The highly anticipated rematch of the dms West Bay Hellcats and Maples Packers had finally arrived. Both teams bolstered impressive records and both were coming in on season-best winning streaks.
Star power was at the forefront of this match-up with heralded quarterbacks Jacob “Frecko” Ebanks of the Hellcats and Barrett “Cool Breeze” Edri of the Packers squaring off along with perennial playmakers Perry “BoyWonder” Levy of dms and Leslie Harvey of Maples.
The Packers won the coin toss, opted to defer and the Hellcats had a nice return to start in good field position at their 35-yard line. Like they have all season, their offence came out featuring the run with Oliver “Dark Star” Parker. Their attack was shut down early though as the Packers defensive front and line-backing crew, led by Will Peguero Jr, controlled the line of scrimmage forcing a number of minimal gains.
The Hellcats quickly adjusted, abandoned the run and went to the air with a heavy dose of Frecko to BoyWonder. During the drive, they connected several times leading to the game’s only score, off an option read quick slant up the heart of the Packers defence. Nick Bush rounded out the scoring for the Hellcats kicking in the extra point.
For the Packers, Edri was under duress most of the game and had a less than stellar outing. He only completed five of 18 passes with no touchdowns and two picks. Normally a cool customer under pressure, he seemed a bit flustered and indecisive with a number of late throws across the middle leading to INTs by the Hellcats Phil Brown and Tito Solomon.
In the initial match-up, many felt that the Packers offensive front, led by Andrew Graham, dominated the trenches by negating the Hellcats defensive line but the story was much different this time around. The Hellcats defensive front was disruptive all game, collapsing the pocket on a number of occasions.
Damian “Beast” Barboram put together his best performance of the season for the Hellcats, notching five tackles and three sacks. In the dying moments, Edri made what would appear to be his best throw of the game to potentially place the Packers in scoring position, but intended receiver Rupert Whittaker dropped the ball to seal the outcome 7-0 in favour of the Hellcats.
Defensively, Deandre Simpson had a solid outing with five tackles for the Packers. They will look to bounce back this week against Burger King whilst the Hellcats look for redemption against Cayman Power Sports and Marine.
In the second game of the day, the Cox Colts quickly brushed off a shaky start defensively to dominate the PWC Renegades 27-6. Coming off an inspiring performance the week before, veteran QB Kevin Solomon continued his solid play completing an efficient 16-20 passes, two resulting in TDs. His favourite target for the day was Brad “Habachi” Conolly with six receptions and a TD.
Conolly also broke a 55-yard TD run off left tackle, avoiding a number of potential tacklers. Jeff Wight caught the other TD and Richard Campbell kicked in three extra points to round out the scoring for the Colts. Defensively, Marvin Gordon was a major factor with an INT, two sacks and two tackles. Thomas McField, Campbell and Wight also played the passing lanes well with an INT a piece.
For PWC, Chris LeBeau led the charge once again and had a rough outing, especially in the turnover department. Offensively, their best combination for success all season has been LeBeau to Justin Miller and this game was no different. LeBeau and Miller hooked up early for the game’s first score off a nice throw and catch up the seam of the Colts defence. That would be their only score of the game though as the Colts defence buttoned down and forced a number of INTs.
The Renegades have been looking for a second receiver to make plays for their offence but no one has consistently stepped up. After early flashes of brilliance, Deepal Patel has been missing in action and held in check production wise, when available. They need him to raise his level of play on the outside to support their intermediate attack. Defensively, James “Cadillac” Collins showed some heart forcing a couple tackles and a sack.
In the final game of the day, the Club House Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, knocking off the Cayman Power Sports and Marine Hurricanes 19-6. The celebrated return and play of Luigi “ONE345” Moxam was the story of the game. He put on a vintage performance, displaying his lethal ability to vertically take the top off a defence with a 50+ yard bomb to Matthew Bone right out of the gate.
Moxam hooked up with Bone again on a slant route for the game’s second score and later with Zak Kepner for his final TD pass of the game. He finished up 11-18 passing with a season high three TDs. Defensively, Chip Whitney, Kevin Zimmer and Dillon Claassens were like freight trains throughout, forcing four sacks and a number of tackles for loss. Brooklyn Earick and Zak Kepner each added an INT.
For the Hurricanes, it was another head-scratching week after showing promise the week before. Defensively, their secondary was caught out of position too often, leading to relatively easy scores for the Bulldogs. The lone bright spot of their secondary was once again Davelee “Bull” Cole, whose range and athletic ability was on full display. He consistently knocks down balls in coverage on a weekly basis and always seems to have the knack for being in position to create turnovers.
Unfortunately, too many times this season, Cole has dropped potential game-changing INTs that would put his offence in favoured scoring position. For an offense averaging just eight points a game, such turnovers would have an immense impact on their psyche. It would also take some pressure off their struggling QB, Glenn Duran Jr, to not have to move the ball from deep in their own territory every possession.
Duran Jr had another shaky week trying to dig his team out of an early deficit and, as a result, forced too many bad throws that led to turnovers. He finished up the game going 3-15, one TD with two INTs. Former all-star Sean Moyle made a cameo appearance to catch the lone TD for the Hurricanes. The Hurricanes look to bounce back this week against the Hellcats and prove their initial upset in week four wasn’t a fluke.
Congratulations are in order for Moxam and Barboram, who earned offensive and defensive player of the week honours.