Pirates qualify for playoffs with an impressive win over Quad City

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Massachusetts Pirates this season but they have put it all together the last two weeks and the end result is a playoff birth thanks to their 52-35 win over Quad City on Monday night.

Spearheaded by quarterback Alejandro Bennifield who completed 13-of-15 passes for 132 yards and five touchdown passes, the Pirates improved to 8-6 on the season and are making the post season for the fourth straight season.

Bennifield has been terrific during this recent run but running back Jimmie Robinson continues to be the straw that stirs the drink offensively for the Pirates rushing for 65 yards on 13 carries and scoring two touchdowns.

Head Coach Rod Miller talked about Robinson’s importance and what he means to the offense after the game. 

“Robinson is the model of consistency,” Miller said. “I say every week that he’s one of the best players in the league and that he’s the best back in the league. He shows up every week, not just here and there; he’s consistent. And if he keeps playing like that, we’re riding his team on his back, and he’s taking us a long way.”

Defensively, former Boston College safety Jaiden Woodbey paced the defense with seven tackles. Woodbey has been a stabilizing force on a defense that he has seen a lot of personnel changes this season. 

Miller talked about Woodbey’s impact the past two weeks and how he has been able to stabilize the defense.

“Woodbey’s been very steady the last couple of weeks that he’s played linebacker,” Miller said. He got the full nod tonight, and he and Calvin split a little bit last week. But he got the full nod tonight, and he took advantage of the opportunity, and that’s what we wanted. So, he came in and stepped in—it’s like he was a starter—and played very well.”

The defense has been much maligned all season long but they are finally putting it together at the right time. Miller says an understanding of the scheme and communication has the been the difference for the defense. 

“We’ve been working on communicating and playing as a unit,” Miller said. We’ve been working on that for the last couple of weeks. Those guys came in, and now they’re finally getting used to us and getting comfortable. So, it’s big for us to start playing together and communicating, and you saw the final product of that tonight. These guys are really starting to gel together.”

The Pirates as a whole are peaking at the right time and their turnaround can be attributed to more of a focus on playing consistent football in all three phases. 

“We’re using everything we can for momentum,” Miller said. “We’re talking about just playing sharp in all three phases for the whole game. And if we get opportunities to capitalize, then we have to capitalize on them. Our Focus has been to capitalize on as many opportunities as we can.”

The Pirates have two games left on the season, Both are away. They travel to San Antonio on Saturday to take on the Gunslingers in a rematch of their 52-51 shootout loss from two weeks ago. They wrap up the season in Tulsa against the Oilers on Friday July 19th.

If the Pirates win out, they can still host a home playoff game. A thought that seemed inconceivable two weeks ago. 

Quotes and photos courtesy of the Massachusetts Pirates 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *