Our Lehigh Valley Steelhawks opened their 2015 season today in Erie, PA against the Erie Explosion!
Kickoff was at 2:00pm, the Explosion won the coin toss, declined and the Hawks elected to receive and start on offense.
The Explosion got on the board first with a kickoff Uno. Explosion 1 – Steelhawks – 0
The Steelhawks drove down the field, overcoming a penalty and fumble, to see themselves with a 4th and 2 on the Erie 12 yard line. Coach Thompson called for a timeout then a failed running play turned the ball over to Erie.
Erie took over and made a few quick plays into Steelhawk territory but the Steel-Fence held, highlighted by a Larry Ford tackle for a loss.
Steelhawks take over on their own 10 yard line. A mix of passes and runs pushed the Hawks down to the Erie 11 yard line quickly followed by a McSweeney pass to Renford for a STEELHAWK TOUCHDOWN!!! Extra point good. Steelhawks 7 – Explosion 1
The kickoff missed for an Uno but did place the Explosion on their own 5 yard line. After two incomplete passes the Steelhawks’ Ako-Agugua INTERCEPTED the ball and ran in back for a STEELHAWK TOUCHDOWN!!! Point after no good. Steelhawks 13 – Explosion 1
The Explosion changed quarterbacks and the first pass was nearly intercepted on the first play. Followed another incomplete pass up with a long pass for an Explosion touchdown. Extra point kick is good. Steelhawks 13 – Explosion 8.
Erie kicked off to end the first quarter.
The Steelhawks opened the 2nd quarter grinding the ball down the field culminating in a McSweeney keeper 1 yard run for a STEELHAWK TOUCHDOWN!!! Extra point kick is good. Steelhawks 20 – Explosion 8.
The Steelhawk kickoff went into the rafters and handed the Explosion a short field starting at their own 20 yard line.
The Steel-Fence came up with two quick sacks by Bryant and Ford for losses leading to a long field goal attempt that was short and returned by Cooper to the Steelhawks’ 20 yard line!
The Steelhawks quickly went back to their rough nosed offensive style mixing in a few plays, some penalties on both sides and a suddenly invigorated Erie defensive line. McSweeney was hurried on a third and long brought up a 39 yard field goal attempt. Field goal missed.
Erie took the momentum and quickly moved to the Steelhawk 10 yard line. The explosion pushed a 2nd and goal for a touchdown pass but was called back for an illegal formation penalty moving them back to the 9 yard line. No matter, the next play completed for an Erie touchdown. Extra point kick is good. Steelhawks 20 – Explosion 15
The following kickoff was wide of an Uno giving the Steelhawks the ball on the 10 yard line with a bit of the first half left to go. The Hawks quickly got to 4th and short, short on yards and in time. Coach Thompson called for a time out to make the decision between going for it or a field goal try. They chose field goal and they chose well adding 3 points! Steelhawks 23 – Explosion 15
With just a few seconds left, the Hawks kicked off. Explosion ball first and 10 on their own ten with 13 seconds remaining. With .6 of a second remaining the Explosion attempted a field goal. Field goal missed.
Halftime score Steelhawks 23 – Explosion 15!
The Explosion came out strong and fast in the third quarter for a quick touchdown pass. They went for two on the extra point and tied the game.
Steelhawks 23 – Explosion 23
After a close miss on an Uno, the Steelhawks took over on offense. Two quick passes to Renford resulted in a STEELHAWKS TOUCHDOWN! Extra point kick hit the upright and is no good. Steelhawks 29 – Explosion 23.
In the ensuing Erie drive, the Steelhawks picked off a wobbly pass but a penalty flag called for pass interference negated the turnover and handed the Explosion a first down. Amara Kamara added a sack but a few plays later the score was tied with an Erie touchdown pass. Extra point kick puts Erie in the lead. Explosion 30 – Steelhawks 29.
The Steelhawks got back into the grind on offense but lost a fumble near the Erie goal line and the Explosion recovered.
Erie wasted no time and scored on a long run for a touchdown. Extra point kick is good. Explosion 37 – Steelhawks 29
McSweeney and company got back on the horse and drove inside the Erie 10 yard line to close out the 3rd quarter.
The Steelhawks faced up to a 4th and goal early in the 4th, with McSweeney keeping it and running it in for a STEELHAWK TOUCHDOWN!!! On a fake extra point kick, the placeholder was stopped short. Explosion 37 – Steelhawks 35
Erie ran the kickoff back for a touchdown BUT there was a flag. Erie was called for a hold placing the ball onto their own 5 yard line. They drove the field and passed for another touchdown. Extra point kick is no good. Explosion 43 – Steelhawks 35.
The Steelhawks came up with a 4th down and settled for a long field goal attempt and missed.
Erie took the ball back, intent on burning out the clock. After gaining a first down, Erie’s quarterback fumbled the snap and was recovered by the Steelhawks on Erie’s 19 yard line with just over a minute remaining!
Needing a touchdown and two point conversion to tie, the Steelhawks offense had a chance to hang on a little longer. A quick touchdown pass to Renford accomplished the touchdown portion on the very first play! TOUCHDOWN STEELHAWKS!!! Two point conversion complete to Jones!! Steelhawks 43 – Explosion 43
Erie will get the ball back on their own 5 yard line with 53 seconds remaining in regulation time. On the first play a pass completed takes the Explosion to the 21 yard line. 44 seconds remaining. On the next play another FUMBLE recovered by the Steelhawks down to the 2 yard line!
The Steelhawks lined up with 22 seconds remaining and McSweeney walks in for a STEELHAWKS TOUCHDOWN!!! (From the radio announcer it sounded like the defense allowed him to score, ala Mike Holmgren strategy) Extra point kick is good. 18.2 seconds remaining. Steelhawks 50 – Explosion 43.
With two timeouts remaining Erie will receive the kickoff. The first play results in an interception by Steelhawk Castillo!!! The Steelhawks ran out the clock and put an end to the season opener.
Final Score – Steelhawks 50 – Explosion 43
Really, both teams in this game put up a great fight. The Steelhawks came out fightin early and the Explosion caught up by the end of the 1st half. Erie came out strong with some second half adjustments and then Lehigh Valley’s defense stepped up late allowing the offense to capitalize. No shame on either side of this hard fought game with the Steelhawks coaxing out a thriller in Erie, PA
With that said…
Congratulations to both teams for an exciting season opener and welcome Erie Explosion to the PIFL. We look forward to seeing you in the Lehigh Valley on April 18th.
Categories: Steel Hawks