Saturday June 1, DCU Center Worcester, MA, 7:00 PM
PIRATES GAME NOTES & TRANSACTION UPDATE
Local (MA) Radio: 98.9 Nash Icon
LIVE Streaming: NAL YouTube
A two hour version of the game can be seen on NESN and NESN Plus at the following times:
Tuesday, June 4, 7:00 PM – NESN Plus
Wednesday, June 5, 5:00 AM – NESN Plus
Wednesday, June 5, 1:00 PM – NESN
For the Record
After a 70-51 victory over the Streets in White Plains, the Pirates look for back to back victories for the first time this season. The Pirates are 1-2 in the DCU Center this season while the Streets are 2-1 on the road. The Streets will look to avoid a second consecutive loss, something they have not yet experienced in their first season.
Pirates Transaction Update
RJ Roberts, DL/LB, Troy University, has been placed on league suspension.
The Last Meeting
The Pirates (2-4) secured a much-needed 70 to 51 victory over the New York Streets (3-2) at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, NY on Monday.
Massachusetts passing attack proved to be too much for the NY secondary to handle. MVP Sean Brackett had his best game of the season, throwing for 250 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions. His 84% completion percentage proves how clinically Brackett played while leading the offense. New York quarterback E.J. Nemeth put on an impressive performance as well with 222 yards and seven touchdowns while completing 52% of his passes.
Fullback Quayvon Hicks added 17 yards and a touchdown to lead to the Pirates in rushing. He also returned an onside kick for a score.
The Streets had a difficult time covering the entire receiving corps for the Pirates, as every widout who suited up caught a touchdown. The explosive Mardy Gilyard led the contest with four touchdowns, giving him 13 this season to make him the co-league leader. Devonn Brown added seven receptions for 93 yards and a score, while newcomer Dexter McCluster was impressive in his first game as a Pirate catching three passes for 45 yards, including a touchdown. New York’s Rob Jones added eight catches for 52 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Streets in receiving.
Defensively the Pirates were led by defensive backs Khalid Wooten and Chucky Williams who each had five and a half tackles. Defensive linemen Toby Johnson and RJ Roberts each added a sack in the victory.
Nice start for the… Rookies?
Former All-Pro wide receiver and kick returner Dexter McCluster, a second round NFL draft pick out of Mississippi, made his NAL debut for the Pirates on Monday catching with three passes for 45 yards and a touchdown. Former New England Patriot offensive lineman Tre’ Jackson, a Super Bowl Champion and fourth round pick from Florida State, also played his first game with the Pirates in New York helping to protect quarterback Sean Brackett, who had his best game of the season with seven touchdown passes and 243 yards passing.
This will be the second meeting between the Pirates and the Streets. The teams will meet two more times this season; July 5th in New York and July 27th in Worcester.
Not a warm welcome
With the 70-51 win over New York, the Pirates are 3-1 when facing an expansion team for the first time. Last season the Pirates defeated Maine and lost to Carolina, both expansion clubs. This season the Pirates defeated the expansion Orlando Predators to the tune of 45 to 12 in their first ever meeting.
Coming off the bye week
The Pirates are now a perfect 3-0 after bye weeks. Last season the Pirates defeated Columbus on June 16, 62-55 and on July 21, the Pirates bested Carolina, 56-53. Both wins were in the DCU Center. The Pirates will have a bye week after this weeks’ game vs. New York.
Anthony Payton (2-4) is in his first season as Pirates Head Coach. Payton was the offensive coordinator of the Pirates last season and is now 1-0 vs. New York.
In 26 years of coaching this is Payton’s first time as a head coach. His professional coaching resume includes stops as an offensive Coordinator in 2016 with Portland in the Arena Football League and in the Indoor Football League with Spokane in 2017. Prior he worked as a wide receivers coach with Louisville in the AF2 and also in the AFL with Las Vegas and Buffalo.
New York Head Coach Rick Marsilio (3-2) is also in his first season and now 0-1 vs. the Pirates. Marsilio gained experience as a Head Coach in the AIF (American Indoor Football). In 2016 he was the Head Coach in Harrisburg, PA with the Central Penn Capitals and in 2015 with the York, PA Capitals. Marsilio was also on the staff with the Harrisburg Stampede for eight seasons, starting as a quarterback/wide receiver coach and working his way up to Offensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach.
Individual League Leaders:
Pirates QB Sean Brackett continues to be the co-leader in the National Arena League in rushing touchdowns with five on the season. After his big passing day in New York on Monday, Brackett now has the most completions in the league with 103. His numbers now through six games are 103 of 177 (58.2%) for 1057 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions.
Quayvon Hicks does not have the most rushing attempts in the NAL (21) but he does lead the league in rushing yards with 77. Hicks also averages 12.8 rushing yards per game and averages 3.7 per carry which also tops the NAL. Hicks is also tied for the league lead in kickoff returns for touchdowns with one this season.
The Pirates Mardy Gilyard leads the NAL with the most kick return yards (230) and has the highest kick return average at 25.6 yards. He did not return a kick in the last game against the Streets.
Streets quarterback EJ Nemeth leads the National Arena League in Total Offense Touchdowns with 31. He has the most passing TD’s with 26 and is tied with Sean Brackett with five rushing touchdowns. His passing numbers this year through five games are 100 of 168 (59.5%) for 1139 yards, 26 touchdowns and six interceptions.
The Streets kick returner Rob Jones has one missed field goal return this season for 43 yards which is a league best.
Thompson is averaging one interception per game which is the best average in the NAL. He has three picks in three games. Two of his interceptions have been returned for touchdowns which also leads the league. The defensive back also averages 6.3 tackles per game to top the charts in that category.
NAL Team Leaders
The Streets are averaging 52 points per game, best in the NAL. Streets quarterbacks have also been intercepted just six times this year. That number is the fewest in the league.
The Running Game
The Pirates have the number one rushing offense with 157 yards and an average of 26.2 per game. The Pirates gain 3.3 yards per carry which is best in the league. The Pirates 49 rushing attempts also the most in the NAL. Their 16 rushing first downs are number one in the NAL.
Defending the Run
The Pirates also defend the run better than any team in the league allowing just 1.3 yards per carry and 9.3 yards per game. They have allowed just 56 yards rushing which is also tops in the league.
Massachusetts top the league in kick return yardage 306 yards. The Pirates are also tied for the NAL lead in kickoff returns for touchdowns with Carolina as each has one this season.
Interception Return Average
New York Streets 14.0
Fumble Return Average
Massachusetts Pirates 45.0
Fumble Returns for TD
Massachusetts Pirates 2 (3 way tie)
4th Down Conversions
NY Streets 7 of 14 (50%)
Sacks & Sack Yards
NY Streets 16 sacks for 84 yards
Massachusetts Pirates - Net. Average 48.5
The Pirates will have a bye week next week. They will travel to Orlando for the first time ever on June 15th for a meeting with the Predators at 7:00 pm. The Pirates next game in the DCU Center will be June, 22nd at 7:00 pm vs. Columbus.
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 email@example.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.