By RJ Ciancio
The 0-10 Lehigh Valley Steelhawks went into their game versus the 8-4 Massachusetts Pirates still looking for their first victory of the season. Meanwhile the Pirates are looking to hold onto the number one seed in the National Arena League.
The opening kickoff by Ali Mourtada weant out of the endzone giving Lehigh Valley the ball on their own 20 to start the drive. Caleb Walton was looking sharp out of the gate as he spread the ball across the field. The drive concluded with Caleb Walton finding lineman Peter Borum for a five yard touchdown reception. Spencer Hotaling’s extra point was good making it 7-0 Steelhawks.
Massachusetts first drive started on their own 20. Sean Brackett led Massachusetts down the field as he dink and dunked his way down the field in a drive that ended with Brackett finding lineman Cornelius Lewis for a touchdown. The extra point by Mourtada was good tying the game at seven a piece.
Lehigh Valley’s next drive started on their own 20. Caleb Walton went cold as and resorted to dunk passes. The drive sputtered out and ended with Hotaling missing a field goal attempt.
Sean Brackett quickly led the Pirates down the field as he found Desaen Johnson for a 20 yard bomb and capped off the dive with a touchdown pass to Mardy Gilyard. Mourtada’s extra point was good making the score Pirates 14, Steelhawks 7.
Ali Mourtada’s kickoff was returned by Yusef Reddick out to the Steelhawks 15. Walton began leading the team down the field with FJ Williams and Reginald White. A sure first down was dropped by Charles McClain. When fourth down came around the Steelhawks elected to go for it. Lehigh Valley would proceed to turn the ball over on downs, ending a promising drive.
Massachusetts’ drive started at their own 20. For the first time in the game Bones Brigante was prominent as he caught three Sean Brackett passes including the drive concluding touchdown. However Mourtada missed the extra point making it 20-7 Pirates.
The ensuing kickoff went over the dsherboards giving the Steelhawks the ball at their own 20. On the first play of the drive Caleb Walton found Yusef Reddick for a play that ended inside the Pirates five. Caleb Walton ran a quarterback sneak and scored a touchdown. The extra point by Spencer Hotaling was good making the score 20-14 Pirates.
Hotaling’s kick weant for a duce making it 20-16 Pirates. On first and 10 from their own five Von Pearson dropped a sure touchdown. The Pirates began working their way down the down the field. The drive concluded with Brackett finding Bones Brigante for a 20-yard touchdown. On the two point attempt Darren Thomas handed the ball of to Gilyard for the two points. The score read 28-16 Pirates.
Mourtada’s kickoff went into the seats giving the Steelhawks the ball at thier own 20 yard line. After working their way down the field, a pass to FJ Williams was batted up and Kiante Northington ran it back for the pick-six. With Mourtada’s extra point the score read 35-16 Pirates.
Ali Mourtada’s kickoff went through uprights for a deuce, making the score 37-16 Pirates. On first and ten from their own five FJ Williams dropped another pass. On second down, Caleb Walton was intercepted by Khaled Wooton who returned the ball for a touchdown. The extra point was good making it 43-16 Pirates.
Once again Ali Mourtada kicked another deuce making it 45-16 Pirates. With the ball on their own five. The Steelhawks methodically worked their way down the field and Caleb Walton ran into the endzone as the half ended with the score reading 22-45 Pirates.
Spencer Hotaling’s kick to start the second half weant out the back of the endzone giving the Pirates the ball at their own 20. Sean Brackett began leading the team down the field before the drive died out and failed a fourth down conversion as a pass was batted down in the endzone.
With the ball on their own 10 Lehigh Valley began working their way down the field. The drive had seemed to stall out the Pirates were called for illegal defense, giveing the Steelhawks a new set of downs. The drive ended with the Caleb Walton finding Darrell Bogan for a touchdown making it 28-45 Pirates, but the extra point by Hotaling was no good.
The kickoff went out the endzone giving the Pirates the ball at their own 20. Sean Brackett continued finding Bones Bagaunte and he caught for a long gain. Then Bagaunte dropped a pass. On third and goal the Pirates botched the snap and fell on it. On fourth and goal Ali Mourtada’s 26 yard kick split the uprights making it Pirates 48, Steelhawks 28.
Mourtada’s kickoff went out the back of the endzone giving the Steelhawks the ball at their own 20. The Steelhawks methodically worked their way down the field, but on fourth down Caleb Walton overthrew Yusef Reddick, turning the ball over on downs in the process.
Massachusetts blended run and pass elements together amazingly. The drive ended with a 32 yard touchdown pass to Bones Baganute. With the extra point the score readi 55-28 Pirates.
Ali Mourtada’s kickoff went out the back of the endzone giving Lehigh Valley the ball at their own 20. Caleb Walton attempted to lead the team down the field but he threw the ball into the stands on first down and overthrew his targets on second an third down. On fourth down Walton was dropped for a major loss and turned the ball over on downs.
The Pirates made a quarterback change and Darren Thomas’ first snap had was mishandled and Leroy Naysmith pik up the ball and scampered into the endzone for a touchdown making it 34-55 Pirates. The extra point was good and the score read 62-35.
Hotaling’s kickoff went out of the endzone giving the Pirates the ball at their own 20. Thomas proceeded to lead the Pirates down the field on a drive that was capped off by a five yard touchdown pass to Devon Brown. With the extra point the Pirates extended their lead to 62-35.
Mourtada’s kickoff went out the back of the endzone give Lehigh Valley the ball on their own 20. The Steelhawks began working their way down the field but the drive slowed down before collapsing as Norrington intercepted a pass in the endzone on fourth down.
The Pirates used their final drive to run out the clock and the final score read 62-35 Pirates. Massachusetts have a high powered offense and a decant defense to boot. They also control if they will have a home playoff game.
Lehigh Valley’s game was hindered by injuries and Caleb Walton is improving. If the team stays healthy and mistake free they can win a game.