Pirates Fall to Frisco 40-33 – Presented by Steward Health
By: Mick Moninghoff
June 13, 2021
WORCESTER, MA – Pirates quarterback Alejandro Bennifield threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, but it was not enough as the Frisco Fighters (4-0) remained the only undefeated team in the Indoor Football League with a 40-33 victory over Massachusetts. The Pirates are now three and three on the season.
Frisco scored on its first possession as quarterback Jonathan Bane found wideout Mark Munson from 14 yards out to open the scoring, but the Pirates tied it as Bennifield connected with wide receiver Thomas Owens who ran away from defenders on a 35-yard scoring play to even the game as six. The Fighters answered with Munson teaming up with Bane on the very next possession on fourth and six from the 21 to grab a 13-6 advantage. The Pirates closed the quarter with Josh Gable making a 20-yard field goal to put Massachusetts down by four.
The game which featured the top two defenses in the IFL, lived up to its hype as neither team scored until the Pirates took their first lead of the night with 3:10 to play in the half. On first down from their own five-yard line Owens caught a five-yard pass and turned it into a 30-yard play taking the ball to the Frisco 15. On the next play Bennifield completed a 15-yard pass to LaQuvionte Gonzalez for a touchdown giving the Pirates their only lead of the game at 16-13.
The Fighters with Jerrod Heard at quarterback, established their running game which turned the game around. After a short kickoff and an unsportsmanlike penalty, Frisco had the ball at the Pirates 15. Heard ran for four yards and Demarcus Felton finished off the two-play drive with an 11-yard touchdown run giving Frisco a 20-16 lead. The Fighters then recovered an onside kick and ran the ball six straight plays. The drive covered 38 yards with Heard gaining 23 of them including a one-yard TD run and the half ended with the Fighters up 27-16.
Frisco controlled the ball in the third quarter scoring on their opening drive with Heard finding the endzone on a five-yard run. The Pirates did answer on their only possession of the quarter with Gonzalez pulling in a 6-yard pass for a score, but a seven play, 17-yard dive ending with a Felton 1 yard touchdown run gave the Fighters a 40-26 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Pirates were poised to close the gap but a fumble by running back Martez Carter five yards from paydirt was recovered by Kris Frost to end the threat. The Pirates came right back on their next possession with Bennifield scoring on a two-yard run to make the score 40-33, but those would be the last points of the game.
Bennifield finished nine of 19 for 128 yards and three TD passes. Owens was his top target with four receptions for 77 yards and a score. Gonzalez added 27 yards on three catches with two touchdowns. Carter carried seven times for 16 yards while Gonzalez chipped in with 22 yards on two carries and a rushing touchdown.
Bane was eight of 15 passing for 80 yards and two scores while Heard was four of eight for 52 yards. Heard was the leading rushing in the game with 58 yards on 13 carries with two touchdowns. Lance Evans led the Fighters with five receptions for 66 yards.
The Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at Phoenix Field at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508) 452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. Single game tickets are available now at ticketmaster.com or the DCU Center Box Office. For season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277). Follow the Pirates on Facebook via Facebook.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard