What Led to Frisco Fighters’ 72-58 Loss to the Massachusetts Pirates

By: Anthony Miller

The Frisco Fighters’ defense struggled as the Massachusetts Pirates hand Frisco their second loss of the season with a 72-58 game.

Frisco’s first score came from special teams as Charles Headen took a kickoff back for a touchdown to take a 7-6 lead over the Pirates. After a field goal on their next drive, it was quarterback TJ Edwards using his legs to run it in for a touchdown to give the Fighters a 16-13 lead on the Pirates. Former XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats running back Martez Carter got into the action on the next drive scoring a rushing touchdown as Frisco took a 23-19 lead. Receiver Jerm Smith caught a touchdown pass to put Frisco up 30-28. Headen got another touchdown this time from a receiving score putting the Fighters back on top 36-33.

The Fighters went into the third quarter down 43-36 but were able to respond quickly with an Edwards touchdown run as Frisco was down 45-43. Frisco’s defense kept surrendering scores from Massachusetts as they only had the lead once in the game with a 52-51 lead at one point in the game. They just couldn’t keep up with the Pirates as they took a 72-58 loss on the road.

Edwards finished the game with six total touchdowns and threw two interceptions after going into the game with just one interception in nine games. Martez Carter added a rushing touchdown in the game for Frisco. The Fighter’s defense struggled with only one possession for Massachusetts ending with no points. Pirates quarterback Anthony Russo threw for eight touchdowns in just 12 competitions.

How Frisco Loss the Game

Photo via Twitter (@FriscoFighters)

All fingers will be pointed toward the secondary and how poorly they performed Saturday night against possibly the best-receiving core in the IFL. Russo had his way with the unit scoring a touchdown on 75 percent of his completions which is unthinkable. The defense could only hold the Pirates to zero points just once all game. Massachusetts’ receivers had too much space at times but also won a lot of contested battles one on one. For a defense that went into the game second in the league allowing just 39 points a game, they allowed a season-high 72 points.

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good and it almost felt like luck played a role in Pirates kicker Josh Gable scoring deuces on five kickoffs. Those in turn played a significant difference in the game as it changed how the game was played with him converting on those kicks. While Frisco kicker Bryce Crawford struggled with missing a short 19-yard field goal before the half along with other kicks missed throughout the night. Those field goals and extra points he missed could have helped them win the game.

The loss drops Frisco’s record to 8-2 on the season, but still maintains first place in the East and holds the best record in the IFL. They head to Sioux Falls next week to take on the Storm as the Fighters hit the road for the second straight week.

Featured Image via Twitter (@FriscoFighters)

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