The Digicel Premier League’s Week 5 saw the resourceful DMS WestBay Hellcats trounce the ascending Predators 13-6.
There was a lot of intrigue coming into this game as the upstart Predators wanted to cement their place as one of the elite and the Hellcats wanted to prove that their championship window had not closed. Fans flocked to the Ed Bush stadium in West Bay for both teams and tempers flared on the field and in the stands on Saturday.
Officials were under duress as each play and each call seemed critical to the game’s outcome.
For the Hellcats, it was veteran playmaker Perry “BoyWonder” Levy who led their attack with a vintage performance.
He had five receptions, the game breaking touchdown and the game sealing interception on defense.
Jacob “Frecko” Ebanks took the snaps and showed some real toughness, playing hurt with a twisted knee that he suffered early in the first half.
After a slow start, he started to connect with his receivers finishing Offseason acquisition Nigel Solomon came to life notching his first touchdown catch of the campaign.
On defense, familiar names like Phil Brown and Jeremy Miller propelled the unit with a number of tackles, a sack and an interception.
For the Predators, Jordan Stubblefield and Barrett Edri continued to split snaps at quarterback, staying true to their philosophy. Unfortunately, both suffered against the celebrated Hellcat defense that pressured them throughout, forcing three interceptions. Stubblefield did get the Predators on the board early, benefitting from a special teams blunder by the Hellcats that gave them the ball inside the 20 yard line.
On the next play, he hooked up with Chris Bennett off a heavy play action set that sucked up the Hellcats defensive back field, allowing him to slip behind for a walk-in touchdown.
Peter Whittaker and Avery Ebanks of the Hellcats led the way on defense with five tackles between the two of them.
In the opening game, the Lone Star Bulldogs notched their first win of the season after knocking off the KPMG Sharks 20-6.
This was a must win situation for the Bulldogs having suffered losses their first three weeks.
The Sharks struck first. after forcing two interceptions on the Bulldogs side of the field.
Rob Hendrich took advantage of one of those turnovers, hitting Gregg Arnold on a corner route who elevated above the Bulldogs defensive backfield to snatch the touchdown. Much to their chagrin, that would be their only touchdown of the game as the Bulldogs zoned in and ran off three unanswered scores from that point on.
Jamie Stephenson led the way for the Bulldogs showing his versatility by throwing a touchdown to Tyler Lee and taking matters into his own hands, running for two.
Their defense was led by a heavy pass rush of Greg Miller, Brandon Copico and Kevin Zimmer.
For the Sharks, Neville Morgan and Dave Lee Cole led the way with a defensive interception a piece.
In other action, Cox Colts dismantled Maples 32-6 behind quarterback Richard Campbell’s big day on offense.
Campbell had his way throughout the game, consistently hitting receivers downfield by taking advantage of the young Maples shaky safety play.
He finished with a bolstering 14 completions, four touchdown passes and a couple of extra points on special teams in the kicking game.
Kristopher Brand and Jordan Pressman appeared to be his favorite targets with eight receptions between them. Terry Ballard, Tariq Myles and Phillip Maret were the recipients of Campbell’s touchdown passes.
They will look to carry this momentum forward into this week’s showdown with the Hellcats.
For Maples, Chris LeBeau took over as quarterback and had a tough time getting on the same page with his inexperienced receiving core.
He connected with the shifty Fabio Gall who broke loose for a 50 yard TD after outflanking the Cox defense.
On the bright side, each week there is a slight Maples improvement which is a testament to their commitment to get better and grow as a team.
Coach Shawn Pitterson deserves recognition for his efforts with developing the young squad and highlighting the movement of players from the Youth League to the Premier League.
Games continue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. this week as the ladies return to action with key matchups Wolverines against Lady Sharks and Zulu Warriors versus Lynx kicking off at 2:30 p.m.
On the men’s side, the Predators want to bounce back against the Burger King Panthers at 3:30 p.m. in the designated game of the week.