On a holiday weekend, people come together to celebrate, however, turning on the Sunday night game is a must. The Defenders and the Dragons gave a nail bitter and highly emotional game. After the Defenders experienced their first loss to the Guardians, they had to get together to clinch a playoff spot. The Defenders beat the Dragons 37 to 36 and clinched the playoffs for the northern conference.
The first half was a heavily defensive game. Both defenses were able to hold down these electrifying offenses. The Dragons were having trouble getting the ball moving in the first quarter. On the other hand, the Defenders were able to get on the board. Abram Smith rushed for 2 yards and got a touchdown. Jordan Ta’amu connected with Lucky Jackson and the 2-point conversation was good.
In the second quarter, the Dragons took the opportunity to get on the board with a 2-yard rushing touchdown from Phillip Lindsay. The Defenders’ answered with Ta’amu connecting with Ryquell Armstead for an 11-yard touchdown. Ta’amu connected with Lucky Jackson to complete the two-point conversion and extend the lead. The score was 16-6 going into the half.
The second half of the game started out slow, however, the end had everyone glued to their seats. The Dragons received the ball and had a quick three-and-out. The Defenders got the ball and marched down the field. Ta’amu fumbled but recovered the ball. He was able to connect with Alex Ellis for a 14-yard reception and touchdown. The Defenders’ went for 2, however, Ta’amu fumbled and the Dragons’ Tyrell Adam recovered it and ran it back to give the Dragons 2 points.
The Dragons’ offense started heating up at this point. Ben DiNucci connected with Juwan Green for 46 yards to score a touchdown. The Dragons got the 1-point conversion. The Defenders put in D’Eriq King as quarterback, however, King fumbled the ball and Austin Fadiu recovered the ball. DiNucci tried to continue the offense’s momentum, but then he gets picked off by Joseph Wallace.
The fourth quarter was electrifying. The Dragons started the fourth quarter with a 29-yard field goal from Dominik Eberle. The Defenders’ got the ball back and responded to the Dragons’ field goal with a touchdown from Brandon Smith. The back and forth did not stop there, Ben DiNucci connected with Juwan Green for a 56-yard touchdown.
The Defenders’ got the ball back and fumbled and ended with a 70-yard touchdown by Chris Blair. With 32 seconds left in the game, DiNucci connects with Jahcour Pearson for a 14-yard touchdown. The Dragons decided to go for the 1-point conversion and it was shut down by the Defenders’ defense. The Dragons go for the 4th attempt for a last act of faith, however, the Defenders’ defense showed up one last time and ended this game.