Fans might expect a low scoring game Saturday night at Phoenix Field at the DCU Center when the Pirates (3-2), boasting the best defense in the Indoor Football League, take on the undefeated Frisco Fighters (3-0) at 7:05pm. Frisco statistically has the next best defense in the IFL.
The Pirates lead the league in fewest points allowed per game at 29.4 per contest, have the lowest rushing yards against at 23 per night, give up an IFL best 116 passing yards per game and are also number one in total yards, yielding 139.6. Frisco is close behind allowing 38 points per game (third in the IFL) while ranking second vs. the rush at 25.7 yards per contest, 139 passing yards per game and 164.7 total yards each outing. Frisco does lead the league with nine sacks while the Pirates are one behind with eight.
Individually on defense for the Pirates linebacker Martrell Spaight is fifth in the IFL in three categories with 31 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss. Tavarus Dantzler (DL/LB) is tied for the league lead with seven tackles for a loss and also checks in with 2.5 sacks. Defensive end JD Griggs ranks fifth in tackles for a loss with 4.5 and defensive back Aarion Maxey-Penton is tied for fifth with five passes broken up.
The Fighters are led on defense by lineman Charles Williams II who is third in the league with 3.5 tackles for a loss and tied for second in sacks with teammate Malcolm Goines, both with three each. Defensive back Trey Caldwell is second in the IFL with 6 passes broken up.
Both starting quarterbacks have completed 54 passes this season which places them third in the league. Alejandro Bennifield is 54 of 98 for 603 yards along with three interceptions and 11 touchdown passes for the Pirates. Frisco’s Jonathan Bane is 54 of 88 for 524 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions.
Both teams have players with seven rushing touchdowns. Bennifield has seven scores on 18 carries for 95 yards and Demarcus Felton has found the endzone seven times with 151 yards on 38 carries for the Fighters. The Pirates lead back is Justin Stockton who tops the IFL with 55 carries and a league best 248 rushing yards while posting three touchdown jaunts in 2021.
The leagues’ top receiver will also be on the field on Saturday night. Thomas Owens of the Pirates leads the IFL with 23 receptions for a league best 317 yards. He is currently second with eight touchdown receptions. Other top targets for Massachusetts are Terrance Williams who has 14 receptions for 140 yards and one touchdown and Stockton with ten receptions for 59 yards and two scores.
Frisco will counter with wideout Lance Evans who is eighth in the league with 166 yards on 14 receptions for three scores. He is joined by Charles Sanders-McCollum (10 catches – 97 yards and 1 TD), Sam Bruce (8 receptions – 53 yards) and Mark Munson (7 receptions – 77 yards and four TDs).
Both teams are coming off victories. The Pirates went back over the .500 mark with a 42-37 win over the Louisville Xtreme. In that game Stockton ran for two touchdowns while the Bennifield to Owens connection accounted for two more scores. Pirates’ kicker Josh Gable made his debut adding 12 points including field goals of 31, 41 and a league long of 50 yards.
Frisco remained undefeated as they edged the Duke City Gladiators 58-57. Felton ran for 82 yards on 12 carries and scored five total touchdowns. Still the Fighters trailed 57-55 as Gladiator’s kicker James Naehu connected on a “Deuce” with 47 second to play. Bane completed four passes in the closing seconds leading to a Bryce Crawford game winning 32-yard field goal as time expired.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at Phoenix Field at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook via Faceboo.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard