Tag: Dublin Rebels

REBELS SEND GOVOVAN THE VIKING BACK TO VALHALLA

Rebels put Vikings to the sword

The Dublin Rebels played host to the University of Limerick Vikings this past weekend, bringing memories of past battles between the two mainstays of Irish American Football flooding back to many.

A touchback gave the Rebel Offense their first possession of the game at their 25, with an air of anticipation, as future superstar QB Jack Fagan led the team out first.

“Pete McMahon” – Photo Courtesy of VSquared Photography

In an effort to establish a tone for the afternoons proceedings, RB Pete McMahon ran hard and fast behind an aggressive O-Line, introducing himself early to the Vikings Defence, putting his pads through defenders who could do very little to stop the runners momentum. Keeping the visitors on their toes, Fagan ripped off a darting run himself through every level of the Defence.

Ball security issues did rear their head for the Offense, 2 bobbled snaps and a fumble in play, were nervy moments for the home team, but quick adaption between teammates soon saw Fagan connect with a lofted Endzone pass to receiver Andrej Barlafa, meeting right at the pylon to give the Rebels the lead. The conversion attempt was unsuccessful. 6-0, Rebels after a near perfect opening drive.

A swarming Rebels Defence, anchored by veterans Steven Walsh and Ross McCooey, stuffed the visiting Offense through the middle, giving the game its first three-and-out.

Not to be outdone by his teammate, Andrew Dennehy came out eager to prove that no matter who gets the snap, the Rebels are a danger to score, and score they did, a bomb to Jonas D’Agostin Kubis, had the young Receiver racing away from the Vikings Defence, giving the Rebels another 6 points on a two play drive. A successful conversion through Wellington Omorodion set the score at 14-0.

An excellently placed kick off, gave a hungry Rebel defence great field position. A combination of quick penetration and suffocating coverage landed a ball in the hands of Kevin Fitzgerald, one play, one interception.

Fagan on the field again, with a Defence well aware of what he can do, facing across from him. He faked the hand-off to McMahon, and breaking tackle after tackle, darted into the Endzone to tack on more points to a fast-growing lead. 20-0, following a failed conversion.

“Rebels Offense” – Photo Courtesy of VSquared Photography

“In order to WIN the game, you must first not LOSE it”

Hoping to get anything going from their Offense, but facing a D stocked with established studs across the whole 11, positive yards were difficult to come by for the visitors. Line-backing tandem Matthias Durot and Senan O’Mahony viciously cutting down ball handlers. The visitors were forced to hand excellent field position to an energized and in-rhythm Offense.

After being pushed back 10 yards due to a holding penalty, it was an opportunity for McMahon to accrue more yards in this first quarter, dancing in for a touchdown on the drives third play. Bringing the score to 26-0.

On the next UL offensive drive, the dominant Rebels Defensive line broke through on the first play, allowing for a diving interception from DB Kevin Fitzgerald, sending out the Offense once again.

An incompletion threatened to bring the game back down to earth for the Dublin team, only for McMahon to once again sprint across the field to cross the pylon. A gaping hole created by the O-Line gave Game Offensive MVP, Fagan all the room he needed to walk across for the conversion.

Another well-placed kick off from Sean Butler closed out the quarter. 34-0, an exhibition of how powerful the Rebels can be.

The second quarter started off with the visiting team backed up at their own Endzone, two incompletions and a crunching group tackle, aided by a holding penalty to bring them back ten yards, forced the Limerick punting unit to be called out. A great return, by Special Team Game MVP, Cathal Keane, probing the Red zone yet again, giving the Offense a comfortable starting point. An errant pass from Dennehy found the hands of Viking Liam Ryan, the Limerick Defence hoping to spark something by gaining possession back for their teammates.

Looking to gain yards back quickly through big plays, Limerick lofted a ball deep, sound coverage allowing Safety Keith Foster to break it up with both hands.

