The 0-7 Lehigh Valley Steelhawks went to Portland to play the 1-7 Maine Mammoths in a battle to keep their playoff hopes alive. The opening kick was returned by Maine to the Lehigh Valley six. On first and goal Jonathan Bane hit Devin Wilson for the Maine touchdown. Raining NAL special teams player of the week Henry Neil nailed the extra point making the score 7-0.
The Steelhawks opening drive started on their own nineteen. Lehigh Valley methodically worked their way down the field capping the drive off with a Caleb Walton to Seth Higgins. Spencer Hotaling nailed the extra point, tying the game at seven.
The Mammoths offense worked it way inside the Steelhawks five before sputtering out where they failed to punch the ball in from one yard out on fourth and goal. The next play turned the tide of the game where botched snap lead to a safety giving the Mammoths the lead 9-7.
Lehigh Valley’s next drive was well executed as they worked their way down the field as but had to settle for a field goal making the score 10-9 Steelhawks. The next drive for Maine lasted a short two plays as that was all Bane needed to find Devin Wilson for an easy touchdown. Henry Neil’s extra point went through the uprights making the score 16-10 Maine.
On the Steelhawks next drive, they attempted to fix something that wasn’t broken when they brought out Matt Foltz to take over at quarterback. On a second and six, Foltz could handle the snap and the Mammoths recovered. Walton would later come back into the game but by the end of the first half it was clear that the Steelhawks couldn’t keep up with Maine’s high powered offense as they trailed 30-16.
The Steelhawks began the third quarter how they left off, making constant mistakes as they botched another snap on an extra point attempt that they got to re-attempt due to a roughing the passer call on the play. The Steelhawks were able to kick the extra point on the second attempt where the Steelhawks converted, closing the gap to seven. The score now read 23-30 with the Mammoths still clinging to the lead.
Maine, realizing their lead had been cut to seven responded in a one play strike from Jonathan Bane to Devin Wilson and Henry Neil hit another easy extra point making the score 37-23 Maine. On the next drive the Steelhawks once again, a center-quarterback exchange lead to another turnover.
From then on out the Steelhawks were only able to put up thirteen more points as the Mammoths continued to run up the scoreboard up until the final seconds of the contest. By the time the final whistle sounded the Mammoths had score the most points they had all season with sixty-two. Lehigh Valley was only able to muster up thirty-six. The game didn't reflect its final score of 62-36. Maine definitely played their best game and gave the crowd a great first home victory, but many of the points they got were off of Steelhawks miscues.
Lehigh Valley needs to fix their quarterback-center exchange if they are to have a shot at the NAL Playoffs, and the Mammoths have to show up like they did last night if they want to be taken as a top three team. The only positives the Steelhawks can take away from last night is that they found out they need a new center and the massacre in Maine is over.