Pirates Find “Booty” at Halfway Mark

By: Mick Moninghoff
Pirates Writer
June 28, 2021

WORCESTER, MA – At the halfway point of their first season in the Indoor Football League, the Massachusetts Pirates, record stands at 4-3 and they’ve proven they can compete with any team in their new league, evidenced by their widest margin of defeat; just an eight-point setback to the Spokane Shock. Defensively, Massachusetts ranks first allowing just 31.1 points per game, an average of 3.9 yards per game and a league low of 162.6 yards per contest. The Pirates rank second in four other categories.

Individually, several players have made an assault on the teams’ record book through the first seven games of the season. The most impressive numbers have been accumulated by running back Justin Stockton, kicker Josh Gable and kick returner LaQuvionte Gonzalez.

Updated All-Time and Season Records:

Josh Gable set or tied five records in the Pirates most recent win over the Tucson Sugar Skulls. His 50-yard field goal tied his own record which he had set vs. Louisville on June 5. Gable now has made eight field goals which is a season and Pirates’ career mark as well. Gable established the most field goals attempted in a game (6) and made three to equal his record set vs. Louisville on June 5. Gables’ 13 points scored by kicking tied the all-time mark held by Mike Weaver who did the same at Columbus vs. the Lions on June 29, 2019.

Stockton ran for 76 yards in the season opener at Louisville which is a Pirates single game record. His 29- yard run in that game is Massachusetts’ longest ever. Sean Brackett held the previous mark with a 26-yard scamper vs. Carolina on May 19, 2018. Stockton set the record for carries in a game when he rushed 15 times vs. Louisville at Phoenix Field at the DCU Center. The old marks were held by Brackett who ran nine times for 46 yards on July 13, 2019 vs. Jacksonville. Brackett still holds several records including the most games ever played. He appeared in his 30th game vs. Tucson.

Gonzalez has set three all-time and single season records as well. His 17 kickoff returns and 395 return yards have eclipsed those set by Mardy Gilyard of 12 for 302 yards in 2019. Gonzalez also joined current Pirate Thomas Owens and former Massachusetts running back Quayvon Hicks as the only Pirates to score on a kickoff return. Gonzalez recorded the longest kickoff return for a touchdown (46-yards) on June 5 in a win over Louisville.

Quarterback Alejandro Bennifield has etched his name into the record book as his 45-yard TD pass to Owens in game one against Louisville tied the longest scoring pass play in team history. That equaled the mark set by Brackett and Devonn Brown who did it three times in the 2018 season. Bennifield also fired a two-point conversion pass to Owens this year. They now join the Brackett to Gilyard connection who accomplished the feat on July 21, 2018 against Carolina. Bennifield also set the single game mark with four rushing touchdowns against Green Bay on May 2.

Khalid Wooten has four missed field goal returns which ties the single season and all-time mark set by current Pirates offensive coordinator Bones Bagaunte in 2018.

The Pirates had never recorded two safeties in a game until they did so May 2 at Green Bay. The team was credited with one and Chucky Williams the other. Williams has to fumble recoveries which gives him a single season record. He also has three for his career which ties him all-time with Darryl Render.

JD Griggs has a forced fumble this season which now makes him the Pirates all-time leader with three. Fellow defensive lineman Toby Johnson has forced two fumbles this year which equals single season record held with R.J. Roberts.

The Pirates second half of the season begins on July 3 in Frisco, Texas when they take on the Fighters.

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 contact@masspiratesfootball.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 Faceboo.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates. #GetHooked #AllAboard