Pirates Sail Into the Playoffs

By RJ Ciancio

Director of National Arena League Coverage

The New York Streets traveled to Woosster, Massachusetts to battle the Massichustes Pirates in the National Arena League (NAL) Regular Season finale. With the Pirates resting some of their players, Alejandro Benninfield would be the Pirates starting quarterback. 

William Deane’s opening kickoff went out the back of the endzone at their own 20. tHe Pirates opening drive started off slowly, quickly being confronted with a fourth and one. On the conversion attempt, Benninfield dove for a first down on a quarterback sneak. On the next play Quayvon Hicks scampered into the endzone from 19 yards out. With the extra point, the Pirates lead seven to nothing.

The Mike Weaver kickoff went out the back of the endzone giving the Streets the ball at their own 2. Cody Willams began his second NAL game slowly, quickly finding himself in a fourth and long. William Dean was sent on to attempt a field goal, but with the miss the Pirates got the ball at their own five.

Benninfield had a slow start to the drive but a Streets flag gave the Pirates a fresh set of downs. After a couple of first downs, Devonn Brown found the endzone on a scamper to the outside. With the extra point good the Pirates lead 14-0. Mike Weaver was able to tack on two via a deuce (kickoff through the uprights worth two points) making it 16 to nothing.

With the ball on their own five, Williams was given little wiggle room. Staying patient, Williams found a gap in the defense and ran for a first down. On a third down, Williams was dropped for a massive loss. On fourth and 11 a pass intended for Edger Allen Poe was dropped giving the Pirates the ball.

New York caught a break as Quayvon Hicks fumbled the ball, giving the Streets prime reel estate. Once again, the line around Cody Williams collapsed as he scrambled for a couple yards. He repeated the same action on the next two plays, getting himself a first down. Yet again, Williams scrambled another six yards. On third and four, Rob Jones was stopped of the first down making it fourth and five. On fourth down, the Streets were able to draw a pass interference for a first down. On first and goal, Williams found Poe for a Streets touchdown. Deane’s extra point the Pirates lead 16 to seven.

With the deuce from Deane the score now read 16 to nine, Pirates. Benninfield completed a pass to Ranell Hall for a first down. Benninfield completed another pass for a first down. A miscommunication between quarterback and receiver cost the Pirates a touchdown. On fourth and seven Benninfield found Brown for the Pirates touchdown. With the extra point, the Pirates lead 23 to nine.

Weaver’s kickoff scored yet another deuce making it 25 to nine, Pirates. With the ball on their own five, Williams had a good bit of work to do and got all of it done on a 45 yard bomb to Rob Jones for the Streets touchdown. With the extra point no good the Pirates lead 25-15. 

On their own 20, the Pirates began quickly moving down the field. On a third and ten from the 17 with four seconds left in the half Benninfield’s pass was able to draw a flag with on second left. With one second left Benninfield was stopped at the two with Pirates leading 25 to 15 as the teams went back to the locker rooms to regroup for the second half.

The Weaver kickoff went through the uprights for a deuce making it 27-15. With the ball on their own five, New York didn’t have much room to work with. Williams began leading the team down the field. The offensive line quickly broke down as Williams began running for any room he could find. On fourth and five Williams overthrew Poe giving the Pirates the ball in good field position. 

The Pirates began to hit storm water as they faced a third and 12. Benninfield rolled out of the pocket for a completion making it fourth and one. From the 12 Benninfield  picked up the first down on a quarterback dive. On the next play, Benninfield found Hall for a Pirates touchdown. With the extra point, the Pirates lead 34-15.

Weaver’s kickoff came up just short of the goal posts as the ball went out the back of the endzone giving New York the ball at their own 20. Williams began the drive working on his ground game gaining seven yards. After another two first downs the Streets were in prime scoring position. Willaims found Poe for a touchdown. With the two point conversion attempt good the core read 34-23 with the Pirates in front at the endz of the third quarter. 

The Streets kickoff went out the back of the endzone giving the Pirates the ball at their own 20. The drive moved steadily down the field for another touchdown. With the extra point, Massichusets lead 41-23. 

The Pirates kickoff went out the back of the endzone giving New York the ball at their own 20. Williams fell on his own fumble 12 yards behind the line of scrimmage. Williams remained calm completing a first down pass. Williams was able to find his target in the back of the endzone for a Streets touchdown. The two point conversion no good, the score read 41-29, Pirates.

Deane’s kickoff was a pooch kick that Massichusets was able to recover. Benninfield and the Pirates drive began to stall out as they were faced with a fourth and ten a sure touchdown was dropped in the endzone gave New York the ball. As the clock hit the one minute warning New York was faced with a fourth down which was intercepted. 

On the ensuing play the Pirates added yet another touchdown and extra point, the Pirates lead 48 to 29. For good measure, Mike Weaver added one more decue making it 50-29.

New York was given one more drive where Williams scampered into the endzone from 28 yards out. With the two point conversion no good the Pirates lead 50-35.

The game ended as Benninfield threw the ball away as the Pirates won 50-35.

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