MODESTO -- Modesto's Source One flag football team returned recently from Las Vegas, where it captured a second consecutive eight-man, Open division national championship.
Source One defeated SD X-press of San Diego 14-8 in the championship game Jan. 20, climbing out of an 8-0 halftime hole.
It's a nice, little story about a local team, made up of mostly Modesto-area athletes, going to a big-time tournament and showing everybody how the little guys do it.
It's even more remarkable when you consider that Source One did it with a quarterback who more closely resembles Al Bundy of TV's "Married With Children" than, say, the 49ers' Colin Kaepernick.
Source One's QB is Modesto resident Randy Scacutto, a 53-year-old father of two who works as a sheetrocker and metal-framer, and rises before the roosters for his daily commute to the Bay Area.
Yes, he's 53. That's no typo. And, yes, he's been been called "Al Bundy," the everyman character who lived for decades off past glory at good ol' Polk High. But don't assume this is some rinky-dink team for weekend warriors, just because the quarterback is almost eligible for his senior discount at Denny's.
It's anything but.
Former Davis High lineman Robby Valenzuela, who played at the University of Oregon (2001-04), is a member of the team. So is Kyle Sires, a former Beyer and MJC standout who played collegiately and in the National Indoor Football League. Source One just picked up Sacramento's Syd'Quan Thompson, a former Cal defensive back drafted by the Denver Broncos. Akili Smith, the former Oregon quarterback who was the third overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1999 NFL Draft, played in the 2010 nationals.
That's the kind of talent that can be found in the Open division, which makes it all the more impressive that a 53-year-old can compete and succeed. So how does Scacutto do it?
"Well, my job is really physical," says Scacutto, who also plays for teams in Hilmar and Sacramento. "I jog a little here and there, I play basketball on the side, and I go to MJC with Trevor and throw the football around and run sprints. Trevor gets me motivated."
"Trevor" would be teammate and team founder Trevor Tucker, who at 47 is considering hanging up his flags after 25 seasons.
"A lot of people ask me what I win by doing all of this," says Tucker. "I tell them, 'I win memories.' I have a lot of great memories from playing flag football."
But Tucker acknowledges it costs a lot to travel around the state and nation to play in tournaments. And for Tucker, there was another price to pay.
"It cost me a wonderful girlfriend that I just loved to death," says Tucker. "She just couldn't understand why I was still out there running around, acting like a kid."
That's a question most gals ask their fellas. Simple answer: because they can. And Scacutto, a former junior college QB at West Valley College in Saratoga, still can. Better than most, actually.
But after back-to-back national championships and four since 2001 retirement must be on his radar.
"Sometimes I feel like it, but at this time, I don't really see it," Scacutto says. "But my wife's afraid I'm going to get hurt."
Since he's still playing, and still married, Scacutto probably doesn't catch heat from his better half.
"Oh, I am," says Tracy Ryan-Scacutto of being the stereotypical, nagging wife. "Without a doubt.
"I'm always concerned about his well-being. I'll talk to his lineman and they assure me they're taking care of him and they're not going to let him get hurt. I know Randy can run, but it still scares me to see him out there. My hat's off to him. I'm so proud of him.
"He still loves the game. I've lost the battle."
Which means many more battles for Source One and its AARP quarterback.
Bee staff writer Joe Cortez can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2302.
Quite a Run
Modesto's Source One flag football team returned from Las Vegas recently where it captured a second consecutive eight-man, Open division national championship. With the victory, the team qualifies for next month's world championships in Las Vegas, and earns $1,000 toward travel expenses for the 14th International Flag Football Festival in Boston this summer: Here's a look at their run through the two-day tournament Jan. 19-20 in Henderson, Nev.:
Source One 28, Fiddlers Green (Billings, Mont.) 0
Source One 20, Triple Threat 6
Source One 34, Triple Threat 6
Source One 32, Barbarianz (Honolulu) 0
Source One 20, Fresno 8Ballers 13
Source One 14, SD Xpress (San Diego) 8