San Diego's Big Plays Doom Lycans in Home Opener
The San Diego Mavericks came into Full Moon Coliseum on a mission and promptly took care of business. The Mavericks (2-1, 1-0 Pacific) capitalized on a couple of early interceptions to build a 14-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Lycans (1-2, 0-2 Pacific) would outscore San Diego the rest of the way, but the early deficit proved to be too much to overcome, falling 28-17.
On the first possession of the day, Los Angeles CB Mike Scott would intercept a Scar Patterson pass in Lycan territory. After a promising start to the drive down to the San Diego 48, QB Sully Richardson would throw his first INT of the day to Maverick CB Zak Ley. San Diego would take advantage quickly, scoring two plays later as Patterson connected with a wide open WR Liam Hammer. He raced seventy-two yards for the first score of the game. With the PAT from K Alec Finlay, the score was 7-0 Mavericks.
Richardson would again throw an interception on the first play of the next possession for LA, with Tom Creeg getting the interception this time. After a 23-yard run by RB Jaylin Wells, WR Gunner Lewis caught a 3-yard and ten-yarder for a touchdown from Patterson to put San Diego on top 14-0 after the PAT with 5:33 remaining in the first quarter.
The next Lycan possession saw the Pack move the ball near midfield on four straight completions from Richardson to RB Robert Johnson, TE Jack Flash, WR Chris Lee, and WR Davius Reid. Richardson’s next attempt looking for Reid would be intercepted by Tom Creeg, giving him his second INT of the half. This is becoming an all too familiar sight for Lycan fans early in the season.
San Diego would drive the ball from their own 19-yard line to the LA 29. Pass deflections by LB Danny Stinson and CB Ryan Proster proved pivotal in stopping the Mavericks drive. WRs Loddy Lu and Lewis combined for fifty-eight yards on the drive, but Lu would cough up the ball as Mike Scott forced a fumble and generic SS Prince Parker would pick it up for Los Angeles.
The Lycans and Mavericks traded punts on each of their next possessions. LA went on its longest drive of the game, a 15-play drive that started on their own 5-yard line. Richardson would lead the Pack down the field with a balance of run and pass. Robert Johnson would gain eight yards early in the drive, with Jack Flash catching a 9-yard pass to keep the drive going. Johnson again would find a yard on the ground. Richardson found Lee for nineteen yards and Reid for eleven to get the ball into San Diego territory. Johnson ran again for a yard before Richardson found Flash for ten yards and another first down. Chris Lee would catch another pass for six yards, Flash for a yard, and then Lee again for five. The drive would stall after an incomplete pass to Flash around the 13-yard line. K Rob Emms would connect from thirty-six yards away to cut the San Diego lead to 14-3, which would be the score at halftime after each team failed to score on their final possessions of the half.
The Lycans would get the ball to start the half, but they could only manage one first down before punting away to the Mavericks. San Diego promptly marched seventy-six yards down the field to take a commanding 21-3 lead. Jaylin Wells ran for thirty-eight yards on the drive, while Liam Hammer had two 8-yard receptions. Gunner Lewis would catch two passes on the drive, including a 12-yard TD reception from Patterson with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
Los Angeles would answer back with a quick eight-play drive that covered seventy-seven yards, featuring a lot of Robert “Bowling Ball” Johnson. Johnson would amass sixty-six yards on the drive alone, including an impressive 42-yard jaunt to the endzone running over a couple of defenders on his way. After the Emms PAT, the score was San Diego 21 Los Angeles 10 with 2:19 left in the third quarter.
After both teams finished the third quarter with three and outs, LB Kevin Brackett would pick off a Patterson pass and return it to the LA 44. The Lycans would look to take advantage of the good field position as they moved to the San Diego 41 on two plays: a Johnson run of three yards and a Lee reception for twelve yards. The Lycans would get the ball to the Mavericks 34-yard line. It looked as though they would try a long 51-yard field goal to cut into the San Diego lead; however, the AI decided to punt, pinning San Diego at their own 12-yard line. We will never know what might have been had they went for the field goal.
San Diego would answer with a 12-play 88-yard drive, capped off with Liam Hammer’s second touchdown of the game. Two huge third-down conversions and a Jaylin Wells 32-yard scamper would lead to Hammer’s 21-yard touchdown with 4:50 left in the fourth quarter. San Diego would lead 28-10 after the PAT.
It did not take long for the Lycans to answer. Generic WR Isaiah Barrett would catch a pass for fourteen yards, then Johnson would get another first down to midfield on an eleven-yard reception. Richardson found Lee along the sideline for fifty yards and another score. Emms’ PAT made the score 28-17 San Diego with 4:15 remaining in the game.
CB Jack Hacksaw would pick off a questionable pass from Patterson after a failed onside kick attempt; however, the ensuing Los Angeles drive would end with another Richardson interception This would make for to Zak Ley's second INT of the day.
After a Liam Hammer thirteen-yard reception and Jaylin Wells on the ground for eighteen yards on three carries, Patterson would find TE Bill Cherry for another first down. Patterson would get in Victory Formation for three plays to run the clock out, handing the Mavericks a much deserved 28-17 win.
San Diego Stats
Scar Patterson completed 27 of 42 passes for 365 yards, with four touchdowns and three interceptions. Jaylin Wells ran 16 times for 137 yards and caught two passes for six yards. Liam Hammer had eight receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Gunner Lewis chipped in eight receptions as well for 89 yards and two touchdowns. Loddy Lu had three receptions for 44 yards and a fumble lost. Optimus Cline went for 4 and 49, while Bill Cherry hauled in two passes for twenty yards for the Mavericks. Defensively, Leon Thunderman was in on twelve tackles and Pete Mitchell accounted for ten along with a sack and 2 TFLs. Axel Raven had eight tackles with a TFL, while Tom Creeg had eight stops and two interceptions. Zak Ley had five total tackles along with two picks. Thomas Matthews picked up a sack as well.
Los Angeles Stats
Sully Richardson was 41 of 50 for 82% and 303 yards; however, he was picked off four times while throwing for only one touchdown. Robert Johnson picked up 87 yards on 17 carries, while catching ten passes for 37 yards. Tommy Ramen had four receptions for 21 yards. Chris Lee had another big game, going for nine receptions and 118 yards including a TD. Davius Reid had five grabs for 46 yards, Jack Flash 5 for 28, Elzie Pryor 3 for 22, and Terrance Weary 2 for 12. On the defensive side of the ball, Rachelle Colston led the way with ten tackles, while Buddy Blaze and Mike Scott each had seven stops, with Scott also picking off a pass and forcing a fumble. Ryan Yoseph accounted for six tackles, while Danny Stinson, Ryan Proster, and Jack Hacksaw each had four tackles, with Hacksaw having an interception. Gary Marx had three tackles with two being TFLs. Tazzy Blackwell had two tackles from her ILB position, and Kevin Brackett had a PD and an interception. Rob Emms connected on his lone field goal attempt and both of his PATs.