AFDL: Bears vs Raiders, Panthers vs Legion

The second game of the season was the Raiders vs. Panthers.  The Raiders started the game off strong by march the ball down to the Panthers 3 yard line but after that, Murphy’s law kicked in against the Raiders.  Between penalties, tackles for loss and a sack,  the Raiders went from 1 and goal at the Panthers 3 yard line to 4 and long at the Panthers 15 yard line.  Panthers Free Safety Jai Merchant deflected the fourth down pass attempt by QB Carl Montano. 

Panthers came out running the ball like they did in the Jamboree.  With some hard running by Leand Sugitan, it allowed QB Jai Merchant to run a 23-yard bootleg for a Panther’s touchdown.  Extra Point attempt by Panther K Rob Imperial was no good. Panthers 6 – Raiders 0.

Raiders came out running on their second possession but a few bad snaps ended their drive at mid-field.  Panthers took control running again and RB Karl Fernandez ran 13 yards for the Panthers second touchdown of the day.  Extra point attempt by Rob Imperial was no good. Panther 12 – Raiders 0

With the ensuing kickoff going out of bounds at the 25, Raider’s RB Vincent Posadas scampered up the sideline for a 25 yard touchdown.  With the failed two-point conversion, Raider cut the lead in half making it Panther 12 – Raiders 6.

At the start of the 3rd Quarter, Panthers were able to return the ball to the Raiders 17 yard line.  After a penalty backing the Panthers to the 22-yard line, RB Leand Sugitan busted up the middle of the field for a 19 yard gain. After some sloppy play and a lucky break, QB Jai Merchant was able to sneak into the end zone for 4 yard score. Extra point attempted failed.  Panthers 18 – Raiders 6.

Late into the 3rd quarter, Raiders QB Carl Montano drives the Raiders down field but a forced throw was intercepted by Panthers FS Jai Merchant who ran it back 43-yards for a touchdown increasing the Panthers lead by 18.  Extra Point attempt good by Rob Imperial.  Panthers 25 – Raider 6.

At the start of the 4th quarter, Raiders once again went back to the air trying to cut into the Panthers big lead.  On a 3rd down play, Raiders QB Carl Montano sees WR Miguel De La Pena wide open in the end zone.  After releasing the ball, Montano sees Panthers FS Jai Merchant breaking the ball and like a bandit in the woods, Merchant has robbed Montano of a touchdown by intercepting the ball and going out of bounds at the 2 yard line, giving the Panthers control of the ball once again. 

With minutes left in the game, Merchant mixed up his play calling to keep the Raiders defense off balance and drove the Panthers down to their 2 yards line eating up much of the clock, thus denying the Raiders another chance of a possession.  With good sportsmanship, Merchant decided to put the Panthers offense into its victory formation and to knee the ball with seconds left in the game.

Panthers vs Legion

The Second game of week 2 matched the 2 winners from week 1. Panthers vs Legion. Legion Offense came out running with its version of Thunder and Lighting. Legion RB Steven Smith brings the pain every time he touches the ball. His first carry was for 7 yards. With the defense keying on Smith, Legion QB Ben Paulson was able to score on a QB option keeper with Smith but offsetting penalties negated the touchdown. Smith came back on the next play on got the ball down to Panthers 4-yard line. Legion RB “Mighty Mouse” Terence Marca followed Smith into the end zone for the first score of the game. Botched hold by Placeholder JM Manlangit made the extra point attempt no good. Legion 6 – Panthers 0.

On the Panthers first possession, like Legion, they came running. RB Leand Sugitan had 4 carries with 13
yards. Panthers QB Jai Merchant completed 1 pass for 7-yards and scored on a QB keeper from 4 yards out. Extra Point is good by K Rob Imperial putting the Panthers on top, 7 -6.

Legion second possession saw more running action with Smith, Marca and Paulson. 8 carries for 34 yards led to Smith scoring on an 8-yard run. 2 point conversion by Paulson make the score Legion 14 – Panthers 7.

For the final possession of the half, the Panthers showed Legion that it’s offense has a strong running game as well with Panthers RB Karl Fernandez breaking off a 15-yard run that puts the Panthers 1 and Goal at Legions 6-yard line. After a defensive penalty putting the ball at the 1-yard line, QB Jai Merchant sneaks in for his second touchdown of the game and with K Rob Imperial extra point good, the score at halftime is tied at 14 a piece.

At the start of the third quarter, the Panthers came out running with Sugitan having 5 carries for 27-yards getting the Panthers down to Legion’s 8-yard line. A couple of plays later, QB Merchant runs 8 yards for his third touchdown of the game. Extra point by K Rob Imperial is no good so that makes the score Panthers 20 – Legion 14.

After a good kick return, Legion QB Paulson does his version “Tebow” run-jump pass to RB Steven Smith scoring on an 8-yard pass. Extra point by K David Mouatt puts Legion up by 1 on the Panthers, 21 -20.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Panthers have the ball at Legion’s 10-yard line. A pass from QB Merchant to WR Khalil Tan allows the Panthers to score. Same play on the 2 point conversion put the Panthers up 28-21.

Legion’s next possession ended with an Interception by Panthers FS Jai Merchant. Merchant was able to return the ball to the Panthers 23-yard line.

Going away from their running game, QB Merchant starts throwing the ball to keep the Legion’s defense guessing. On a third and long play, what was initially called an incomplete pass by the back judge, it was instead declared an Interception by Legion SS Nars Custorio who ran the ball down to the Panther’s 11-yard line giving the Legion’s offense new life.

Legion QB Paulson gives the ball to RB Smith on the dive to the right but the Panthers defenders were there but when Smith cut it back, there was no backside pursuit from the Panthers defense allowing Smith to score on a 11-yard run. Legion gambles and goes for 2 and makes the conversion. Legion is up 29-28 with a few minutes left in the game.

Panthers on their final possession are able to move the ball and get into field goal range. On a 4th and 4 at Legion’s 12, the Panthers go for the FG to try to take a 2 point lead but the kick is wide left.

Legion takes control on the ball. To kill the time, they keep running the ball with Smith and Paulson. The final play saw QB Paulson running for 19-yards before being tackled into the end zone for the final score of the game.

Final Score: Legion 35 – Panthers 28

Tim Beasley
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