In a first for this game, the Vikings Offense strung plays together pounding the ball up the middle through Adam O’Mahony. Soon enough the home Defence tightened up, closing down gaps and forcing a turnover on downs.

A comfortable lead allowed the Offense to rotate in players throughout the game including more plays for the first Rebel to be born in the 21st century, Calum Walsh at Wide Receiver. A still determined Vikings front line stopped big gains in the run game, bringing out the home teams punt unit for the first time this afternoon. Now looking for any avenue to gain yardage, the visiting Offense could find no opening in a Defence that had shown little or no cracks all game, punts being exchanged by both teams, a rare sight in the day’s proceedings.

“Rebels Offense” – Photo Courtesy of VSquared Photography

Hardnosed and powerful running from both star running backs, Wellington Omorodion and Pete McMahon, marched the Rebels in position to score once more, Omorodion finding the Endzone to extend an already substantial lead, a tipped pass batted down the conversion attempt to close out the first half. 40-0, Rebels.

A strong theme for the day, the Defence refused to give up any yardage yet again, forcing a punt.

A gritty Vikings D shut out runs by both Fagan and McMahon, who could not find the Endzone, a rare unfruitful drive by the Offense.

The Flying Romanian

After huge pressure from Defensive linemen Walsh and Simon Mackey, errant throw found the hands of Rebels Corner Andrei Vlad Vasilescu, who, determined to get the Defence in on the scoring action, dived outstretched for the pylon, providing the game’s only defensive touchdown and Game Defensive MVP honours. The 3rd forced turnover by the Black Tide. An unsuccessful PAT put the score at 46-0.

Another day, another drive, another excellent defensive effort, and the shut out would remain alive, a dream for any Defence. End of the 3rd Quarter, 46-0, Rebels.

A long, winding trademark run from Omorodion, who looked like a blur on his way, to the Endzone yet again, begin the 4th quarter. Capped by a McMahon conversion, the scoreboard showed 54-0.

Backed to their own 5-yard line, down 54, the visitors punted once again, a poor bounce forced the returner the wrong direction, only returning the ball this time to where it initially bounced.

Unfortunately, on the ensuing drive, a Vikings player would go down injured with 7:50 left to play in the game. The player was brought to the hospital in the ambulance and after communicating with both teams the final whistle was blown.

Speedy recovery

We all play this game out of pure love for the sport and hate to see anyone go down with such an injury, everyone in the Rebels community wishes the player the best and a speedy recovery in the future.

The Rebels move to 5-2 on the season and will square off with neighbours the South Dublin Panthers in a game with heavy playoff implications on Sunday July 15. The game will take place in the National Sports Campus and kick-off is at 12pm.

By Calum Walsh

REBELS VERSUS KNIGHTS 2018

Like Old Friends

A rematch of Shamrock Bowl 31 took place in Sportslink last Sunday, when the defending Champion Rebels welcomed the renamed, Belfast Knights, to Dublin for a scorching day of hard-hitting football.

The game commenced with the Knight’s offense rattling off 4 runs in a row, handing the ball to power runner Darren Montgomery. Physical Rebels defence and an incomplete pass concluded the Knights initial drive with a punt, allowing the Rebel’s offence to take possession at their own 15. Three consecutive incompletes, two tipped at the line, brought out Rebel punter and veteran receiver, Paul Grogan, returning for his first play since last year’s championship game.

Flags for both the visiting offence and home defence as well as quick penetration from a stout Rebel defensive line called the Knight’s punter on for the second time in 2 drives, both teams struggles for yardage in the first three possessions would foreshadow a theme for the rest of the contest.

An un-fielded punt would call dynamic dual-threat QB Jack Fagan to take the field for the first time today, joined in the backfield by Wellington Omorodion who would make his presence felt with a 7-yard gain on 1st down. Fagan soon showed just how dangerous he is, a QB option providing him with the space for a 13-yard rush.

While an obvious progression from the drives seen earlier in the game, the away defence stood tall and forced yet another punt in the opening quarter.

