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On May 8th the Pirates will travel to North Dakota to take on the Bismarck Bucks. The game is set to be played at the Bismarck Events Center with kickoff scheduled for 7:05 PM/ET. This will be the Pirates third consecutive road game to start the 2021 season. The Bucks, led by Head Coach Rod Miller, are coming off a disappointing 2019 season but expect to rebound.
There are several keys to the game for the Pirates. First, can quarterback Sean Brackett continue his IFL dominance? In 2019 Brackett threw for over 2,500 yards and 57 touchdowns against just 15 interceptions. Can newcomer Justin Stockton dazzle out of the backfield as he did as a starter for Texas Tech just a few seasons ago? How will an offensive line, consisting of a team-high eight positional players, work together in opening holes and providing enough time for Brackett to find open receivers, like Martavis Bryant and former Nebraska standout Alonzo Moore, downfield? Upfront, watch out for another newcomer, JD “Sack King” Griggs to penetrate the Bucks offensive line and make life difficult every time quarterback Richard Stammeti drops back to pass.
For the Bucks, a big question mark surrounds their new quarterback. Stammeti was originally signed for the 2020 season but is making his debut this season. Can he help bring playoff football back to North Dakota? The Bucks made the playoffs in both ‘17 and ‘18 but fell way short in 2019, finishing the season a dismal 2-12. The Bucks will also rely heavily on their defense, notably backfield trio Zuril Hendrick, Marcus Green, and Deion Carter. Back on offense, expect Stammeti to look for receivers Mike Carrigan and Jaiquis “JT” Stokes or to utilize running back Emanuel Jones out of the backfield.
One thing’s for certain, these two teams will be battling for early season dominance. Expect a high-scoring affair when the Pirates visit the Bucks.