New England Football League SPEED WINS IN CHAMPIONSHIP | New England Football League
New England Football League

SPEED WINS IN CHAMPIONSHIP

PORTLAND, ME – With a combination of championship experience and amazing team speed, the Connecticut Panthers sprinted by the Maine Sabers 35-14 for the 20th NEFL AAA Championship. The win is the fourth in a row by a team from the Southern Conference.

&ldquot;We knew we had a speed advantage&rdquot; said head coach Derek Bortz, &ldquot;we just wanted to take advantage of it whenever we could&rdquot;. The Panthers got on the board early with an 8 yard scoring run by Anrae Farier and a 7 yard run by Jamie Bryant.  After a short punt and a personal foul by a Panthers defender, running back Jon Wiechman's 11 yard plunge cut the lead in half and gave needed momentum to the Sabers.

After an exchange of possessions, a Sabers punt in the second quarter buried the Panthers on their own 3 yard line. Bortz inserted Jamie Bryant in hopes to get enough yardage to set up a punt. Bryant however had other plans. Taking a direct snap towards the right edge, Bryant out ran Saber defenders to the end zone for a 97 yard touchdown as the home crowd at Memorial Field was silenced. &ldquot;Rocket is an amazing player; few guys can do the things he does.&rdquot; The score gave the Panthers a 21-7 lead heading into the half.

The third quarter saw both defenses standing up to the challenges of opposing offenses. Defensive linemen David Reese, Dustin Linden, Sam Saylor and Corey Johnson all recorded sacks in the second half of play. The normally poised Jeremy Shorey couldn't find comfort in the Sabers pocket until the final quarter of play. There he connected with tight end Travis Barnies for a 15 yard strike setting the Sabers up on the 1 yard line. A quick pass to Chris Libby gave the Sabers their second score off the night and hope for a comeback.

After a failed onside kick attempt, the Panthers took possession near midfield. With less than seven minutes to play in regulation, the Panthers were looking to run time off of the clock. After two runs into the line of scrimmage by Farier, in came Bryant for his encore performance.  After receiving a toss to the right from Richie Snowden, Bryant reversed direction and headed towards the left sideline. Weaving through three Sabers defenders, Bryant shoulder shift dropped the final would-be tackler as he walked into the end zone for another amazing run. &ldquot;He was clearly at the top of his game tonight&rdquot; said NEFL representative Bernie Armstrong, &ldquot;he's without a doubt was the best player on the field tonight; maybe the best in the entire league.&rdquot; Bryant finished with 189 yards rushing (3 TD's), 49 yards passing (1 TD), 2 yards receiving, and 70 yards in kick returns. His 301 total yards of offense is a record high in a NEFL Championship game. &ldquot;He played great all season obviously, but he clearly saved the absolute best for last.&rdquot;

GAME STATISTICS

BOXSCORE

1Q

2Q

3Q

4Q

FINAL

Panthers

14

7

0

14

35

Sabers

0

7

0

9

14

CONNECTICUT PANTHERS

PASSING Completions Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Rich Snowden 3 19 23 0 1
Jamie Bryant 2 2 49 1 0

 

RECEIVING Catch Yards TD's   Catch Yards TD's
Naciki Reid 1 1 0 Jamie Bryant 1 2 0
Akwan Shabazz 2 44 1 Jason Krushaks 1 25 0

 

RUSHING Rush Yards TD's   Rush Yards TD's
Rich Snowden 1 15 0 Anrae Farier 10 37 1
Taurean Gaston 4 14 0 Jamie Bryant 6 189 3

 

DEFENSE STAND OUTS Tackles Sacks INT Misc.
Gerald Patrick 9      
David Reese 5 1.5    
Corey Johnson 3 1    
Andrew Pratt 4      
Tylee Flowers 3      
Sir Snowden 2.5      
Shante Wynn 3     Pass Deflection
Antwon Carr 3     Pass Deflection
Dustin Linden 3 1   Pass Deflection
Sam Saylor 2 1    
Andrew Alleyene 2     4 Passes Defended
Evan Nelson 2      

 

SPECIAL TEAMS  
David Szymanski 5/5 PAT
Jamie Bryant 70 total kick/ punt returns yards

 

 

 

Maine Sabers

PASSING Completions Attempts Yards Touchdowns Interceptions
Jeremy Shorey 15 34 154 1 0

 

RECEIVING Catch Yards TD's   Catch Yards TD's
Travis Barnies 3 36 0 Chris Libby 5 52 1
Anthony Hicks 3 38 0 Kendrick Ballantyne 2 17 0
Jon Wiechman 1 6 0 Shane Cirello 1 5 0

 

RUSHING Rush Yards TD's   Rush Yards TD's
Jon Wiechman 17 41 1 Jeremy Shorey 4 12 0
Brandon Hovey 3 6 0        

 

DEFENSE STAND OUTS Tackles Sacks INT Misc.
Chris Kates 4      
Brolin Frye 2     Fumble Recovery
Garett Masse 3      
Anthony Hicks 4      
Wesley Meyers 1   1  
Dan Swett 1 1    
Steven Barker 2      
Lamir Whetstone 2      

 

SPECIAL TEAMS  
Steve Goodrich 2/2 PAT, 0/1 FG
Anthony Hicks 78 total kick/ punt return yards

PENALTIES

Connecticut Panthers

12/100 yards

Maine Sabers

5/55 yards

 

TOTAL OFFENSE

OFFENSE Rush Plays Rush Yards Passing Plays Passing Yards TOTAL OFFENSE
Panthers 21 255 21 72 42 plays / 327 yards
Sabers 23 59 34 136 57 plays/ 195 yards

 

Pictured Above – David Reese (99) and fellow defenders harassed Jeremy Shorey (4) all night

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*