The Philadelphia Stars’ offense knew they needed to get off to a hot start to contend with the powerful offense the Generals boast. They were able to go up by 3 thanks to a Luis Aguilar field goal on their first drive. The two teams would trade punts on the next two drives before the Star’s defense decided to assert their dominance.
Stars Defense Sets Up The Score
To start the second quarter the Generals seemed to be finding a rhythm on offense. Backed up against his endzone Perez found Alonzo Moore for an 11-yard gain. This gave the offense breathing room and got the momentum swinging in their direction.
The Generals then called on Darius Victor four plays in a row. He would gain a total of 24 yards on these four carries. The Generals were focused on the body blows in this heavyweight fight. Perez finds Sheppard for a 9-yard gain following it up with a toss to Moore finding 7 more.
Between these two throws came two more carries by Victor in which he gained 19 yards. Victor already had 43 yards on this drive alone. That’s when the Generals decided to switch it up and go to Trey Williams and DeAndre Johnson.
The Star’s defense tightened up and started to slow the offense. They would stop Trey Williams for just a 2 yard gain. The Star’s defense would stop Johnson for a 3-yard loss on the next play. They would cap off the drive with a clutch interception by Mazzi Wilkins gave the Stars the ball back.
Number Ten Puts the Stars Up by Ten
Case Cookus goes by @CaptainCookus10 on Twitter. This was a fitting name to choose for this particular game. The first play of the drive given the short field was a hand-off to Matt Colburn. Colburn gained 5 yards, giving Cookus a 2nd and 5 to work with.
A pass play was called on second down, but seeing man coverage in a spread formation, Captain Cookus decided to pilot the ship to the endzone himself. Cookus takes off for an 8-yard run for a touchdown.
The Star’s defense seeing the grit and determination of their quarterback who took a pretty big hit to put them up by ten took it personally to stop the opposing offense on the next drive. They didn’t intend to do so politely either.
During this drive, however, the Generals continued to march the ball downfield, as if they had done so 1,000 times before. On a 16-play textbook drive by the Generals, they came up short on third down. Perez found Alonzo Moore for a 6-yard gain on 3rd and 7 but a HUGE stop by none other than Mazzi Wilkins once again prevented them from converting.
Defense Comes Up Big On 4th Down
The Star’s defense faced with a 4th down less than a yard stood up to the task and made a key stop which resulted in a turnover on downs. The Star’s defense was able to stop the General’s offense and give the ball back to their offense once again.
In my keys to victory for the Stars, I wrote about stopping the Generals on third down because they cannot trust their kicking game which has been an issue all season long.
The Stars must have seen the same thing I did and knew on fourth and short they would turn to their go-to player in short-yardage situations. The Offensive Player of the Year is Darius Victor. The Stars got great penetration and were able to somehow get underneath the pad level of Victor and hold him up for the turnover on downs.
Knowing time was short the Stars simply ran the clock out and went into the half with a ten-point lead. They have never felt so confident in their defense heading into half-time. However, Mike Riley didn’t win coach of the year for no reason.
Adjustments will be made on the Generals side, and the Stars can expect to see some wrinkles in the second half. What they will be remain to be seen, but if you have followed the Generals all season long you can’t discount anything.