Axemen Defense Shines In Win Over Mayhem
Conditions were very much in contrast to the previous weeks scorcher in Atlanta, but the rainy weather didn’t stop the Axemen in a 32-0 shutout over the Tampa Mayhem. With storms looming in the Jacksonville area both teams were soaked during warm-up in a 15 minute downpour. The rain let up just before kick off but conditions were very wet and holding on to the ball was extremely challenging.
The Axemen received the ball first but struggled a bit with dropped balls and the Mayhem came very close to scoring several times early in the game. Jacksonville stayed strong with defense and made up for some lost meters with two tries before the water break from Tyler “Sparky” McClain and Ben Nicoll. Hayden Diggins was good for both conversion kicks and the Axemen were up 12-0 in the first 20 minutes.
The Tampa Mayhem were very much still in the game and forced the Axemen to battle defensively very close to the try line on several occasions. Ryan Peterson scored the third try for the Axemen under the posts and Diggins conversion upped the score 18-0 going into halftime.
In the first 20 minutes of the second half Tampa certainly put in the effort to put some points on the board but the Axemen continued to hold them back. The Axemen were unable to score until after the second water break, when an offensive push seemed to seal the win with tries scored by Billy Rogers, Steven “Meaty” Hill, and Joe Eichner. Hayden Diggins had a perfect record for conversion kicks for the day, but the final two from Will Mueller and Ryan O’Hara were no good.
The final score was 32-0 over the Mayhem. “I was really happy with the boys effort from the game,” said Coach Ben Nicoll. “We put ourselves under pressure at times from some dropped balls, but our defense was awesome. Tampa had a lot of football on our goal line but the boys turned up for each other and kept them out.”
Drew Slover, Co-Owner and General Manager of the Axemen was impressed with the turnout on and off the field. “We were happy to see a large group of fans came out regardless of the weather,” said Slover. “It was a tough game, much tougher than the score indicated and we look forward to seeing everyone continue to support the team as the season continues.”
The Axemen will travel to Deland, FL next Saturday for their 3rd game against the Central Florida Warriors.