The Blues Edge Out Sea Lions 15-12 in Week 1 TSL Matchup
The Spring League - Aaron Meullion

The Blues Edge Out Sea Lions 15-12 in Week 1 TSL Matchup

The Spring League kicked off its 2021 season last night with a double header. The first matchup of the night saw the Alphas taking out the Aviators in convincing fashion 23-9. Next up was the Conquerors outlasting the Aviators, in what turned out to be a late game for all the east coast fans.

Kicking off the second night of action, we’ll see the Blues take on one of The Spring League’s expansion teams, the Sea Lions. Initially, the Blues were set to have former Dallas Renegades backup QB Eric Dungey within the ranks. That was until yesterday when Dungey announced he wouldn’t be able to make The Spring League season due to a conflicting schedule with an upcoming Bengals minicamp.

1st Quarter

In an unfortunate turn of events, the start of the Sea Lions and Blues game was bumped to FS2 because a pickup truck race was running over.

One of TSL’s expansion teams, the Sea Lions, will take possession in their first game in existence. At quarterback is former St. Louis BattleHawks backup QB Nick Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald started out the drive attempting a few long passes, but none were able to connect to the receiver.

After a quick three and out, the Blues took control for the first time in the game. Deondre Francois started out the game at QB. Unfortunately, he was not able to move the ball by air or ground forcing the Blues to punt the ball back to their opponents in short order.

The Blues also had trouble moving the ball to start out the game. After a few failed drives, the Blues were able to get within scoring distance, settling for a 42-yard field goal putting them up 3-0 over the Sea Lions.

2nd Quarter

The second quarter started out fairly slow with both teams trading possessions. The Sea Lions were able to get some movement by a huge drive from DeAndre Johnson, bringing the team all the way down to the 4-yard line. This was the best scoring chance for either team so far in the matchup.

The Sea Lions would attempt to get into the end-zone, but could not get it done. The franchise opted to go for a 24-yard field goal, tying up the game 3-3.

With the Blues back in control, Francois was out there to get some yardage. The team came out lucky after a massive pass was collected by Fabian Guerra, but he thought the play was dead despite not being touched after the catch. This lead to Blues Bryce Torneden snatching the ball out of his hands, effectively giving possession to the Sea Lions.

Unfortunately for the Sea Lions, the refs had blown the whistle making the play dead. Sea Lions head coach Larry Kirksey could be seen on the sidelines giving the officials a hard time for stopping the play.

The Sea Lions ultimately came out on top, blocking the Blues field goal attempt giving them great field position with plenty of time to score in the half.

LaDarius Galloway came out strong for the Sea Lions, rushing for over 30-yards to get the Sea Lions in the red-zone. The team still could not find the end-zone, forcing them to once again go for three. After a successful 25-yard field goal, the Sea Lions re-took a slim lead over the Blues 6-3.

The Blues, not wanting to go into the half behind drove the ball down the field into scoring position. Although they still could not get six on the board, the team was able to grab another field goal, tying the game 6-6 with 20 seconds left in the half.

Both teams were looking great on defense and in the running game, but had some work to be done in the air. Over all, both teams look pretty even, giving this matchup nail-biter potential.

3rd Quarter

Starting out the second half the game was moved to FS1, where it was originally supposed to air. The Blues started out the half with possession, looking to re-gain the lead. Both teams struggled a bit to start out, but you could see them making adjustments as the game went on.

The Blues finally broke the ice, becoming the first team to make it into the end-zone via a reception from Lucky Jackson. The team could not secure the extra-point attempt, but they did put themselves up 12-6.

The Sea Lions were able to get back into scoring position before the quarter ended. Luck still was not on their side, after a few failed attempts to the end-zone John Barron missed a 43-yard field goal attempt.

The quarter ended with the Sea Lions still chasing the lead, and the Blues up 12-6.

4th Quarter

Going into the final stretch this was still anyone’s game. With such a slim margin, anything could happen. The Blues, hoping to add to their lead and secure the victory moved the ball gracefully down the field. They couldn’t get close enough to get six, but Jonathan Barnes put it between the uprights for another three.

With time running out, the Sea Lions knew they needed to act quick. In a desperation play, they were able to convert on 4th and 1, giving them another chance at the goal line. Thanks to their decision making, the team was finally able to get a touchdown via a spectacular one-handed gran from Tommy Lavine. Kicking continuing to be a problem for both teams, the Sea Lions were not able to grab the extra-point.

With time running out, the game was within reach for the Sea Lions. The Blues looked to keep it in their favor. The team was able to run the clock for most of the remaining time, but made a mistake that could have cost them big.

On fourth down, rather than punt the ball they tried to let the qb run out the clock. This resulted in a massive loss in yards and turnover on downs.Β The Blues tried to draw out the clock, but ended up giving the Sea Lions decent ball position with 2-seconds left in the game. Unfortunately for the Sea Lions that couldn’t complete the hail mary ending the game.

Did you tune into the second night of The Spring League action? Let us know down in the comment below or join the conversation on Discord.