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Pirates Enter the Lion’s Den

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After suffering a 55-36 loss against the Jacksonville Sharks last week, the Massachusetts Pirates (1-3) look to capture their second victory of the season against the Columbus Lions (1-2). The task ahead won’t be easy though, as the Lions are coming off of a 66 point performance while picking up their first win of the year against the Orlando Predators. The Pirates will need to bring their “A” game into Columbus in order to tame the Lions.

The contest showcases some of the league’s top quarterbacks. MVP quarterback Sean Brackett has 579 passing yards, 10 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and five touchdowns rushing through four games. Luke Collis, the leader of the Lions offense, has put up 638 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions through three games. His number of passing yards lands Columbus at 3rd in the NAL in total offense. Collis is coming off of a five-touchdown performance last week, with wide receiver Chris Sanders catching three of those scores.               

As far as offensive weapons go, Columbus star wide receiver and former Pirate Bones Bagaunte has put up jaw-dropping statistics in only two games of action. His 24 receptions for 208 yards and six touchdowns land him as one of the premier offensive threats in the league. If you add on his 112 kick return yards, Bagaunte leads the National Arena League in all-purpose yards.  However, the Lions aren’t a one-man show, as wide receiver Paris Mack has 15 receptions for 244 yards and four touchdowns so far this year. As for the Pirates, rookie Thomas Owens has impressed thus far with 19 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown in three games. Receiver and kick returner Mardy Gilyard adds the explosive play-making ability to both the offense and special teams. His 13 receptions for 185 yards with six touchdowns and 178 total return yards shows his effectiveness in both aspects of the game.

Defensively, Columbus is led by a duo defensive backs. Shattle Fenteng is a nifty corner who has 14 total tackles, two interceptions, and three pass breakups so far. On the other hand, Demario Donnell’s 10.5 total tackles, three interceptions, three pass breakups, and fumble recovery provide Columbus with one of the best defensive backfields in the league.  Pirates, defensive back Lawrence Austin has played at a very high level all season long. His 19.5 total tackles are good for eighth overall in the NAL. He has also added three interception and four pass breakups. Defensive lineman J.D. Griggs has been a force up front, as he has 10 total tackles, three tackles for loss, two-and-a-half sacks, two pass breakups, three quarterback hits, and a forced fumble. Griggs specializes in getting after quarterbacks, and come game time it will be key for he and the rest of the defense to make Collis as uncomfortable as possible.

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.  For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email contact@masspiratesfootball.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 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook at Facebook.com/MAPirates on Instagram @mass.pirates, as well as Twitter @mass_pirates.


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