Week Five of The Spring League continued tonight on FS1, as the 3-1 Linemen took on the 0-4 Aviators. Both of these teams have had completely different stories so far this season.
The Linemen have been dominant. They’ve won three games in a row, and have put up 45+ points in their last two games. With a win here, they could put themselves in a golden position to lock up a place in the championship game.
On the other hand, the Aviators have simply been a mess. They haven’t scored 10 or more points in a single game this season. However, they did add Alpha’s QB Vad Lee to the roster this week, so that may just be the spark they needed on offense to get things going.
To open things up, the Linemen got the ball, and they were tricky right off the bat. On a 4th and 5, Ryan Willis looked like he was going to punt, but instead threw a first down pass to Reece Horn, keeping the drive alive. They ended up having to settle for 3, but fortunately were able to get on the board early.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLLinemen take the early lead with Jonathan Song knocking in a 35-yard field goal.
Vad Lee got the start for the Aviators, but their offense was quickly stifled by the Linemen defense, and they were forced to punt immediately.
The Linemen swiftly marched down the field, but were unable to convert on 4th down, and the Aviators took over. Hal Mumme lost the challenge, and a timeout when the officials confirmed the call on the field.
Lee came back in for the Aviators, hoping to at minimum tie up the game. This drive the Aviators started out by going heavy on their run game, which was working very well for them. Just when it seemed like things were going their way, they drew a foul pushing them back to 3rd & 11. The next play was followed up with a false start, pushing them back five more.
Stuck at 3rd & 16, the Aviators went for it… and it paid off. Vad Lee connected with Devonte Davis to move the chains, and bring them to the 20-yard line.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLAviators grabs some points with Vad Lee handing off to Charles Johnson II to run it into the end-zone.
The Linemen would take control again and look to take the lead back, especially if they wanted to keep their Championship hopes alive.
Ryan Willis came back in for the Linemen, but couldn’t find his rhythm on this drive. The team was forced to punt away to the Aviators, giving them the opportunity to get their largest lead of the season with a little over 7 minutes left in the half.
Lee came into this drive looking to score, on his first play he went deep, but the receiver could not secure the ball. Presented with 4th down, Coach Shea decided to challenge the spot hoping to gain the extra yardage. After review, the call stood, and the Aviators have now lost a challenge tonight keeping them at 4th & short.
Coach Shea kept the offense on the field, having trust in his guys to move the ball and the chains. They didn’t disappoint, ultimately keeping the drive alive with 5:08 left in the half.
Lee once again tried to go deep to the end-zone, he was hoping for a flag on the play, but no beans. On third down, Lee decided to run it himself, coming short of the first down and almost fumbling the ball. Once again, the coach kept the offense on the field. This time they couldn’t convert on 4th down, but they were saved by the flag.
With the roughing the passer call, they move forward 15-yards and get another first down. This is where the momentum stopped, with 1:49 left in the half, they dropped the ball allowing the Linemen to recover the ball.
The linemen still had all of their timeouts, but a decent amount of field to march down before the time ran out in the first half. In quick fashion, the Aviators defense forced the Linemen to go three and out with 1:16 left. This gave the Aviators once last chance to score in the quarter.
Vad Lee was looking very impressive on this drive. The goal was clear, get the team into scoring position. This is exactly what they did, but it wasn’t a field goal that added to their lead. Vad Lee, once again playing bold, connected with tight end Woody Brandon for another touchdown.
The extra-point was blocked, but they’d take a 10 point lead going into the half.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLAviators add to their lead via Vad Lee connecting with Woody Brandon on a deep pass.
You can expect Coach Mumme to make some adjustments in the locker room, we’ll just need to see if they can have an impact. 10 points is by far not an unsurmountable lead, so we can expect to see some good action in the second half.
Vad Lee and the Aviators will take possession to start the second half. This just wasn’t their drive, at a manageable 3rd & 5, Lee was pushed way back for a loss of 14.
Ryan Willis started the drive with a long pass, but could not find his receiver. On 3rd & 8, Willis fumbled the ball, but luckily for the Linemen they were able to recover. They were still forced to punt, but it kept the Aviators out of scoring position.
The Aviators went three and out, giving it back to the Linemen in a slow start for both teams. Elliot Taylor fumbled the ball for the Linemen, but the officials put the play under review. Although it was close, there wasn’t enough to overturn the call, giving the Aviators the ball with great field position.
In a twist of fate, just when it seemed like the Aviators would add to their lead, the Linemen defense forced a fumble giving them the ball once again. Even though they secured the ball again, they couldn’t get the offense moving.
The Aviators ended the third with the ball after neither team was able to have a meaningful drive.
Starting out the 4th, the Linemen nearly botched the punt return, which would have given the Aviators a defensive touchdown. After review the Linemen retained possession of the ball. There just wasn’t enough for the officials to reverse the play.
Starting out the drive Willis went long, but it almost ended in an interception. Reece Horn changed the Linemen’s luck, securing the first down on the next play. Ultimately it wasn’t enough to get into scoring position, giving the Aviators the ball with 12:25 left in the matchup.
The Aviators had possession, but not for long. They fumbled the ball, giving the Linemen great field position. The Aviators go offsides, moving the Linemen within 2-yards of the goal line. Ryan Willis secured the first touchdown of the night for his team when he found Reece Horn in the end-zone. The extra-point brings them within three with plenty of time to go.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLLinemen grab their first touchdown of the night after Ryan Willis finds Reece Horn in the end-zone.
The Aviators were out to grab their first win of the season. Vad Lee continued to move the ball for the team, bringing them into scoring position. Vad Lee ultimately handed it off to Kelvin Taylor, to secure a touchdown in his first game with the Aviators.
The extra-point is off, but with 5:33 to go, they have a nine point lead.
The Linemen knew time was against them, but a strong return brings them past mid-field. Ryan Willis came out swinging, literally. Looking impressive, he brought his team in a position to chisel away at the Aviators lead. Dereus was able to bring the team to 1st & Goal.
Tra Minter was the guy this time around, keeping the Linemen in this game.
GAME DAY ALERT: Tra Minter gets the #TSLLinemen in the end-zone.
The Aviators had the ball, but the Linemen still had all three of their timeouts. The Linemen defense accomplished their goal of forcing an Aviators punt.
The Linemen were on a roll on this drive. Reece Horn secured a huge pass from Ryan Willis, giving them great position at the 2-minute warning. They really only needed to get to the 30-yard line to get a field goal, but they also wanted to run as much time off the clock as possible.
They could get the touchdown, but they grabbed a 1-point lead via Jonathan Song, securing the game with 4 seconds left.
It wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Aviators attempted a string of lateral passes, but it wasn’t enough to get down the field. They played their best game of the season, but they couldn’t close out the game.
The Aviators stay winless on the season, and the Linemen march closer to the Championship game at 4-1. It’s gonna be a close division with the Conquerors hot on their heels. It seems it will all come down to how each team plays next week. If the Linemen pull out a win they take the division. If they lose, the Conquerors have a chance if they can outscore them.
Who do you think we’ll see go to The Spring League Mega Bowl from the North Division? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.