This week, The Spring League played three more games in week two of their fall season. The two games which were played on Wednesday were broadcasted by Fox, who is in a deal with TSL to air 7 of the 12 games to be played during the league’s season.
In week one, we only got to watch one of the three games. This week we got to see two on Fox, and both were entertaining games that came down to the final drive. Let’s take a look at how each game went down.
Aviators vs. Blues
The Blues and the Aviators started their seasons off strong last week, as both shut out their opponents in dominant victories. This matchup between the two teams proved to be a fun one, with players across the board making plays.
It opened up with Shea Patterson (former QB for Michigan) throwing an impressive TD pass to David Grinnage to give the Blues a 7-0 lead. Throughout most of the first half it was a defensive battle, but McLeod Bethel-Thompson (CFL QB, Toronto Argonauts) dropped an absolute dime to Delvon Hardaway to tie things up going into halftime.
The one issue that both teams struggled with was special teams. The Blues had a field goal blocked, while the Aviators kicker Toshiki Sato missed two field goals. The Blues took a 14-7 lead as Matt Colburn broke loose for a 51 yard TD. Colburn played an incredible game, racking up almost 200 yards. The Aviators tied things up however, as Bethel-Thompson found Kent Shelby II for a score.
The end of the game was wild. The Blues kicked a FG to take a 17-14 lead, but as time expired, Sato was finally able to make a FG, and it went into overtime. In OT, the Blues had to punt, and then things got crazy as Matthew Sexton walked off the game with a huge punt return to win it. This was a perfect game for TSL to broadcast, as it kicked off the week in exciting fashion.
Alphas vs. Conquerors
The second game on Wednesday was also aired on Fox, and it was another enjoyable matchup that came down to the wire. Both teams lost in week one, and were looking to right the ship in this primetime showdown.
The Alphas are led by JT Barrett, former QB for Ohio State. The Conquerors have some popular names of their own: Coach Jerry Glanville, and players Nick Holley and Dan Williams (all XFL alumni).
Opening up the game, the Conquerors grabbed hold of momentum, as Kevin Anderson dropped a dime to Vinny Papale for the first score. However, the Alphas struck back not long after that, with JT Barrett finding Bug Howard for a 53 yard score to make it 7-6. A flurry of points before the half had the Conquerors leading 17-12 going into halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, the Alphas defense came alive, which allowed the offense to take a 22-17 lead. However, one of the biggest takeaways from the game was not good for TSL at all. Justin McMillan, a QB for the Conquerors, got into an ugly fight with one of the Alphas’ coaches after being taunted by him:
Once all of that drama settled, the rest of the game continued relatively smoothly. The Alphas were able to hang on for a 22-17 win to improve to 1-1 on the season, while the Conquerors dropped to 0-2.
Generals vs. Jousters
The final game of the week was played on Thursday, and it was not aired by Fox, so fans could only see updates on Twitter. The Generals (who beat the Conquerors last week on Fox) faced off the Jousters (who were shut out 28-0 by the Aviators).
Despite the Generals being the stronger team, the Jousters were able to keep themselves in the game, and almost had a chance to win it. Both teams struggled offensively, but the Generals held a slim 7-6 lead over the Jousters going into halftime.
In the 3rd quarter, Jousters kicker Ricky Aguayo kicked his third field goal of the day to give the Jousters the lead, banging it through from 50 yards out.
Aguayo is en fuego 🔥!@Ricky__Aguayo is now 3/3 after knocking through a 50 yarder and giving the Jousters their first second half lead of #TSL2020
The Jousters did lead 15-7 late in the game (Aguayo was 5/5 on the day), but the Generals were able to comeback. Bryan Scott found Jordan Suell for the go ahead TD, and the Generals won the game 18-15 to go 2-0 on the season. The Jousters dropped to 0-2, but overall showed a lot of improvement compared to week one.
For the second week in a row, The Spring League was able to produce an enjoyable football product. While it has its shortcomings, the league is doing an impressive job for what it is.
The televised games have been entertaining to watch, and there has been some solid football played, despite the little amount of time teams have had to practice with each other. The coaches are all talented minds that are perfect for developing these players looking to get an opportunity in the NFL/CFL/XFL.
One thing that has to be addressed, however, is some of the messy aspects. In both games that were aired, we saw punches being thrown, scuffles, and even spitting on others. Not to mention, the ridiculous fight between Justin McMillan and the Alphas coach (who we still don’t know the name of). If they can cut out the nonsense, the league will enjoy even more professional play and production.
Next week will also bring some exciting matchups, and we look forward to watching those! Which team do you root for in The Spring League? Do you enjoy watching? Let us know down in the comments below, or join the conversation on Discord!