The local derby that wasn't
Never in their existence did the Nijmegen Pirates manage to beat the Falcons. The rivals from two nearby towns clashed again this weekend at the field of the Pirates, but history repeated itself and once again, the Pirates were sent home empty handed after a 33-0 loss.
Things started off well enough for the Pirates, who introduced their new uniforms in this game. In the first quarter the Falcons were dominating, but couldn't make a fist and saw drive after drive end in punts caused by penalties or incompletions as the wind played a major factor.
The first quarter ended with the Falcons once again knocking on the door of the Pirates' endzone and with the first play of the second quarter runningback Brandon Stamper finally broke the stalemate with a 9 yard TD run. Kicker Tim van Mal, who had a bad outing in the Falcons' opening game didn't make a mistake this time and added the extra point.
With this score you could sense a weight falling of the back of the Arnhem players and on the next offensive drive they added a second touchdown when QB AJ Hobbelink found Matt Newman in the right corner of the endzone for a 12 yard TD. Kicker van Mal didn't get the chance to show his aim again as the hold of the PAT was botched and the ball got smothered in the rush of Pirate defenders.
The Nijmegen Pirates then provided Arnhem with excellent fieldposition as their drive was a three and out and the punt only managed to net 9 yards. The Falcons' running game got rolling in the subsequent drive and 5 plays later Brandon Stamper added his second score of the day after a 2 yard scamper. Holding problems absent, van Mal was able to add the PAT without problems.
The next Arnhem possession provided another touchdown when a 6 play, 45 yard drive was capped with AJ Hobbelink's second TD pass of the day. This time Jermaine Ramsey was on the receiving end of the 30 yard strike. Once again, the extra point was good.
The Falcons got another chance to add to their points total before halftime after safety Milan Lentze intercepted Pirate QB Paesch on their 37 yard line and returned the ball all the way to the Nijmegen 17. Rather uncharacteristically though, the Falcons fumbled on the ensuing drive at the Pirates 5 yard line. This meant the halftime score was 0-27.
Right After halftime the Pirates got their best chance to put points on the board. A long drive from their own 20 yard line, aided by good running and Arnhem penalties, stalled at the Arnhem 5 yard line. This proved to be as close as the Pirates came to the Arnhem endzone all game. The Pirates did dominate the time of possession in the third quarter though with the Falcons only managing to squeeze in one drive.
Dotting i's, crossing t's
The start of the fourth quarter also saw the start of another Falcons drive. Again with great field position as a starting point, the 30 yards to the Nijmegen endzone were traversed in 7 plays, capped by AJ Hobbelinks third TD pass of the day. Once again Jermaine Ramsey managed to reach the endzone. Kicking against the swirly wind, the extra point failed wide right, elevating the score to 0-33.
After this score both teams decided to let their second stringers get playing time which resulted in a succession of short drives ending in punts. And with that, the game came to an end.
The Falcons will be happy they managed to get their offense going and kept a clean sheet on the defensive side. They now move on to the Amsterdam Panthers, a game originally scheduled on opening day of the season, but rescheduled to March 8 after inclement weather made the field unplayable on Superbowl Sunday.