A three and out following a WR sweep being called back forced the Knights into 4th down. Misjudged timing by the home team, on a block attempt, lead to an offside call on the punt, giving the Knights another attempt to ignite any semblance of an offense. Eventually, a seam was found, ending the 1st quarter on the visitors’ first big-gain play of the afternoon and leading us into the second period.

If It Ain’t Broke…

With new running back Alastair Nixon in, the Knights offence began to move the ball on the ground, going run heavy they held no secrets in what they wanted to accomplish, putting together 5 running plays in a row to gain yardage.

The Rebels Defence bent slightly, but thanks to big stops from Raphael Meyer, and Matthias Durot, they refused to break, only giving up a Marty Caskey field goal to hold the visitors to 3 points, taking the game’s first lead.

Veteran quarter back Andy Dennehy provided a steady hand for the Rebel’s offense, marching the ball down the field through the big boys up front and star running back Pete McMahon, rightly capping it off with a touchdown. The point after attempt failed to be converted.

With Spencer McDowell now in at QB for the Knights, their devotion to the ground and pound style was stronger than ever, designed quarterback runs and powerful inside handoffs were mainstays of a now behind Knight’s team.

The Rebels defence matched fire with fire and stuffed multiple attempts from the Knights, giving the ball back to the offence through a 4th down punt. Despite attempts to get the ball deep and in a scoring position, there was insufficient time left on the clock to add anything for the Rebels, as they breached the Knights Red-zone. 6-3 Rebels at the half.

A Fight to the End!

Receiving the ball to begin the second half, the combination of Fagan, McMahon and Omorodion proved difficult for the Knights to handle, seemingly dancing through tackles to manoeuvre downfield. A taxing drive which included only one pass, which fell incomplete, the rebels made their way to inside the five-yard line. An aggressive and blitzing defence held firm and forced a turnover on downs, Rebels coming out with no points on their most promising drive of the game.

Backed against their own Endzone, the Knights strung a few plays together before sending a deep punt into Rebel territory. Good punt coverage forced the offence onto the field with very little room to work with. Forceful play by the Dublin O-line, ensured enough space to allow for a first down to close out the quarter and give the home team some breathing room. As seemed to be common between both teams the Knights forced a punt to give them their best field position of the day and a chance to score in the final quarter. Going with power running throughout the entire drive using every big body available to them the Knights ran in for a touchdown from McDowell, their first and only of the day. The ensuing field goal attempt was blocked by Linebacker Robert Smith bursting through the line.

With time running low and the majority of the field to cover, a new life seemed to fuel the offense, with big plays coming from both the running and passing games, culminating in a touchdown thrown to Jonas D’Agostin to put the Rebels ahead by 3.

The Rebels Defence lead by the ever disruptive bookends of Simon Mackey and Steve Walsh decided that’s where the game ends, and the game was iced thanks to an interception by the always ball-hawking Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, taking Defensive MVP honors on the day, to ensure a Rebel victory.

The final score in Sportslink, Dublin Rebels 12-9 Belfast Knights.

The win takes the Rebels to 4-2 on the season, and on to the next match up again in Sportslink, where they will face the UL Vikings on Sunday 8 July in a rematch from the season opener.

By Calum Walsh

Battle

BATTLE LOST BUT STILL IN THE WAR!

REBELS DROP TO DEFEAT #2 OF THE SEASON

As with many an Irish folktale before them, two giants of the IAFA squared off in Belfast last Sunday, with the Belfast Trojans welcoming the reigning Shamrock Bowl champions Dublin Rebels in an exhibition of some of the best football Ireland has to offer. 

“Cathal Keane” – Photo courtesy of Ian Humes Photography

The game kicked off with Rebels returner Cathal Keane setting the Offence up with excellent field position. Similarly to the previous games, the Rebels O came out with a goal to run the ball, through, around, or over whatever stood in their way. 

