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Massachusetts Pirates (1-3) at Columbus Lions (1-2)

IMG 1448 Austin

Saturday, May 11 Columbus Civic Center 7:00 PM

PIRATES GAME NOTES & TRANSACTION UPDATE

For the Record

After losing to the Jacksonville Sharks last weekend, the Pirates set sail for their first road win of the season in Columbus.  The Lions are playing the final game of a three game home stand and are looking to go 2-1 at the Columbus Civic Center this season after a loss to Jacksonville and a win over Orlando. 

Transaction Update

Activated WR Devonn Brown, Lamar, from short term injured reserve.

Activated OL Brandon Hodges, Pittsburgh, from short term injured reserve.

Placed WR Thomas Owens, Florida International, on short term injured reserve.

Placed WR Lavon Pearson, Tennessee, on short term injured reserve

Signed and activated DL Toby Johnson, Georgia.

Released DB Lubern Figaro, Wisconsin 

Last Week

The Pirates scored 16 unanswered points in the second quarter of last week’s home game against Jacksonville to take a 16-14 lead, but the Sharks found the end zone on their next five possessions and went on to a 55-36 victory.  Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett ran seven times for 26 yards and two scores and was 17 of 22 passing for 182 yards with two passing touchdowns along with two interceptions. Lavon Pearson led the Massachusetts receivers with seven catches for 61 yards and a score. 

Columbus picked up its first win of the season with a 63-22 win over the Orlando Predators at home. QB Luke Collis was 15 of 25 for 169 yards and five touchdowns. His top target was Chris Sanders who had seven catches for 85 yards and three TD’s.  The Lions defense was solid with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Defensive back DeMario Donnell had one of each. 

The Series

The regular season series stands in the favor of the Pirates with a 2-1 record. Last season both Pirates wins came in the DCU Center with Sean Brackett hitting Lavon Pearson in walk-off fashion. The lone Lions victory came in the Civic Center with current Pirates kicker Tyler Rausa connecting on a field goal at the final gun in a 63-62 victory. 

The Last Meeting

(August 4, 2018 NAL Playoffs at the DCU Center, Worcester, MA)

Lions 50 – Pirates 36

The Lions led wire to wire as quarterback Jeremy Johnson was 23 of 29 for 234 yards and a score without an interception as Columbus advanced to the NAL title game. Johnson ran the ball eight times for 12 yards and found the end zone four times.  Current Pirates fullback Quayvon Hicks added 15 yards on eight carries with a TD and wide out Jarmon Fortson led all receivers with nine catches for 93 yards. Pirates QB Darron Thomas was 25 of 43 for 228 yards with an interception and five touchdowns. His top target was current Lions WR Bones Bagaunte who had ten catches for 88 yards and three scores.

 

The Coaches

Anthony Payton is in his first season as Pirates Head Coach. Payton was the offensive coordinator of the Pirates last season. His record is 1-3 and this is his first meeting vs. Columbus.

 

Jason Gibson is entering his 12th season as the Head Coach/Director of Football Operations of the Columbus Lions and is the only head coach in the history of the franchise.  He is 2-2 all-time against the Pirates.

 

The Quarterbacks

Pirates MVP quarterback Sean Brackett has thrown the most passes in the NAL this season. He is currently 61 of 116 for 579 yards with ten touchdowns and seven interceptions while completing 52.6 percent of his passes. Brackett has also notched the most plays (131) this season.

Columbus QB Luke Collis is completing 52.3 percent of his passes going 58 of 11 for 638 yards with 13 TD’s and five interceptions.

International Flavor

Not only have Brackett and Collis played in the Arena Football League, but both took snaps overseas in the China Arena Football League. Brackett played for the Qingdao Clipper who was runner-up to the Beijing Lions. Collis led the Lions to a 35-34 victory over Qingdao in the China Bowl in 2016.

 

Individual League Leaders:

 

Rushing

Pirates QB Sean Brackett leads the National Arena League in rushing yards with 51. He also has the highest average per carry 12.8 and leads the league with four rushing touchdowns.  Teammate Quayvon Hicks has the most rushing attempts with 16.

Kick Returner

Last week the Pirates Mardy Gilyard did not return a kick vs. Jacksonville, still he leads the NAL with the most kick return yards (178) and has the highest kick return average at 25.4 yards.

Interceptions

Currently five players in the league have three interceptions including the Pirates Lawrence Austin and the Lions DeMario Donnell.

All Purpose Yards

The Lions Bones Bagaunte leads the league averaging 160 yards of offense per game. He enters the contest with 208 receiving yards and 112 return yards for a total of 320. Bagaunte also is averaging 12 receptions per game this season.

Team Superlatives

 

Total Defense

The Columbus Lions lead the National Arena League in total defense allowing just 186 yards per game. They have given up just 558 total yards this season.

The Running Game

The Pirates have the number one rushing offense in the league with 113 yards and an average of 28.2 per game. The Lions have the number one defense vs. the run allowing just 28 yards this season and an average of 9.3 yards per game.

Kickoff Return

Massachusetts tops the league in kick return yardage 239 yards for an average of 21.7 yards per return.

Fourth Down Conversion Defense

The Pirates have the best defense on fourth down holding opponents to just one successful attempt in ten tries.

Other Notes

Sack Exchange

The Lions have the fewest sacks in the league with three while the Pirates quarterbacks have been sacked the most, 9 times this season.

The Pirates Offense

Has not scored over 45 points in a game this season. The last time the Pirates scored more than 45 points in a game was back on August 4 of last season when they defeated the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks 67-7.

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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