The Pirates hit the road for another road matchup, this time against the Green Bay Blizzard on May 2nd at 4:05 PM/ET at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Blizzard head coach Corey Roberson is coming off a 2019 season where he was named IFL Coach of the Year after the Blizzard finished 9-5 in their first winning season since 2012. Pirates quarterback Sean Brackett will lead the Massachusetts Pirates offense once again as he is returning for his third season with the team. Brackett and the explosive Pirates offense have gotten even more explosive, adding former Texas Tech standout Justin Stockton to the mix. The offense has some big-play capabilities with wide receivers Martavis Bryant, Darren Carrington II, Laquvionte Gonzalez, Alonzo Moore, R.J. Shelton, and Thomas Owens all with impressive resumes at the professional level.
It will be tough against a stout Green Bay defense that shines in the defensive backfield with Bakari Triggs, the 2019 IFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. Triggs ended 2019 tied for the league lead in interceptions with 6 and added a Defensive Player of the Week award in week 5 and ended the season being named a First-Team All-IFL defensive back. He will be playing alongside Joe Powell in the defensive backfield, a former Oklahoma Sooner and Eastern Illinois standout. Powell played with current 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at Eastern Illinois.
On the other side of the ball, Green Bay has some serious talent, especially at the wide receiver position. Eric Thomas Jr. out of Troy University is the school’s all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 29 in his career and has found success in the IFL, including a spot on the second team All-IFL offense in 2018. The Blizzard also have 2019 rookie sensation Kezlow Smith out of Lakeland College. He left Lakeland as the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards. Smith caught fire in his first year on the Blizzard. In only seven games, he hauled in seven touchdowns on 15 catches and 256 yards. This offensive group will have its hands full with the Pirates’ defense. Defensive linemen Youhanna Ghaifan, Willie Yarbury, R.J. Roberts, and J.D. Griggs will cause trouble for opposing offensive linemen as linebackers Tavarus Dantzler and Martrell Spaight will be behind them making plays as well. The Pirates have some ballhawks in the defensive backfield as the experienced Khalid Wooten & Chucky Williams return to the Pirates for a run at a championship. This is a must-see early-season matchup that will not disappoint.