Written by Baylee O’Shaugnessey, Josh Farnzy, Stefaun Forge, Rae Colston and Matthew Slinn
Images by Axel Raven and Hubba Kimbrel
What will stop this team? 6 interceptions? Nope. Being matched score for score through almost 3 quarters? Nope. The Baltimore Vultures were challenged by the Denver Nightwings for 31 minutes… But 31 isn’t 44, and Denver stands alone as the last remaining unbeaten team in Season 17. This offense is explosive. They scored 13 straight in under 2-1/2 minutes to rock Denver at the end of the 3rd, and took a lead that forced the Nightwings to play right into their hands. The Vultures defense made the Denver passing offense pay. Getting 6 interceptions of their own and knocking down about 1/5 of all passes thrown is quite an impressive line of stats. Needless to say, when Denver was forced to pass throughout the 4th quarter, it made for a rough ending. RB Jimmy Hazzard also had a breakout day with 143 yards on 12 carries, with a long of 65 yards. That must have been huge for the rookie, seeing as this team has had a pass-first mentality every game this season. The Baltimore Vultures sit at the top of most statistical categories on both offense and defense. It does not look like they will be relinquishing those easily anytime soon. They host the London Knights this weekend.
Well, nobody’s perfect. (OK, except for maybe Baltimore). A last minute comeback that saw the Corsairs take the lead was offset by a couple of big plays on the corresponding Skyhawk drive that ended in a walkoff field goal for Carolina, 26-24 to the team in red. AJ Caswell looked to play the hero – stepping up in the pocket away from the pressure and delivering a touchdown strike to Doug Spelling in traffic over the middle to take a six-point lead with 42 seconds to play. The defense, however, gave up crucial chunks of yards on the final-minute drive despite a superb effort all game long. King Jamaal stood out on defense for the black-and-green, as he recorded 10 tackles and an interception. The offense rode Jett Zero’s powerful build on offense, as he touched the ball 36 times on the game for 184 yards and two touchdowns. However, the offense could only muster another 156 yards of total offense when the offense went through anyone else not named Jett. Silver lining: Carolina seemed to outplay Queen City for decent stretches of the contest, but they were still in position to win near the end – a mark of a good team. Queen City travels to Florida for a potential playoff preview this weekend to try and stay within shouting distance of division rival Baltimore.