Snowhawks Get Their Groove Back
There is no other way to describe this game other than a must win for both sides. The Snowhawks came in on a 3 game slide trying to keep pace in the heavy hitting NFC, while the Crusaders were coming off a big win and needed another one to keep up with the power house that is the NFC West.
The Crusaders opened things up in Portland and set the tone early as Ben Wakefield drove the offense down the field through a series of dump offs and well timed runs, finally finishing it off with a rushing touchdown of his own. Once Joseph Guidugli hit the field he had one thought in mind, to remind the Crusaders that this wasn’t going to be a cake walk in any sense. He did just that by lofting a beautiful pass to star WR Carus Currie who then took it to the house to make things tied 7-7. Both teams would end up swapping punts to close out the first quarter.
As if someone turned the lights on for Portland, the Snowhawks seemed to be a different team after the commercial break. The offense was humming and the defense adopted a bend but don’t break mentality that turned the momentum in their favor. A field goal gave them the lead but that was just the tip of the iceberg for what was to come. Guidugli showed why he is one of the best in the RFL by forcefully driving his team for two more scores to close out the first half. He finished the second quarter with 267 yards and 3 touchdowns, leaving the Crusaders with no answers for the 24-7 score.
You could smell the hypothetical blood in the water as the teams came back out of the tunnels to start the third quarter, but no matter how many times they got knocked down, the Crusaders kept coming back for more. Wakefield was able to shake off the strip sack from the and started slinging the ball against the Snowhawks defense. By the time we got to the five minute mark in the fourth, the Crusaders were back within a touchdown and looking to their defense for one final stop.
The defense gave them just that as they were able to force a punt and get the ball back into Wakefields hands with 1:04 on the clock and no timeouts. The Snowhawks continued their streak of ruining the Crusaders plans when CB Buchanan Simons picked off a pass intended for WR Elijiah Bentley to seal the win for the Snowhawks. With a win in the books for Portland, they will head to Austin for a divisional matchup with the Desperados and try to keep their place at the top of the NFC East. The Crusaders on the other hand will have a divisional game of their own against the Salt Lake City Elks as they try to hold steady in the strongest division the NFC has to offer so far this season.
Written By: Bill Nicholson