The home team’s defence stood their ground, leading to a fortunate flag on a Sean Butler punt giving the Rebels the ball back. Spearheaded by star RB Pete McMahon refusing to let up ground, and a Dennehy to Ryan connection, the Dublin side were set firmly inside the home team’s 20.

However, a strong home field Defence, aided by an ill-timed holding penalty, and incomplete passes gave the Trojan offence their first touch of the ball. Solid running by Jonathan Siri gave Belfast a few first downs, but, following an almost toe-drag-swag level of interception by Keith Foster was judged out of bounds, Conrad Cook was able to get the ball back for the visitors with a pick of his own.  

Tit for Tat

Given new life, a rejuvenated Rebels offence, found the breaking point in the Trojan armour, a deep fade to Jonas D’Agostin resulting in the first score of the contest. The ensuing two-point attempt fell incomplete. 6-0 Rebels. 

With a bitter taste still lingering in their mouth, led by Siri, the Trojans took little time to respond, resulting in a near 70-yard sprint to opposite end of the field. The two-point attempt falling short of the goal-line. The scoreboard read 6-6, tied game. An eventful first quarter of football. 

Off again. With little rest, the Offence gained positive field position through a combination of a good kick-off return and 15-yard pass interference call going the Rebels’ way.

While QB Dennehy kept spreading the targets throughout the offence, and positive chunk running plays coming against an athletic defence, the Offence stalled out, starting Slot Receiver Connor Ryan succumbing to an injured calf. 

A proficient Belfast offense, lead in no small part through James McKelvey marched downfield through the air and on the ground, having to use two timeouts in order to reassess their approach to the Rebels defence. A long drive resulting in a one-yard rush TD by feature-back Siri. This time choosing to kick, the PAT was converted. 13-6 Trojans  

With time running low and QB Jack Fagan in the game, the Rebels attempted to throw downfield, ending the half in a completion to clutch TE Ciarán Fitzpatrick, but time ran out as the pass was completed.

Second Half

Restarting the game on Defence and looking for vengeance, the Rebels defence began the second half swarming to the football in groups, led by veterans Mackey, McCooey, and Defensive Co-Ordinator Steve Walsh forcing the Trojans to punt. 

“Rebels Defense” – Photo courtesy of Ian Humes Photography

Dennehy back under centre the Trojan defence stood firm, lead by the ironically named ‘Average’ Neil Graham. The trend of defence winning out continued a staunch effort in the secondary finishing out the 3rd quarter and handing the ball back to Fagan and the Rebels. The score remained 13-6 Trojans. 

A short pass to RB Pete McMahon fooling the defence gained the Rebels good yards, before missed plays handed the ball back following a blocked punt. The second half continued to prove to be a defensive battle.

With little recent success through the air, the Trojans relied on their workhorse and offensive weapon, Siri, in order to break both a tackle and the plane of the Endzone for a touchdown, for it to be called back due to a violation. Seeing their chance, the Rebel defence stood firm and succeeded in forcing a punt, instead of giving up 6 points.   

Conscious of time and score the Rebels fed their star wide receiver of the day D’Agostin, completing two huge plays in order to advance up field. An unfortunate fumble soon allowed the Trojan offence full control of the game once more.

Through an almost picture-perfect sequel to the first, and with time against the visitors, after breaking through the first line of defence, Siri broke through to the Endzone for the home teams 3rd touchdown of the afternoon, getting home from 70+ yards out again. A trick play on the PAT gave the Trojans the two points afterwards. 21-6 Trojans. 

“Jonas D’Agostin Kubis” – Photo courtesy of Ian Humes Photography

Like an animal backed into a corner the Rebels Offence came out with teeth showing in a last-ditch effort to salvage the game. Using the sideline and the passing game as their tools the Rebels broke the plane through a back shoulder throw to Wideout Cathal Keane, following a huge diving grab from D’Agostin. A two-point conversion later and it was a one score game. 21-14 Trojans. 

