New England Football League 2018 AAA Championship Preview | New England Football League


New England Football League

2018 AAA Championship Preview

Giovanni Saunders hands off to Dre Williams

The 25th season of NEFL football is nearing its’ end. In 2018 you clearly were able to see the contenders take their position at the top of the standings. “The top teams showed who they were right away” said League Vice President Anthony Morgante, “those teams won on the road, stayed healthy, and figured out a way to get their teams up to play week in and week out.” The Boston Bandits return to the championship round along with the Southern Maine Raging Bulls. “Both of these teams have a rich history on the field along with being class-A organizations off; we’re proud of both teams and wish them the best Saturday night.”

BOSTON BANDITS (8-2 Regular Season)

OFFENSIVE SUMMARY: The leader out of the gate, the Bandits used their offseason acquisitions to get themselves in the Colonial Conference Championship. The biggest was Giovanni Saunders. For former quarterback of the Somerset Rampage, Saunders is having his most productive season thus far. He was responsible for 18 touchdowns this season using both his legs (7 rushing) and strong arm (11 passing) for the Bandits. His targets include long-time standout Daryl Hodge, newly acquired Luis Garcia and UMASS product Bernard Davis. Second year running back Dre Williams and veteran JT Harrold balances the Bandits offense with their rushing attack.

DEFENSIVE SUMMARY: The defensive core is still controlled by perennial All-Star Alvin Edwards, Lormeus Leighton, and Ryan Ruiz. Rookie Peter Ngobidi (UMASS) has also stepped in to be one of the team leaders in both sacks and tackles. “The Bandits have a great combination of both younger players and veterans to fill out their roster” said an opposing coach, “Coach O has done a superior job of bonding both groups to make another run at a championship.”

OUTLOOK: Established in 1995, the Bandits are one of the longest running minor league programs in the country. Making it to the final game 8 times, they have 5 NEFL Championships with their most recent in 2015. “The game won’t be too big for those guys for sure; they know what to do when the chips are on the table.”

Raging Bulls defenders (L-R) Damien Shepard, Wade Bryant, Ellis Throckmorton, and Jeff Turcotte


OFFENSIVE SUMMARY: The offense of the Raging Bulls now and always starts with the offensive line. “No matter who they put in there; the Bulls front 5 always controls the line of scrimmage” said an opposing coach. That is displayed by future Hall of Famer Phil Warren’s exceptional career and the current notoriety of Teven Colon. “Colon is probably the best back in the NEFL at this point in his career. He was always good in the open field. Lately he’s shown he can be relied on in between the tackles.” An example of that was Colon’s 113 rushing yards against playoff bound Middleboro Cobras during the regular season. Colon lead the NEFL with 14 rushing scores, nearly twice the number of any other player.

DEFENSIVE SUMMARY: The Raging Bulls secondary is led by defensive back Damien Shepard and All Star Anthony Hicks. Utilized as a do-everything defender, Hicks was one of the leaders in team tackles along with finishing with 5 interceptions on the year. Linebackers Wade Bryant and Ellis Throckmorton control the four-man front of the Raging Bulls defense. “They run the show on the field making sure everyone is where they need to be.” With multiple linemen with 3 or more sacks on the season; the Raging Bulls have all that is needed to slow down any offensive attack.

OUTLOOK: The fourth seeded Raging Bulls pulled off the biggest upset of the playoffs defeating the Rhode Island Wardogs 28-14 in the semi-finals. “I thought that team was destined to return to the Colonial Conference Championship game; the Bulls beating them on the road is a big deal.” Returning to the finals for the first time since 2014, expect the Bulls to pull out all stops to win the exclusive NEFL crown.

Jordan Jones of the Raging Bulls

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