After thrilling victory in the final four seconds against Columbus last weekend, the Massachusetts Pirates will look for a third straight victory when they take on the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks this Saturday at the DCU Center at 7:00 pm.
The Pirates came from behind in the final minute to defeat the Lions 62-55. Devonn Brown caught his third TD pass of the game with 51 seconds remaining, Darryl Render recovered a fumble with 24 seconds on the clock and Sean Brackett fired a two yard TD pass to Lavon Pearson with four seconds left to win the game.
The Pirates are in second place with a record of 7-3 in the National Arena League while the Steelhawks have yet to win a game this season in eight tries. Last week Lehigh Valley fell in Maine 54-24. In the loss quarterback Caleb Walton did keep his team in the game in to the third quarter by throwing TD passes to Seth Higgins and Yuseff Reddick. Walton also scored on a quarterback sneak in the first half along with a Spencer Hotaling field goal. Lehigh Valley did get as close as seven points in the third quarter before the Mammoths pulled away.
The Pirates continue to make big plays on defense as in addition to Render’s fumble recovery to set up the winning score vs. Columbus, Cheatham Norrils recovered a fumble and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown. It was the seventh defensive score for the Pirates this season. J.D. Griggs had two sacks which now gives the team a total of 21 for the season. Through ten games John Hardy-Tuliau leads the team in tackles with 44.5 while teammate Kiante Northington has 40. 5. Both players have six interceptions. Currently the Pirates are allowing 45 points per game which is third best in the NAL.
Offensively the Pirates are third in the league in scoring at 54.2 points per game. Brackett’s numbers are solid as he is completing 60 percent of his passes (160-268) for 2,433 yards with 47 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.
Devonn Brown leads the team in receiving yards (743) and touchdowns with 15. Mardy Gilyard tops the team with 42 receptions to go along with his 11 scores and 403 yards. Lavon Pearson has added 40 catches for 505 yards and 12 touchdowns.
The Pirates have enjoyed a home field advantage as they are currently 4-1 in the DCU Center this season.
This is the second meeting between the two teams. On April 29 the Pirates set a franchise record for points in a game with a 72-24 victory over Lehigh Valley at the PPL Center. The Steelhawks had an early 5-0 lead before the Pirates defense came to life. Griggs tipped a pass into the arms of Pasqual Vacchio who returned it for a touchdown, Hardy-Tuliau intercepted Walton and returned it 41 yards for a score and Nick Haag’s strip sack saw the ball roll all the way into the end zone where Render recovered it for the third defensive score of the night.
It also marked the first game of the season for Gilyard who burst on to the scene with six catches for 61 yards and three touchdowns.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA. 01608. Pirate Nation Season Ticket Memberships for the 2018 season are now available. Pirate Nation Memberships start as low as $60.00. To become a Pirate Nation Season Ticket member or for more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available online at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For group outings please call Kara Mancini at 508-929-0125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow the Pirates on facebook at facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.