Syracuse Strong moving on to the ship after a dominant performance vs Huntsville
Syracuse, NY - After a long and arduous season, the Syracuse Strong were set to play their final home game at Sunnycrest field. A win would send them to Las Vegas to play in the GDFL National Championship game.
It was a back-and-forth game to start with both teams trading blows in a defensive slugfest. However, an offensive burst by the Rockets drew first blood as they landed a haymaker in the form of a long touchdown catch and run that gave them the 6-0 lead in the first quarter.
To add insult to injury the Huntsville player channeled his inner Tyreek Hill throwing up the disrespectful deuces celebration 20 yards before he made his way to the endzone. Earlier this season Syracuse wide receiver Joshua Thomas was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct for pulling the same exact stunt.
The Huntsville sideline started chirping that they were here to stay and would give Syracuse the business for the rest of the game. Despite that noise on the sideline, the Rockets would never score again during the playoff game.
Syracuse used the disrespect displayed by Huntsville as bulletin board material and scored 31 unanswered to walk away with the dramatic win and a ticket punched to the National Championship game.
One player that helped deliver this win for the Strong didn’t show up in the box score but was paramount to their victory. Syracuse wide receiver LaQuan “LA” Rouse drew two massive defensive passing interference calls, one in each half.
That immediately set up Syracuse with goal-to-go scenarios from the 1-yard line and they converted on a pair of Rashad Burns touchdown runs.
Syracuse wide receiver Joshua Thomas was spectacular throughout the contest. He had several clutch catches in key moments and delivered a key touchdown at the end of the first half.
A couple of other quick offensive highlights:
Wide receiver John Elliott caught a beautiful rainbow pass from QB Shakem “Buck” Buckmon at the end of the third quarter to go up 25-6.
At the end of the game, do it all man Shaquan Kirby showed his chutzpah as a running back dancing towards the end zone on a monster gallop as the final dagger in the coffin with four minutes remaining.
Overall the key to this game was the Syracuse defense which caused multiple turnovers throughout the game. The stifling defense was able to bottle up multiple talented Rockets players that had the capability of changing the game.
Syracuse simply wreaked havoc with sacks, pressures, and an attack-style defense that never let up. With that Syracuse celebrated, fans erupted, and a city felt fulfilled with a trip to Las Vegas for a chance at immortality.
The work isn’t done by any means for Syracuse who has visions of grandeur with a championship on their mind. However, it was an impressive performance against a talented Huntsville Rockets team that didn’t have any response to adversity.
While on the other side of the coin, the Strong have faced adversity all year with injuries, self-inflicted, and drama. Yet despite all of that, they overcame the odds to put themselves in a position to compete for a chip.