strong to maintain their 32-20 advantage.

With a 4th-and-4 close to the goal line, the Glacier Boyz were poised to at least restore their 12-point buffer when Francois made a costly mistake. Jamiel was streaking across the end zone when he tumbled to the turf. That allowed Karrheem Darrington to make an easy interception in the back corner.

Wild Aces @FCFWildAces

INTERCEPTION by Karrheem Darrington https://t.co/OVd59hHymf

The Wild Aces marched down the field and tied things up at 40 thanks to a touchdown run from Daryl Virgies. They converted on their two-point attempt, only for the Glacier Boyz to use one of their defensive power-ups and force a replay. The Aces were unable to make the second go-round count and the score remained level.

Still, their defense delivered when it counted the most after getting shredded by Francois throughout the first half and early into the second.

And the dramatic finish is exactly the kind of moment the minds behind Fan Controlled Football hoped to see close the curtain for Year 1.

Building a football league has been notoriously difficult in the United States. Most recently, the Alliance of American Football was unable to complete a full season, while the XFL temporarily shuttered after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of its 2020 season.

According to Sportico's Randall Williams, the FCF saw a steady increase in its viewership through its first five weeks, and CEO Sohrob Farudi is already looking ahead to expansion in the league's second year.

For the time being, it looks like the FCF is here to stay and will return bigger and better.