by QCC Twitter

The Queen City Corsairs, fresh off a big win over the defending champion Mexico City Aztecs, hosted the Dallas Ruffnecks in Queen City’s first home game of the season at ConPro Field. The Corsairs were slight underdogs last week against the defending champs, but strong performances by QB AJ Caswell and WR Memphis Blue helped them to victory. Highly-prized HB Ash Odom underwhelmed last week, despite a solid performance. Many expected Corsairs Owner/Head Coach Erik Barkley to get Odom more involved in the offense this week. Meanwhile, the Ruffnecks fell to the San Antonio Vaqueros. QB Macc Wavy Jr. and WR Prince Escobar did well, but waited until too late in the game to really get their offense going. The Ruffnecks defense held San Antonio to 24 points, but was tired by the end of the game, as their offense was not giving them a much-needed break. Obviously, Wavy and Escobar wanted to get things started quickly this week against the Corsairs.

FIRST QUARTER: Hello, Chris Curtis!

The first quarter was an impressive offensive performance by the Queen City Corsairs, especially WR Chris Curtis, who was all over the field in the first quarter. Although Dallas FS Troy Loshaw had a solid game, Curtis took advantage of the non-contract cornerbacks, displaying great vertical leaping ability on multiple plays. Curtis ended the first quarter with 2 catches for 116 yards and a touchdown. QB AJ Caswell was in-sync, not only with Curtis, but with his other targets TE Mike Daggs and WR Memphis Blue, who were being targeted after a big performance last week. On the other side of the ball, the Dallas’ offensive plan was to take advantage of the Queen City non-contract cornerbacks. Despite their best attempts, QB Macc Wavy Jr. was being hurried and sacked on multiple drives and unable to get in rhythm. Notably absent from the first quarter was WR Prince Escobar. At the end of the first quarter, Queen City led Dallas 7-0.

SECOND QUARTER: More of the Same

Much like the first quarter, Queen City seemed to dominate the second quarter, as well. HB Ash Odom got on the board with his first touchdown of the day, dragging Dallas defensive players across the goal line to put the Corsairs up 14-0. The Ruffnecks tried to respond, but they were dead set on passing the ball against the Corsairs, despite having highly-valued HB Mike Davis. DE Ellis Harlow and DT Koa Kaleo applied pressure again and each ended the day with 1.5 sacks on Wavy Jr. Back on offense, QB AJ Caswell found Chris Curtis again, as the Dallas defense had no answer for him. Just when it seemed they would hold the passing attack, however, the Ruffnecks allowed Ash Odom to pound his way into the end zone again to put the Corsairs up 21-0 at the half.

THIRD QUARTER: Life From Dallas

After some much-needed halftime adjustments, the Dallas Ruffnecks took the field and drove right down the field, scoring on a big passing touchdown from Wavy Jr. to WR Shea Carroll. Dallas found life on offense, but defensively could not catch their breath. With Queen City in the red zone and Odom out of the game, Dallas turned its attention to WR Memphis Blue and Chris Curtis. Despite their zone coverage, backup HB Todd Mack weaseled his way into the endzone to put Queen City’s score at 28-7. Dallas looked to answer, but the Queen City defense put a stop to their next drive. Again Stenzo Woods Jr. and the defensive team for Queen City put on a show, consistently getting into the Dallas backfield to stop the play. Noticeably absent was HB Mike Davis again, when most suspected they would turn to the workhorse to get their offense going. At the end of the third quarter, Queen City still lead the game 28-7, with Dallas hoping to make one last comeback attempt before they ran out of time.

FOURTH QUARTER: A High-Scoring Affair

Back on offense, the Corsairs quickly stabbed it into the endzone again, hoping to put the nail in the Dallas coffin. This time it was with Ash Odom, his third rushing touchdown on the day. Despite not racking up tons of yardage, Odom remained effective in pivotal moments, especially in the red zone. From there, with only five minutes left in the game, it seemed the Queen City defense started to play off-zone, looking to keep Dallas from scoring quick, big plays. Dallas answered their defensive adjustment with two touchdown passes from Wavy Jr., one to WR Mike Osayi and one to Shea Carroll, their second connection on the day. Those successive touchdown drives cut the lead to 14, with Queen City up 35-21. In a bold move, and really a necessary move, Dallas went for the onside kick after their touchdown. The attempt was unsuccessful. After another three-and-out for Queen City, Dallas took the field in pass-heavy formation, with Wavy Jr. on a hot streak. A bullet pass from Macc Wavy Jr. to Shea Carroll on an out route, however, was intercepted by SS Phoenix Blue, who returned the ball 62 yards for a touchdown to put Queen City up 42-21. In a horrible turn of events for Dallas, the ball tipped off Ash Odom’s hands into the hands of capable SS Phoenix Blue, who returned the onside kick 47 yards for a touchdown. On the next drive, Dallas used their timeouts to drive into the red zone, where Wavy Jr. threw his fourth touchdown of the day to Shea Carroll, his third. That put the score  With only seconds to spare, and no other choice, Dallas went for another onside kick. This time, instead of just downing the ball, Queen City’s Memphis Blue was able to return it 46 yards for a touchdown, putting the final points on the board to end the game 49-28.

Dallas played a poor offensive game up until the fourth quarter, where Macc Wavy Jr. put on a show, ultimately throwing for 393 yards and four touchdowns, three to Shea Carroll. The Ruffnecks’ inability to get off to a hot start has cost them two games in the early part of this season. Many look to Mike Davis and his lack of touches as a potential cause. Davis only had 50 yards on the ground against Queen City. Despite having nearly 500 yards of offense, Dallas lost the time of possession by nearly five minutes to Queen City. To contrast the one-dimensional offense of Dallas, Queen City was effective in the air and on the ground, posting 268 yards passing and 161 yards rushing. Without flashy yards per carry or record-breaking games, newly acquired HB Ash Odom has been an effective dark horse, with four touchdowns and two Player of the Game awards already on the young season.

Next, Queen City (2-0) travels to face the Tallahassee Pride (2-0) in what is sure to be the SFL Game of the Week between two powerhouse teams. If Odom can remain effective in pivotal moments and the Queen City defense can play solidly, the Corsairs have a chance to go 3-0 and make the first real case for playoff contention. Meanwhile, Dallas (0-2) travel to square off against the Houston Hyenas (0-2) in a game that someone has to win. If Macc Wavy Jr. and his receivers can get off to a hot start and manage to get Mike Davis involved, I think the Ruffnecks can finally get their first win of the young season.

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