New England Football League Gladiators & Generals Go To War | New England Football League
New England Football League

Gladiators & Generals Go To War

(Image courtesy of Adam Justin Santos)

The landscape of Semi Pro football in New England has changed. It wasn’t long ago that the masses were begging for all the top talent in the Northeast to be in the same league. After a series of unprecedented, calculated and sometimes very intriguing moves the Eastern Football League was no more and all the crème de la crème talent was housed under the same roof in the New England Football League to form the super league we have all been waiting for. With this new change comes the most competitive and entertaining football to date, week in and week out. This week is a prime example of that. The Taunton Gladiators, a nationally ranked team with national championship aspirations, will travel to the historic Manning Field in Lynn to battle the new face North Shore Generals.

With nearly a decade of dominance in the northeast the Taunton Gladiators are a juggernaut of an organization. Offensively, they are led by QB Matthew Letourneau and an aerial attack featuring Mark Evora and Marcus Grant that would be tough to match by any other team. To complement the passing game they feature a ferocious running attack led by Jeremie Chumack and Felipe Njeim, a championship duo that has become the staple and identity of this hard nosed team. Their offensive line anchored by left tackle, Bedo Faroul, normally the strength of the team, has become an area of need and improvement with lack of depth and continuity as they are yet to have a full offensive line for a game. Defensively they are an unstoppable force. Their defensive line has proven to be the most improved unit with the addition of Wallace Miranda who already has over 4 sacks in a mere two games and has been a disruptive force. Add to that John Gordon, who has not played so far this year and offensive lines will truly have a problem in their hands. A leading player on the team proudly stated “I don’t (think) there’s a single semi pro team out there that can stop that DL.” The Generals will certainly try.

The new look North Shore Generals will counter with a ferocious defense and a much improved offensive attack. Defensively they are much improved from previous years. That is in part due to the addition of the infamously named “Dominican Delegation,” a cohort of talent from the Lawrence area that had previously played for the storied Nor’easter franchise. Defensively, guys like Luis Medina on the defensive line, Christian Guzman at outside backer and wide out turned safety Al Andrews make an immediate impact and will help set up the offense with great field position. Combined that with the established stout defense that the Generals have returning and they should match up well against the Gladiators. Expect a lot of pressure off the edges with John Wayne Parsons, Peter Bien-Aime and Tony Johnson, the outside backers who are the strength of this very athletic and aggressive defense.

New Generals QB Cory Burnham Hands Off To RB Nate Adames

Perhaps the biggest addition so far for the Generals has been on the offensive side of the ball with a quarterback from Division-3 UMass-Dartmouth, Cory Burnham, and dual threat running back Nate Adames, previously from the Nor’easter. Burnham and Adames have brought a much needed spark to the Generals’ offensive unit after previous years of divided attention at the QB position and a turntable of running backs . They will need to duplicate their success in order to have a chance against a very good Gladiator defense.

The Generals will have to come into this game focused. Last week against the Boston Bandits the Generals suffered what is being described by some of their players as a self inflicted loss. “Last week we were overconfident; same way the Gladiators are feeling right now. We took last week lightly. We thought we were going to steamroll Boston. Everybody on the team got that into their heads and Boston is not a team to take lightly. We should have beat them. But the Gladiators are in for a big surprise and a rude awakening. (They are going to get) their first lost in a few years.” If this is to be true, the Generals are going to have to play to their full potential in order to dethrone the current Northeast Champs. Two things are for certain, on Sunday at 5pm, Manning Field will become the battlefield for two heavyweights and the NEFL will continue to uphold its title as The Premier Semi Pro Football League in the nation.

Gladiator’s Marcus Grant tries to avoid being tackled during last Saturday’s game versus Southern Maine. (Photo courtesy of Alison Rosa Photography)

Contributed by Jonathan Pérez. Articles for the NEFL website can be sent to neflscores@aol.com

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