Corey's Corner 4/19

Posted 4/19/17 (Wed)

               “I love it when a plan comes together.” The quote may come from a TV show that is 30 years old, but it still holds as one of the remarkable things to watch. And the Bismarck Bucks have been putting a plan together since their very first day. And it came together against the Kansas City Phantoms. The Bucks were as close to fully healthy as they had been in weeks, and they played like it. Bismarck put together what was, top to bottom, their best effort of the year while taking on the Kansas City Phantoms.

               And it started right away. Tyler Floyd opened the game with a six yard carry, and the Bucks marched down the field. From 18 yards out, Lance Lewis cashed in the score. It wouldn’t be the lastt time LL would find the endzone. But first, it was the defense’s turn to shine. Give the Phantoms credit: they ran the ball well. But Bismarck wouldn’t yield. Tyrone Ezell started it out with a tackle for loss,  but the drive would make it to the goal line. Then, the Bucks turned Kansas City away on 4th down lead by linebacker Jarelle Miller. The offense would capitalize on the momentum with another score from Lewis, and the former NFL’er was showcasing all the skills that got him to that level.

               Kansas City wouldn’t make it too easy for the Bucks though, as Jared Elmore scored from two yards out to cut the lead in half for Bismarck.  Elmore was the saving grace for the Phantoms throughout their first trip to the Peace Garden State. Without his contributions, this game would’ve been over in the 1st half. Still though, the Bismarck offense wouldn’t be slowed. A bomb of a pass just missed for the long TD on drive number 3, so Bismarck went back to what they do: grinding out yardage. On 4th and short the direct snap to Lance Lewis kept the drive alive. Then, Jauhem Byrd snag put Bismarck at the 1, where Kansas City tried to give the Bucks a taste of their own goal line stand. But on 4th down, the Bucks combined to push Jon Bane into the endzone and the QB sneak resulted in six points.

               And it wouldn’t be the best effort of the year if the defense didn’t continue to produce. They did. A ball into the endzone was intercepted by the former Blue Hawk Michael Thompson, denying KC the chance at points and flipping the field again on the Phantoms. Still, Elmore would cash in again to make it a one score game with under a minute to go. It wouldn’t stay that way for long. With about 30 seconds left, the Bucks wanted to put up points before the halftime break. They did in one play: a 38 yard strike right over the top to Lance Lewis. Unfortunately for the Bucks, the ensuing kickoff took a few strange hops off some Phantoms and Bucks  and wound up recovered by Kansas City in the Bucks endzone. That’s a TD and so it was back to seven. Still, the Bucks would win the exchange courtesy of a three point swing of the leg from Evan Connolly. It was from 42 out, and could’ve been good from 50. It was a beautiful kick.

               Offense. Defense. Special Teams. All were great in the best win of the year.

               In the second half, it was defense then offense. The D forced the super long FG that would bounce off the scoreboard. That set up the offense at the 25 yard line and the offense capitalized with the second QB sneak by Jon Bane. Near the end of the third, Bane would find the blossoming Jauhem Byrd for a deep TD. Then backup QB and special teamer Mike Ashley sprinted down the field on the kickoff, laid a guy out, and recovered the football. And it was over. Not only did the Bucks get their first win at home in franchise history, they did so in blowout fashion. As the playoff hunt begins in earnest, the Bucks put themselves right in the heart of the conversation. Now it’s a big one  taking on one of the oldest teams in indoor football: the Omaha Beef.