Week three of The Spring League kicked off tonight, with a North Division doubleheader on FS1. The first game featured the 0-2 Aviators looking to pick up their first win of the season against the 1-1 Conquerors.
Coming into the game, the Conquerors were clearly the stronger team. They have been consistent offensively, even in their loss last week to the Alphas, and certainly have Championship potential.
On the other hand, the Aviators have been consistently bad, only putting up 9 points in week one; and then a measly 3 points against the Linemen. Unfortunately, those offensive struggles continued to be a glaring issue in week three.
Things opened up with the Conquerors receiving the kickoff. They got off to a fast start, as Kevin Anderson dropped a 36 yard dime to Vinny Papale down the sidelines. But, Cole Murphy missed a 37 yard field goal, which left the Conquerors empty handed.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLConquerors unable to secure a 37-yard field goal.
Seth Suida started out as QB for the Aviators, and despite a string of decent plays, they were forced to punt around midfield.
Both offenses continued to stall throughout the rest of the quarter, and it remained 0-0 going into the second.
Keller Chryst came in as QB for the Aviators to start the second quarter, and was able to breathe some life into their offense, completing an important pass to Stapleton on 3rd down. However, Todd Leader missed a 44yd FG, and it remained a scoreless ball game.
Kevin Anderson finally got it going, finding TaVonn Salter down the sidelines for an impressive gain. A few plays later, he found Vinny Papale in the endzone, and the Conquerors took a 7-0 lead.
GAME DAY UPDATE: The #TSLConquerors get on the boards with Kevin Anderson connecting with Vinny Papale for the first touchdown of the matchup.
The Aviators continued to struggle on offense, as their offensive line simply could not block. The Conquerors defensive line was dominating up front, making it impossible for them to get anything going.
Kevin Anderson continued to make some solid throws, but Michael Bandy coughed it up at the Aviator’s 3 yard line, cutting short what would have been a scoring drive.
Not surprisingly, the Aviators gave it right back to the opponent, as Beau Griego picked off Chryst, and returned it inside the 10 yard line.
Sola Olateju was able to capitalize on the turnover, as he ran it in on 4th and goal, putting the Conquerors in front 14-0 heading into halftime.
The Aviators offense finally made a big play, as Suida found Charles Johnson for a massive gain putting them in the red zone. On 4th and 7, Suida overthrew Hardaway, but a PI call gave them a new set of downs – which led to a TD run from Leroy Wilson, cutting the lead to 21-7.
GAME DAY UPDATE: The #TSLAviators finally secure some points with Seth Suida handing it off to Leroy Wilson, rushing it into the end-zone.
Jordan Salima has proved time and time again to be a valuable asset for the Conquerors. He caught a couple screen passes from Silvers, and made defenders miss to keep their drive alive. Silvers ended up finding Michael Bandy for an 11 yard score, and the Conquerors were up 27-7.
The Aviators simply could not move the football at all tonight, going backwards on their first drive in the 4th quarter, and once again had to punt.
Sola Olateju put on a show on the Conqueror’s next drive, breaking out a big gain of 34 yards, which put them inside the 5 yard line. Brandon Silvers then connected with Michael Bandy for their second TD of the quarter, which put the Conquerors up 34-7.
The rest of the game was relatively uneventful, as each team traded punts, and then the Conquerors ran out the rest of the clock, winning in dominant fashion 34-7.
Through 3 weeks of play, the Conquerors have looked like one of the most complete teams in the league. Their quarterback room is solid, as both Kevin Anderson and Brandon Silvers have been playing excellent football.
Anderson finished the night 12/17, with 171yds, and a score. Silvers was just as impressive, throwing for 98 yards and two touchdowns.
Jordan Salima has proved to be a versatile back, as he can also play the receiver role. He was responsible for over 80 passing yards in the Conquerors win tonight. Sola Olateju also ran for 50 yards and a score.
It is Jerry Glanville’s defense that may just be the scariest part. Their defensive line absolutely stuffed the Aviators all day long, making it impossible for Terry Shea to get his offense going. If the Conquerors continue to play the way they have the last few weeks, they are certainly championship material.
After the results of tonight’s game, the Conquerors move into 2nd place in the North division, improving to 2-1. With three weeks left to play, they have put themselves in a good position to make a championship run in June.
The Aviators have now dropped to 0-3, and quite frankly, look like a mess. Their offense has very few weapons, and in every game so far they have failed to get any momentum early on. Terry Shea has a lot of work to do if he wants his team to have a chance at the Championship game.
What did you think of Thursday Night’s double header? Do you think the Conquerors will make the Championship game in June? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!
K. Chryst: 8/20, 83yds, 1 INT
S. Suida: 5/10, 96yds
K. Anderson: 10/15, 149yds, 1 TD
B. Silvers: 7/9, 98yds, 2 TD
J. Salima: 75 yds receiving
S. Olateju: 11 car, 42yds. 1 TD