New England Football League Panthers Win Thriller | New England Football League


New England Football League

Panthers Win Thriller

BOSTON, MA – Collectively, the Connecticut Panthers and the Boston Bandits have won four of the last five Colonial Conference Championships. “You knew when these two franchises stepped on the field against each other it was going to be special,” said a NEFL Representative. The Panthers pulled out a 13-12 victory over the then undefeated Bandits in a true battle of champions.

Inserted at quarterback, Jamie Bryant hurt the Bandits in the opening quarter with both his arm and his feet. He eventually broke the Bandits contain and made his way into the end zone for the game’s opening score. “We tend to go with Rocket early in the game to set the pace. Tonight was no different,” said Head Coach Mark Welch.

For the next two quarters however, both offenses were limited by their defensive counterparts. The Bandits surrounded Bryant and limited his big play ability. Tackle Moose Welch slowed down the Bandits running attack and limited them to two field goals when they entered the red zone.

Bandits quarterback Giovanni Sanders warmed up in the 4th quarter. The Bandits went on a 67 yard scoring drive that ended in a running touchdown by Sanders. The score gave the Bandits a 12-7 lead with under five minutes to play.

The Panthers regained possession only to succumb to the Bandits spirted defense. The ball back in the Bandits hands, they only needed to hold on and gain a few first downs to secure the game. A mishandled snap put the ball on the ground and into the hands of a waiting Panther defender. “We just wanted to give Rocket (Bryant) one more chance with the ball in his hands,” said Welch. A combination of quick runs and accurate passes saw the Panthers in scoring position with less than a minute to play. Sprinting towards the line of scrimmage, Bryant pulled up and finds an open Akwan Shabazz for the winning scoring pass and catch.

“We knew this would come down to the end. Both teams showed why they are usually at the top of the standings. I am sure we’ll see them in the playoffs,” said Welch. The Panthers continue the hardest part of their schedule as they prepare for their third consecutive road game in New Hampshire against the Charge. The Bandits take a short trip and travel to the Mass State Warriors. “This is the best part of the season. At this point you’ll really see what teams have, who can deal with injuries, travel, scheduling, everything.”

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