The Massachusetts Pirates (8-6) were able to build momentum heading into the playoffs next weekend with an impressive 50-35 victory over the New York Streets (4-10). The Pirates swept the season series from the Streets four games to none. With the seeding already locked, Pirates backups saw a significant amount of playing time. The Pirates were guided by an impressive performance by Alejandro Bennifield who completed 16 of 30 passes for 171 yards and four touchdowns. In his debut as a Pirate, receiver Rannell Hall caught eight passes and two touchdowns and added 98 yards receiving to lead the Pirates receiving corps. New York was led by quarterback Cody Williams who passed for 174 yards and four touchdowns.
The first quarter of play was dominated by Massachusetts. Ffullback Quayvon Hicks put the Pirates ahead early as he scampered into the end zone from 19 yards out. Wide receiver Devonn Brown rushed for an eight-yard touchdown on the next Pirate possession. The score was followed by a deuce on the following kickoff by kicker Mike Weaver that put the Pirates up 16-0. Defensive lineman Willie Yarbary and linebacker Shawn Loiseau each recorded sacks in the quarter.
The Pirate's defense continued their strong efforts into the second quarter as they forced a turnover on downs. The following Massachusetts drive came to a halt when Hicks coughed the ball up and gave it back to the Streets. As a result, Streets quarterback Cody Williams found Edgar Allen Poe for a three yard touchdown. Pirates QB Bennifield connected with Brown for a 15-yard score on the following possession, which marked Brown's second score of the contest. Weaver drilled another deuce giving the Pirates a nine-point swing. With time ticking down before halftime Williams chucked up a deep pass to wide out Robert Jones, who made an impressive adjustment to secure the catch for a 45-yard score. The Pirates headed into the locker room leading 25-15.
The third quarter of play opened with the Pirates third deuce of the night from Weaver. A Toby Johnson sack led to another turnover on downs for the Streets. Bennifield was then able to find newly signed receiver Rannell Hall for a nine-yard touchdown in his first career game as a Pirate. New York's Williams connected with Allen Poe from 14-yards out to mark the final score of the quarter.
In the final quarter of the regular season, the Pirates were able to close out the game on a high note. Bennifield tossed another touchdown to Brown from 16-yards out. Williams tossed his fourth touchdown of the game with Devante Jenkins on the receiving end of the score, but Bennifield would find Hall again, sprinting up the field for a huge 24-yard score. Weaver added his fourth “Deuce” to put the game out of reach. Williams also dashed through the Pirates defense for a 28-yard touchdown with four seconds left in the game for the final score of the night.
Hall was the Pirates leading receiver with eight catches for 98 yards and two scores. Devonn Brown did have three TD’s, one rushing and two receiving.
Williams was 17 of 26 passing for 174 yards, four scores and one interception. He was sacked five times by the Pirates. His leading receiver was Jenkins who pulled in eight balls for 66 yards and a TD.
The Pirates will travel to Carolina to take on the Cobras in the opening round of the NAL playoffs on August 3 at the Greensboro Coliseum.
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.