Thunder Back to Back National Champions
Memphis,TN – En route to MVP honors,Brandon Noohi was 18/31 and threw for 162 yards and three touchdowns.Prentiss Elliott caught two of them while Brandon Shepard was on the receiving end of a 70 yard strike. Meanwhile, the Thunder defense held the Eagles to just 172 total yards and a glaring 8 turnovers .
The Oklahoma Thunder is the first team in the Gridiron Developmental Football League to make history by becoming the first team to win the Gridiron Bowl in back-to-back years after knocking off the Chattanooga Eagles 51-12 to win 2017 National Championship,Gridiron Bowl VIII.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
On the first series of the game the Thunder defense came up with a huge turn over, a pick 6 to open up the National Championship in Gridiron Bowl VIII. DeWitt Jennings scored on his first ever Gridiron Bowl interception which gave Oklahoma the early advantage, but the Eagles were not about to lay down, they drove ball down the length of the field .
The Eagles got on the scoreboard for the first time in Gridiron Bowl VIII 9:37 into the 1st quarter when Kolby Copeland connected with #17 Chris “C.J.” Deloney Jr of Tennessee State University on a 19 yard TD reception to make the score 7-6 in favor of the Thunder.
Thunder wide receiver Prentiss “THE SPIDERMAN” Elliott Oklahoma State University, former Wide Receiver of the Las Vegas Locos,GDFL 2011 & 2013 Player of the Year made his first major contribution in the National Title game, scoring on a 12-yard touchdown to give the Thunder a 14-6 lead. Despite a close first half, late in the second quarter the Thunder began a drive that ate 6:00 minutes off the clock. Which ended with #21 Adidas Mcdonalds scoring a rushing touchdown just before halftime to put the Thunder up by two scores.
A dominating and furious Thunder defense, one that allowed just six first downs and 172 total yards of offense, the third-fewest in Bowl history, came up with their eight turnover of the game in the fourth quarter as #55 Shawn Jackson from the University of Tulsa a 3x All American, 2013 NCAA Conference USA player of the Year and the 2016 MVP of Gridiron Bowl VII scores his second career pick 6 in a National Title game to give the Thunder their biggest lead of the night at 51-6.
This game started off about as well as possible for the Eagles, who in-spite of a pick 6 only trailed by 1 point 7-6 early in the first quarter. The eagles wouldn't score again until the 4th with only 1:02 left in the game. The Thunder coasted throughout the second half to win their second straight Gridiron Bowl. Final Score Thunder 51 Eagles 12
"It's just about holding everyone accountable. Believe it or not, we are a Godly team. We pray together. We work hard. Everybody is the gym. You know most of our owners are in medicine. That kind of keeps us healthy. We mesh. We mesh well. We keep the drama down. It's a big family out here. Our team is full of D1 and D2 guys and we get calls from all over the country from guys whom want to play for us. All we need is a couple of guys to step up and we as coaches will take it from there. --Thunder Head Coach Rashid Lowe"