“Everyone has a plan, ’til they get punched in the mouth.”
The SteelHawks nailed the Hammers 50-31 at the PPL Center in Allentown, in a game that wasn’t that close. The SteelHawks held a 50-15 edge half way through the fourth quarter before the Hammers added a couple late scores.
The Alabama Hammers came into the game with one of the league’s best offenses: They featured a top-two QB to go along with two of the top 3 or 4 wide-outs. It was their defense which had prevented them from winning more games so far this season. This was a team who figured to give the SteelHawks some problems.
Until they got hit.
It was evident early on that the Hammers hadn’t played a team as physical as the SteelHawks thus far this season. Procedure penalties and injuries littered the first half action from the team wearing white. Their QB wasn’t able to make a throw without SteelHawks rushers in his face or at his feet–or both. Meanwhile the SteelHawks were able to move the chains by mixing run and pass plays on the arm and legs of QB Shane McSweeny, who missed last week’s game–a loss down in Georgia. The Hammers’ defense was getting pushed around, too.
WR Brandon Renford was active in the first half as well. He might not be the biggest or fastest player, but he can run routes and he can catch the ball. He can dish out a hit, too, as he demonstrated on a first-half play where his would-be tackler felt the brunt of the collision.
Two “uno’s” and all the extra points led to a 36-15 half-time lead. The defense continued to force turnovers–grabbing interceptions and fumbles to stretch the lead to 50-15 in the fourth quarter. Back-up QB Zach Zulli spelled McSweeny at this point and yielded a couple interceptions on balls which didn’t quite have enough air under them. It’s not said very often in the PIFL, but the lead was just too much to overcome despite the Hammers’ furious attempts to score points in the waning minutes. A rematch with Alabama will occur on 6/13 in the Von Braun Center in Alabama.
The win allows the 6-2 SteelHawks to keep pace with the Columbus (GA) Lions atop the PIFL standings, and to remain undefeated at home in the PPL Center in downtown Allentown, PA. The ‘Hawks will be back in action on Friday May 29 as the Richmond Raiders come to town for cap night. Most teams will take next weekend off in observance of Memorial Day, other than Richmond who will host Trenton on Saturday.
The final regular season home game will be Saturday June 6 versus the Trenton Thunder. Should the SteelHawks host a first-round playoff game, it would be Friday June 26.
See you at the arena,