NEW ORLEANS,LA- The Crescent City Kings are streaking and the complexion of the inaugural season is beginning to change. The Kings, winners of three in a row, are averaging 44 points and surrendering only a 40 points total across that span of games. In fact the Kings last loss was a muddy 6-0 defeat at the hands of the #11 ranked and division leading Hammond Vipers.
The Kings offensive line has issued a serious statement during the win streak, “If you plan to beat the Kings, bring your run defense!” On Saturday night the big boys pushed the Firebirds around from the first snap. Their combination of size and determination enabled the Kings trio of running backs to eat of some serious yardage. As a team the Kings rushed for 201 yards on 20 carries with two trips to the endzone. Tailback Jeremy Robertson reigned on this night toting the rock, 11 times for 120 yards and a touchdown. Kings leading rusher Derek Williams saw limited action after an early fumble but still managed to contribute 43 all-purpose yards and a touchdown.
Quarterback Jahmad Goff is 2-0 as a starter and he put on a stellar aerial show before an energetic home crowd. His favorite target was the tall and rangy Akeem Davis, the two connected twice for long TD passes. He also found Michael Williams and Larry Paisant for scores. Overall Goff completed 9 of 13 passes, to five different recievers, for over 200 yards and four touchdowns.
The Kings offense has performed tremendously well in recent weeks according to offensive coordinator Devin The Kings offensive line has issued a serious statement during the win streak, “If you plan to beat the Kings, bring your run defense!”
Richardson, “We have definitely hit a bit of a stride but we still can be so much better, if we eliminate the mental mistakes.”
The top unit for the Kings remains to be the defense. After an uninspiring first half which yielded a 20-12 half-time score, the defense put what little fire the Birds had out. The second half was a beat down as the Kings punished Firebirds quarterbacks, receivers and running backs. The surprise of the night was the two way play of Josh Keelen. The 6’2 280 pounder displayed his versatility anchoring the offensive line at center and brutalized the Firebirds offense from end, tackle and linebacker recording eight tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.
The Kings secondary bent a little more than customary allowing two touchdown passes but S/LB hybrid Jeffery Robinson made certain that the Firebirds air show came to a screeching halt. He levied several big time hits and his downright physical nature caused receivers to shorten routes and run with a lot less confidence in the open field.
The Kings front seven also yielded more yardage than usual but similar to the secondary flipped a switch in the second half. After allowing the Firebirds to have some success in the early stages of the game, the contest turned to a feeding frenzy. The Kings piled up 8 tackles in the backfield and 6 sacks as the momentum of the game swung in favor of the Kings.
The Kings are able to stay in close game with good teams due to their defensive prowess. If opponents don’t play well the defensive squad usually turns games ugly quick especially at home. The Kings have 35 sacks and 14 interceptionsThe Kings, winners of three in a row, are averaging 44 points and surrendering only 40 points total across that span of games
in 8 games which is impressive for the first year bunch. Most notable are the 3 defensive touchdowns in the last 3 contest.
With the 1-4 start in the rear view mirror the Kings are focused on finishing the season strong. The Kings have two remaining games, both against division opponents and both at home, which could be a huge deciding factor. If the Kings are able to run their current streak to five games they will finish 6-4 with a possible berth in the GDFL playoffs. Recent play causes both players and coaches to dream about what could have been, if the team’s recent play had been consistent all season. It is reasonable to assume that the 4-4 Kings are two touchdowns away from being a 6-2 squad. In the Kings locker room, however, nobody is focused on that, the goal is to finish the season playing the best possible football.
Head Coach Frederick Washington said, “We have the athletes to compete on the highest level. For the next 3 weeks our mental focus will be tested. If we pass the test we finish 6-4 and possibly win our division, if we fail everything is up in the air. Either way it is the weeks to come that will define our season, not the weeks past.”
The Kings have a bye week to rest some injuries and Guard Devin Francois is being evaluated for a potentially severe ankle injury. On August 2, the Kings will be looking to extend the streak and keep pressure on the Vipers as the chase for the division crown heats up due to the late season push of the Crescent City Kings.