An unsuccessful onside kick attempt, recovered by the Trojans allowed the eventual victors to kneel the clock out, ending a tumultuous and action-packed game of football. 

 

The Dublin Rebels fall to 3-2 on the season, with the next game a rematch of the 2017 Shamrock Bowl Final against the relocated and renamed Belfast Knights on June 24th @2pm in Sportslink, Santry.

By Calum Walsh

REBELS TAKE ROUND 1 AGAINST ADMIRALS

DUBLIN REBELS DEFEAT CORK ADMIRALS IN RAIN SOAKED BATTLE

The forecast fluctuated all week, and no-one was sure prior to game day what weather would greet the teams as the Cork Admirals would make the road trip to Dublin to take on the Dublin Rebels.
But this is Ireland, so obviously, rain.

And rain it did, the entire first half of the game would have a consistent downpour throughout, and that led to a hard hitting and old school style affair. Games like these, with conditions like these, are usually decided by the turnover battle, and that proved as true as ever.

The Rebels received the opening kick-off, but after some tough running from Tailback Pete McMahon, the Admirals forced the punt.

On their first drive of the game the Admirals took advantage of their possession. After being stuffed on first down, a face mask penalty gave them great field position, and from there Cork QB Stephen Hayes hit Team Ireland under 20 receiver Jahn Dasini for the opening score. The touchdown going in from 40 yards out. The Admirals tacked on the PAT to take an early lead against the reigning champions.

Old school Slugfest

The first quarter remained a slugfest from there, with both teams trading short runs, incompletions and punts to bring it to a close, neither Defence breaking or bending.

As the second quarter got underway, with the Dublin team in possession, the turnover battle began to heat up. An errant throw from veteran leader Andrew Dennehy gave Cork their second interception of the day, the first being a long bomb earlier in the game, which could be considered more as a successful punt.

That brought the Rebels Defence back on to the field. Some hard hitting, and key tackles from DBs Kevin Fitzgerald and Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, as well as Linebacker tandem Matthias Durot and Aybars Bayram made life difficult for the Admirals Offence, and gave the ball back to the men in black.

“Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

Starting the drive on their own 27, the Rebels would maintain possession for most of the remainder of the half. Meticulously moving the ball through the running of duo Pete McMahon and Shamrock Bowl MVP Wellington Omorodion, combined with some passes from Dennehy to Tight End Ciarán Fitzpatrick, and Wide Receiver Andrej Barlafa. The Rebels were deep into the Cork redzone, but could not break the plane. Going for it on 4th down, the Admirals Defence stiffened, and did not let up.

A quick 3 and out from the Admirals, and great field position from a short punt, gave the Rebels one more opportunity before the half. Some good pressure from the Admirals D-line, hitting Dennehys hand mid throw led to a 3rd and final turnover for the Rebels Offence for the game. The Cork side kneeling out the half from there. The turnover battle at the half read 3-0 to Cork, and the scoreboard reflected it, the Admirals up 7-0.

Adjustments needed to be made at Half Time, and they were.

Second Half – Different Game

The second half had the visiting side receiving the ball, the rain easing off slightly. A short kick gave the Admirals a good starting point. However that’s when the returning 2016 Rebels Defensive MVP Kenny McCarty would make his presence known. A tackle for loss and the first sack of the game for McCarty on consecutive plays, forced the Cork team to punt.

“Kenny McCarty” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

The Rebels offence came out onto the field, this time with heir apparent, Jack Fagan under centre. Fagan called his own number, and broke his first play of the game for a 65 yard run to kick start the Dublin offence. Two players later the young QB would hit favourite target and fellow Podcaster Ciarán Fitzpatrick for the Touchdown. The wet conditions causing the Rebels to go for 2, was unsuccessful.

“Jack Fagan” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

After the ensuing Kick Off, the Rebels defense wanted in on the scoring party, and after a tackle for loss from combined “Team America” members McCarty and Conrad Cook, the next play the Dublin side pounced.

