Saturday, July 27, DCU Center, Worcester, MA 7:15 PM
By Mick Moninghoff
Local (MA) Radio: Nash Icon. 98.9
Mick Moninghoff & JJ Raterink
LIVE Streaming: NAL YouTube
Pirates Transactions this Week
The Pirates have placed WR Tavares Martin Jr., Washington State, on Short Term Injured Reserve. The Pirates also signed and activated free agent WR Rannell Hall, University of Central Florida.
For the Record
The Pirates have clinched the third seed in the upcoming National Arena League playoffs and will face the defending league champion Carolina Cobras in Greensboro the weekend of August 3. The official date and time have not yet been announced.
The New York Streets are on a nine game losing streak and have been eliminated from the playoff picture.
The Pirates took the Jacksonville Sharks to overtime before falling on the road 54-47. Pirates’ wide receiver Mardy Gilyard had scored three times and the Pirates defense intercepted Sharks quarterback Jonathan Bane five times, but it was not enough to stop the Sharks winning streaks which stands at 12 games. Pirates QB Sean Brackett ended the night 17 of 37 for 198 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions. His top target was Gilyard who had ten receptions for 101 yards and three scores. Lawrence Austin led the defense with seven tackles and two interceptions. Sharks QB Bane was 13 of 29 for 132 yards and five interceptions along with two touchdowns. Mike Fafaul was five for five in relief with two scores. Devin Wilson led the Jacksonville receivers with eight catches for 94 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Robert Brown was the top tackler with three and half stops and a pick.
The Streets were shutout by the Carolina Cobras 46-0. Streets QB Cody Williams got his first start and was 5 of 12 for 42 yards without an interception.
The game was stopped at halftime due to an off field incident which was explained in a statement from a National Arena League spokesperson: “During Sunday night’s Carolina Cobras vs New York Streets National Arena League game, the Cobras' locker room was accessed and players and coaches’ personal items were removed without permission. Because of this, the game was halted at halftime. Westchester County Police are working with the Streets, the Cobras and the league by reviewing security footage of the area.
The County Center is working with the New York Streets to issue patrons refunds. The Streets sincerely apologize to the Cobras organization - including their players, coaches, ownership and the fans of the Streets and the National Arena League.”
This week, New York Streets Owner Corey Galloway gave an update on the situation.
“I am thankful to the Westchester County Police for the swift investigation of this matter. A game-day production hire, Aniyah Booker, has been charged with the two recent thefts that occurred at the Westchester County Center at New York Streets home games. I am outraged by her actions and I fully support the criminal charges that were brought against her. Aniyah’s actions have caused serious damage to our team, our fans and the National Arena League. We expect she will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Massachusetts leads the all-time series three games to none. The Pirates won the first ever meeting in White Plains on May 27, (70-51), the June 1 contest (68-53) in Worcester and the July 5th meeting in New York, (54-52).
The Last Meeting
Massachusetts kicker Mike Weaver made a 60 yard field goal on the final play of the game as the Pirates defeated the New York Streets in the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The victory clinched a playoff berth for the Pirates. Weaver’s game winning kick, the longest in National Arena League history, came after Streets’ Kicker Billy Deane had connected on a 24 yard field goal to give New York at 52-51 advantage with two seconds on the clock. It was a fitting ending to a game that featured ten lead changes. Weaver, who was a perfect seven for seven on extra points, accounted for 12 points in the victory. Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett finished the night 21 of 32 passing for 274 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. He also ran three times for 16 yards and a score. Defensively, Chucky Williams led the Pirates with seven total tackles. JD Griggs added six tackles, two and a half sacks and three tackles for a loss. Toby Johnson tallied five hits along with a sack and a half, and 2.5 tackles for a loss.
Streets QB David Legree ran 16 times but finished with a minus one yard rushing and a touchdown. His passing numbers were 16 of 26 for 264 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions. Anthony Johnson led the Streets defense with eight tackles.
Anthony Payton (7-6) is in his first season as Pirates Head Coach and is 3-0 vs. New York. 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 (3-10) is also in his first season and now 0-3 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.
The Pirates average 48.32 points per game (third in the NAL) while the Streets 44.1 points per game rank them fifth. Defensively, the Pirates rank third allowing 48.1 points per night while New York is fifth in the NAL allowing 55.4 points per contest.
Individual League Leaders
Completions & Rushing Touchdowns
Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett leads the NAL in pass attempts (396) and completions with 244. Brackett is 244 of 396 (61.6%) for 2,598 yards with 57 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Brackett leads the league running 436 offensive plays. His 12 rushing scores are also most in the league. He is also tied for first in the NAL in total touchdowns with 69.
Pirates’ wide receiver Mardy Gilyard leads the NAL with 33 total touchdowns, points with 198 and sports the most points per game at 15.2. Gilyard leads the league in TD receptions with 29. He also sports the best kickoff return average at 25.2 yards per return.
Massachusetts kicker Mike Weaver has the highest per game scoring average among kickers in the NAL at 8.8 points per game.
Interception Return Yards, Interceptions for Touchdown and Solo Tackles
Lawrence Austin of the Pirates leads the league in all three categories.
Austin has 166 interception return yards, 55 solo tackles and he is tied with the Streets Denzel Thompson for the league lead with two interception returns for scores.
Kickoff Returns for Touchdowns
Thomas Owens and Quayvon Hicks are tied with two others for kickoff returns for touchdowns with two others.
All Purpose Yards
Rob Jones of the Streets leads the NAL with an average of 113.9 all-purpose yards per game. Jones also has the longest missed field goal return this season of 43 yards to lead the league.
Total Offense and Passing Yards Per Game
Former Streets QB EJ Nemeth still leads the NAL with average of 242.3 yards and 238.2 passing yards per game.
Streets QB David Legree leads the NAL in rushing attempts (54), yards (214), average per carry (4.0) and yards per game (26.8). He also leads the NAL with 13.9 yards per completion.
Team Stats - Leading the NAL
The Pirates are best against the run having allowed just 188 yards all season. They also allow the fewest yards per game (14.5).
First Downs Rushing
The Pirates have 33 rushing first downs, tops in the NAL
Passing Efficiency – Completion Percentage
The Pirates QB’s rank first with a mark of 105 .4 while completing 61.5% of their passes, also a league best.
Kickoff Returns of Touchdowns
The Pirates have two to lead the NAL
Interception Returns for Touchdowns – Yards and Average
The Pirates are tied with most returns of TD’s with three. The Pirates have 214 interception return yards for an average of 10.7 per game to lead the NAL.
Fumble Return Average
Massachusetts averages 45 yards per fumble return.
The Pirates have the most penalty yards (643) and highest average at 49.5 yards per game.
New York leads the NAL in the following categories:
Fewest Penalties (73) and average penalty yards per game (32.2)
Fewest Passes Intercepted – 14
Attempts (113) Yards (345) and Yards Per Game 26.5)
Missed Field Goal Return Average – 43.0
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the National Arena League (NAL). The Pirates play all home games at the DCU Center located at 50 Franklin St. Worcester, MA. 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org 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.