Self-Inflicted Wounds Stunt Blast Comeback Efforts Against the Steel Dogs

by Raven Moore

Memphis,Tenn-After battling hard for the first half of Saturday’s game, the Memphis Blast looked refreshed. The score was 14-6 and their defense had done a great job of limiting Starksville’s up-tempo offense.

But what had been keeping the Blast in high spirits? Well, since last week’s loss against the Crusaders, a lot of changes been made to the team. Leaders like 18-year veteran, Marcus Mills had been recruiting players all across the city to come and make impacts for the team.

The move was imperative to do after only 18 players suited up the previous weekend, which forced players to not only play out of position but get tired much sooner than they normally would. Mills’ recruiting proved beneficial and by Sunday, they looked like a brand-new team.

During the week, they’d added quite a talented group of new players, whose experience ranged from pro-development football veterans to their roster such as quarterback Lazarus Settle and athlete Chevy Spann, to young and hungry players such as defensive back Kayvon Haire and wide receiver Trey Allen. 

Those players each seemed to develop chemistry quickly with the players who’d already been on the roster, but no play was more evidence of that than when late in the second quarter, Spann threw a 34-yard bomb into the endzone to wide receiver Dee Gordon, giving the Blast their first passing touchdown of the season.

So naturally after halftime, the team and their onlookers expected them to maintain than same competitive edge into the second, unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be. Once again, self-inflicted wounds stopped the team from maintaining any momentum.

Offensively, the team committed three turnovers in the second half and their blocking, especially during run plays left much to be desired. The team’s strength became its weakness and soon was almost completely taken out of Coach Thompson’s game plan.

Defensively, tackling ability began to take a dive and particularly in the passing game where they allowed zero passing touchdowns in the first half compared to the two in the second half. To their credit, they did force the Steel Dogs into mistakes, such as a number of bad snaps that moved the opposition backwards, but of the five instances where that happened, they only recovered the ball on one instance, while other plays either led to first downs and even a touchdown. 

In the end, what was just an eight-point deficit at halftime sweltered turned into a 54-6 defeat. How could things change so quickly? Well, there are a number of reasons that could be in play, but ultimately, they don’t matter. 

The team has shown time and time again that they have the talent to hang with some of the best teams in the nation, but talent doesn’t translate to wins, preparation and dedication does.

This week, the Blast have a much-needed bye which will allow them time to look at themselves in the mirror and decide who they want to be this season and what they want to accomplish as the season reaches its final weeks.