After being picked off twice by Cornerback Ricky Paisley in last years meeting, Cork QB Hayes, had wisely not targeted his side of the field all game, until now. A mistake. Paisley jumped the flat route like a cheetah pouncing on its prey, clean hands with the catch, and gone racing for 6, to give the Rebels the lead. The scoreboard this time dictating, go for two. Game Offensive MVP Pete McMahon, punched the ball in to give the Rebels the 14-7 lead.

A 1-2 punch just after half time that shook the Cork team.

The Rebels Defence had bought themselves a ticket back on to the field after the kick off, thanks to their score, but they wanted off. So on the very next play, they reacted quickest to a dropped hand off, and Conrad Cook came away with the ball to even up the turnover battle at three a piece.

However, the Cork Defence was not ready to give in, and made a strong goal line stand to stop the Rebels from gaining daylight on the board. McCarty had other ideas, and picked up his second Sack of the game and forcing a punt from inside the Admirals Endzone.

Turnover Fest

A booming punt sailed over the returners head, having adjusted his position from the games earlier, much shorter punts. As the readjustment was made to the ball however, it ricocheted off his foot, and the Admirals recovered. Hayes then targeted Paisleys side of the field just once more, but the Game Defensive MVP had his second interception of the game. That’s what Paisley does when Cork throws his way, he catches it. Get out of jail card cashed in after the muffed punt.

The slugfest continued from there, with both teams trading blows, but neither offense gaining much ground. One extraordinary play, when Cork had a quick completion on a short route, Cornerback Raphael Meyer punched the ball out, the returning McCarty managed to contort his body mid air to pluck the ball down. Fumble recovery or Interception? Answers on a postcard, either way it epitomized his game, and brought it into the 4th quarter.

Back in position, Fagan looked to move the chains and the clock. After runs from McMahon and Omorodion, and hitting BFF Fitzpatrick with some short completions, the Rebels punted.

Yet again that Defence wanted more turnovers, and on a tipped pass, Safety Keith Foster showed his safe hands, clutching the ball down, safely, out of the air. A 3rd Interception, and 5th turnover of the game for the Dublin side.

Fagan was back at it again, this time calling his own number to churn the time. And after an initial good tackle from the Cork Defence to stop the play, the Admirals #65 came crashing in from behind on the signal caller, extremely late, leading with his helmet and cracking the back of Fagans head. The referee made the targeting call and #65 was ejected from the game, meaning he will miss the return game in 2 weeks time in Cork.

Pinned Back

A little more time off the clock thanks to the automatic first and some runs from Omorodion, including hitting the truck stick, ate up some more time, and a booming punt from Game Special Teams MVP Sean Butler, had the Cork team pinned inside their own 5.

The Admirals proved they were for real, and would not have their spirit broke. Some quick passes, and runs up the middle got them out of initial danger, but that man McCarty again, a Tackle/Forced Fumble/Fumble Recovery, triple combo would give the Rebels offence the ball back, and surely end the game?

Some more hardnosed running from the McMahon/Omorodion tandem brought the game down close to the two minute warning, and after Butler again pinned the Admirals into their 5, the warning was called.

“Pete McMahon” Photo courtesy of VSquared Photography

The Cork team was not done, and on the first play inside the two minutes, Hayes dropped back into his own Endzone, and threw a dart, hitting Dasini again, in stride, and it was a foot race. Dasini took off and went 85 yards for the score, and an opportunity to change the result.

The Cork side admirably went for 2, but the Rebels said No.

The ensuing onside kick was chipped up into the waiting hands of Tight End Peter Keely, who claimed the ball, and gently lay down to put the game to bed.
One final kneel down brought the final whistle, to take the Dublin Rebels to 2 and 0 on the season, and a place on top of the divisional table.

The next Rebels game is another home tie, on April 22nd against division opponent, Trinity College. The game is due to kick off at 2pm in Sportslink.

By Paul Grogan