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BLAZERS INCH PAST RYDERS

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By Colin Leon Guerrero

A well protected Steel Blazers’ quarterback Tricia Adkins getting off a good pass in the win against the Ruff Ryders. (photo by Jesse Castro)

A well protected Steel Blazers’ quarterback Tricia Adkins getting off a good pass in the win against the Ruff Ryders. (photo by Jesse Castro)

The Steel Blazers used a late fourth quarter push to advance to the semifinals of the GWTFL playoffs beating the Ruff Ryderz 21-20 Saturday afternoon at the Eagles field.

The Steel Blazers’ defense wasted no time early in the game as they applied pressure to the Ruff Ryderz offense, denying them from leaving the line of scrimmage. About eight minutes into the first quarter, Ruff Ryderz quarterback Melissa Purdue was picked off by Mel Manglona who ran it in for a touchdown making the score 6-0 midway through the first quarter.

The Ruff Ryderz problems continued after a slew of penalties and a couple of bad snaps led to a fumble recovery by SB’s Dee Cabrera, setting up her offense with good field position to start the second quarter. From there the Steel Blazers’ offense took control as running back Joy Pereira ran for a first down deep within Ruff Ryder territory.

On the next play Chachi Francisco would bust through the middle for another touchdown. Liz Smith would nail the PAT extending their lead 13-0.

Late in the second quarter the Ruff Ryderz showed signs of a comeback as Jessica Taitague picked up two first downs putting the Ryderz in Blazer territory. Severina Paulino would connect with Britney Barnes for a sweet TD pass, making the score 13-6 at halftime.

In the second half the Ruff Ryderz kept the momentum, as Melissa Purdue broke free for a 50-yard kickoff return to start the third quarter. On the next two plays, Purdue once again outran the Blazer defense getting two first downs in a row. This would lead to another Ruff Ryder touchdown as they started to chip at the Steel Blazer lead, 13-12.

By the fourth quarter, the Ruff Ryderz stole the momentum and the score as Purdue once again took it upon herself as she ran for a touchdown giving the Ruff Ryderz the lead 18-13. Purdue would also score on the two point conversion making it 20-13 with about two minutes left in the quarter.

Ryders’ Brittany Varnes made the 15 yard catch before being tackled out of bounds. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ryders’ Brittany Varnes made the 15 yard catch before being tackled out of bounds. (photo by Jesse Castro)

However, giving up the lead did not shake the Steel Blazers. Even with two 15-yard penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct that was assessed at the kickoff, Mel Manglona was able to run for 44-yards on the kickoff return. On the next play SB quarterback TJ Rodrigues would connect with Smith for an 18-yard pass picking up the first down. Two plays later Rodrigues would find Smith open again, this time for a touchdown making the score 20-19 with about a minute left in the quarter.

On their first attempt at the two-point conversion the Blazers got a costly holding penalty bringing the ball back five yards. Somehow though Rodrigues would connect with Smith for the third time scoring the two-point conversion and sealing the deal for the Steel Blazers 21-20.

With this win, the Steel Blazers move on to the Semi-Finals next Saturday where they will go up against Team Legacy.

 

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Ryders’ Brittany Varnes ran the ball in for a touchdown. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ryders’ Brittany Varnes ran the ball in for a touchdown. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ryders’ Fullback Jessica Taitague trying to break off a tackle and gain more yards. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Ryders’ Fullback Jessica Taitague trying to break off a tackle and gain more yards. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Blazers start the kick-off after putting points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

Blazers start the kick-off after putting points on the board. (photo by Jesse Castro)

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