We wanted it.
The will-call line was too long, nobody was actually at the game until halfway through the first quarter....
However, the game went on. By the mid-way point there was an awesome and rowdy crowd.
Unbelivable atmosphere. I really can't explain how awesome and fun it was to have the AFL back.
I was unable to get to my seat for most of the first quarter... But...
NFL Network with the coverage... From the locker room. Inspirational fire-up talk from coach Sieg.
Meanwhile, in the Soul locker room.... Coach Traitor fires up the Soul. Something about how our roster wasn't even togehter two weeks ago. F you.
The NFL Network hypes it up... Coach H from Philly threw the first touchdown in Arena Ball history. We know. This blog already covered it.
After a brief recap of the rules: GAME ON!
Eddie Thompson returns the kick out to about the 14... Flags everywhere. Holding on the Power. Boo Bird city.
Bernie Morris under center for the first drive. Crowd is still empty. Will remain so until about halfway through the quarter.
2nd play from scrimmage... Morris to Jason Willis. 37 Yards. Touchdown. WELCOME BACK, ARENA FOOTBALL.
Zombie nation plays. Pitt fans yell "PENN STATE SUCKS!"
Allgood leads his men out for their first drive. Pinned back at their own two. Time for some defense. The crowd is starting to fill in and get rowdy.
First pass from scrimmage, tipped by the Power pass rush, caught for two yards. "DE-FENSE" chant takes over the CEC. An overthrow by Justin Allgood later, he finds Donavan Morgan on the crossing route for the TD.
CEC starting to get used to the idea of scoring on every possession. Commercial break. Aaron's City. At this point, the rest of the crowd fills in...
Bubba of B94 fame on the public address duties... Surprisingly not annoying. In fact, he was AWESOME at getting the crowd fired up.
"LET'S GO POWER!" chant breaks loose.
Morris checking down a good bit, looking for short routes. You've gotta go deep. This is the AFL. Starting to worry about this guy.
Morris finds Willis for a first down and we're driving.
Next play: Out of nowhere... Morris to Mike "The Joystick" Washington on the post-corner route... ENDZONE.
Apparently, we have some offense. Mike Washington: Alliquippa native, by way of Hawaii -- Bubba acknowledges this and the hometown crowd goes berzerk.
A brilliant shot of Morris and McCabe on the bench. Kevin wants to play.
Terrance Carter with massive pressure, Allgood has to dump it off.... Results in a key third down for Philly... Deep ball to Larry Brackens is broken up by Notre Dame alum Carlos Campbell. The Soul have a 4th down. They go for it, and Morgan breaks it up. Absolutely no joke. We have some players in this secondary.
Ensuing possession: Bernie to Lonnell DEWALT "The Power Tool" -- endzone.
The Soul mess around with the ball, nothing going on. Governor Tom Corbett is interviewed on the NFL Network and reveals himself to be a POWER fan and a Pittsburgh native.
Fantastic. Don't break up my union.
After a near goal line stand, Allgood finds a tightly covered Donovan Morgan -- completely threads the needle, and makes it
The CEC crowd is starting to get a little bit nervous....
Jaws steps into the booth and blows Solomon Wilcox.
Bernie Morris sacked on first down. The big "MO" lies squarely with the Soul.
Suddenly, Morris finds Eddie Thompson off to his right for a first down. There's a late hit. Tack it on. Personal foul. Move it to the Philly eighteen.
Bernie dumps one off to Dewalt, as things get chippy. Flags everywhere. Jason Willis from the Power with a late hit, ignored. Welcome to the AFL, Power. Flags go against Philly.
Morris hits "Wesley" Willis on a short route off of the forward motion. Down to the two.
Josh Rue powers his way into the endzone. The crowd chants "RUEEEEEEEEEE". Touchdown.
That's a Duquesne boy. Bubba reminds us. Bad snap on the PAT... Wide right.
Ensuing drive... 8 minutes remaining in the 2nd quarter.... After some bullshit and a few stupid Philly penalties... Morgan makes a grab down at the two yard line.
Allgood is mic'd up.
Calls a sweep.
Donovan Morgan. Power killer.
Sweep to the left, touchdown Soul.
Might I add, at this point, that the AFL is very action-packed and high-scoring, and is nearly impossible to recap as it happens. I hope you guys appreciate this effort by myself, Pro, and Schwartz. Several of you at the game tonight said you read or would read the blog, and I've got a picture or two to share of Boltsburgh Power Blog readers. That'll come in the next post.
Here's really where Bernard Morris starts to fall apart. 2:40 in the 2nd quarter. The wheels start to fall off. Bernie completes a little dump off to Washington, then leads the boys back out of the huddle. He comes back out and doesn't like what he sees, calling a time out. Clearly, Morris is shaken.
Next pass... Into the endzone, picked off by Tanner Varner. He lead the AFL in tackles, and had 8 picks a year ago. DO NOT THROW IT ERRANTLY TO TANNER VARNER. It's the golden rule of the AFL.
Allgood hits Brackens inside the five on yet another little dumpoff route over the middle. We're really missing Josh Lay, who is out with an injury. Ensuing play: Doom?
Out route to Donovan Morgan. Usually a guaranteed TD.. Dropped.
Sets up a huge 2nd and goal... Allgood drops back, huge pressure, and he has to dump it out of play.
Third and goal comes up for the Soul, and the game may well have been on the line. the CEC is rocking at this point. Neil Purvis is having a monster game. Allgood looks for Savon Newton... IN COM PLETE.
Soul down 6 with 3 seconds to go in the half, fourth down.
The Power call a time out to ice the kicker.. He's looked shakey all game.. Coach clown thinks it over.
The Soul come out for the FG and they nail it.
Coach Sieg gives an emotional halftime talk. We're ready to roll for the 2nd half.
Power kick off to start the 2nd half. Power are all over Allgood to start the drive. Running for his life - then, BINGO.
First down inside the Power 10.
He's killing us.
They bring in the backup QB to run an option. Buried at the two.
Third and goal for the Soul.
DE-FENSE chant. A rowdy one.
They run the ball with Daniel Voss. Buried at the one yard line. That's Pittsburgh defense.
4th and goal at the one yard line....
Vena, the backup QB runs the bootleg on a fourth and short. Endzone. We trail for the first time in franchise history. The extra point sticks in the uprights to the right side. No good.
Lynn Swann in the NFL Network booth, thanks Mario Lemieux for a beautiful home for the Power. Agreed.
The Power take over. Pick up a first down or so, but Bernard Morris is looking rough. Balls are flying all over the place, nowhere near Power receivers. The boo birds come out. WHERE IS KEVIN MCCABE?
The ensuing play, Morris forced to call a completely unnecessary time out.
It's getting ugly for the home team.
More garbage QB play from Morris. 4th and ten. Morris flushed out, scrambles, and is toast.
Soul take over.
God help us all.
Seconds later... Allgood to Morgan. A refrain we know all too well. PAT is good.
Rascall Flatts wants you to know that teen suicide is the #3 killer of teenagers on the planet.
At this point, we're considering it ourselves.
Power then drive down to the 5. Morris finds Lonnell Dewalt. Endzone. Dewalt is effing money. 1:30 left in the 3rd quarter.
Ensuing kickoff.. There's some type of clusterfuck. Power get called for a penalty of some variety. First and goal for the Soul at the Power 8 yard line. The Soul piss around with some running plays. Tyrell Herbert comes up big.
END OF THE THIRD QUARTER
It's time to shit or get off the pot..
Allgood to DONOVAN F'N MORGAN.
This is after the Power tried an onside kick.
PAT is good.
Donovan Morgan has five touchdowns at this point. My God.
Power take over. A first down completion to Willis and then a bunch of garbage. I'm quickly growing tired of Bernard Morris. WHERE'S KEVIN MCCABE!?!?
At this point, a good portion of the crowd had hit the bars. Lesson learned: DO NOT LEAVE AN ARENA FOOTBALL GAME EARLY.
With 12:13 left, Morris to Washington. Inside the five. Washington takes a pelting over the wall, but hangs on.
A couple of plays later, Pittsburgh's own Josh RUEEEEEEEEE with the sweep toss. Endzone. Touchdown. The PAT is true. 10:25 left.
Immediately afterwords - fumble city. Power take over.
Morris looks for Dewalt in the endzone... Throws it a mile over his head off the wall. TANNER VARNER with the pick. His second of the game.
What's left of the crowd takes off.
Power defense gets a little nervous and are guilty of a couple dead ball penalties. Allgood is moving the ball so methodically. God damn does he understand the Arena game a million times better than Morris.
Endzone to Donovan Morgan. Touchdown number six. It's all over, right? PAT gets stuck in the post again. No good.
Morris dinks and dunks a little bit. I personally do not understand it. 4 minutes left...
More dinks and dunks. Little over the middle stuff. It's always a good idea to nickle and dime when you're down nine with 2:30 left...
58 seconds left. Under a minute left in the Arena League, the clock stops.
Here goes nothing...
Morris drops back, stands tall in the pocket, and drills one in to Jason Willis over the middle in the endzone. Two point conversion, Dewalt with the catch over the wall.
Edinger tries the onside kick... Again... Recovered by Dejuan Alfonzo at the Philly 5.
49 seconds left. Remember, the clock stops. Philly needs to score.
Vena checks back in on 2nd down. Some garbage running play. 3rd down. 41 seconds.
Vena tries to sweep left, and is dumped at the Power three. 4th down. 35 seconds left. Jesus Christ, Arena Football rules.
Vena rolls right... Dumped on the keeper. Purvis again. Clutch. #4 is no joke.
First down Power. Chance to win it. Balls to the wall. 32 seconds left. Down one. Always in field goal range....
Again, Morris throws it all over the field.
16 seconds left. Fourth down.
Pittsburgh takes a delay of game penalty. His men are beat.
Morris sacked in the endzone with 12 seconds left. Game over.
Onside kick recovered by Butler. Edinger is clutch as hell.
Power down 3.
2 seconds left.
Edinger... 35 yard field goal to tie it.... Buries it at the buzzer. Power miracuously still alive!
Then, in OT, in front of an empty house, Morris leads the Power out for a heroic final drive.
Several garbage throws by Morris.
Hoping for a field goal.
3rd and eternity for the Power. Deep in their own end.
Morris throws from his own endzone.
So close, yet so far.
Player of the Game:
5 REC TD, 1 Rush TD
There really are no words.
What a game. What a crowd. What a venue.
It hurts. It will hurt for a while. See you next week for the BLACK OUT against the Iowa Barnstormers.
- Why isn't Donovan Morgan making more money?
- Paul Edinger is a legitimate kicker.
- WHERE IS KEVIN MCCABE?