Tag: Pete McMahon

Dublin Rebels – South Division Champs!

Rivalry Suggestions Squashed!

In what may be the shortest travel for an away game for any team this season, and kick-off two hours earlier than usual, the 5 and 2 Dublin Rebels took the field at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown for a division matchup against the 3-4 South Dublin Panthers, with a shot at the SBC South title, and a home semi-final on the line for the Rebels.

The stage was set, and as the game kicked off, returner Cathal Keane would set the tone, providing the Rebels Offense with excellent starting field position for the game’s first drive. Behind an O-Line that would control the trenches throughout the day, and coming off a huge game on the ground last week, Pete McMahon ran with vigour, finding holes and exploding through gaps in a porous Defense from the home team.

Combating a holding penalty, with an Andy Dennehy to Paul Grogan connection to regain the lost yardage and setting McMahon on his way to score the game’s first points. The Rebels held the first lead of the afternoon, and would never let up. 6-0, Rebels.

“Raphael ‘Raf’ Meyer” Photo courtesy of Terence McCann Photography

A crunching tackle from defensive end Simon Mackey on the ensuing kick-off gave an already motivated Rebel Defense a standard to live up to. Feverish ball-hunting and a hit from safety Raphael Meyer that wouldn’t be out of place in an NFL highlight reel established a tone for the game that was impossible to ignore. Seemingly instant pressure on every down, lead to an ill thrown pass finding CB Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu for his second INT in the past two games, a defensive showing with a taste of everything they had to offer.

Quite possibly the scariest backfield tandem in the league, QB Jack Fagan and current Shamrock Bowl MVP, Wellington Omorodion took the field less than 20 yards from the opposing Endzone, trading runs to either side, and despite having a score called back for holding, little could be done to stop Wellington as he steam-rolled towards the goal line, carrying any defenders brave enough to grab hold of him into the Endzone. The two-point attempt would fall through the back of the Endzone incomplete. 12-0.

Inspector Clouseau stealing from Pink Panther?

Good blocking and vision on the return gave the Panthers starting field position near their own 40. Seeing the RB fighting for positive yards, Line-backer Matthias Durot saw his opportunity to pick his pocket and ripped the ball from his hands, and placing it right back into the hands of the momentum filled Rebel Offense to close out the first quarter.

Two huge runs being called back due to penalties, and the wet conditions leading to incompletions through the air resulted in a 4th down incompletion and a turnover on downs.

Unhappy with only one forced turnover, Durot saw his opportunity once more, and the game Defensive MVP took it happily, like a carbon copy of the first, wrenching the football away and bringing the Offense back on the field, hoping to see an improvement on the previous outing.

“Wellington ‘Wello’ Omorodion” Photo courtesy of Terence McCann Photography

Running through defenders as often as around them, Omorodion reminded the Panther Defense of the dangers of falling asleep when facing an Offense as heavily armed as the Rebels. Big gains on the ground laid the groundwork for a fingertip grab over the middle from Paul Grogan, strolling through the heart of the Panther defense to walk across the line for the games 3rd score of the day, and the veteran Tight Ends first since returning from a long injury layoff. A bobbled snap forced the conversion attempt to fail. 18-0 Rebels.

A Bird? A Plane? No it’s Mackey!

Carrying on from a great performance last week, the Rebel Defense gave up no yardage on the ground or through the air, LB Robert Smith slicing and dicing through the line to get into the backfield on almost every play to force a punt. In a change from what many regular humans can do, Special Teams Swiss Army Knife Simon Mackey ghosted through the punt teams line and after a Superman-like take off, blocked the punt. Mackey then came inches away from recovering the very same ball he laid out to block. The Rebels Offense being gifted the best field position of the season through incredible defensive effort.

Pete McMahon came close to his second TD of the game, being tackled twice on the 1-yard line, that 1 yard would be covered by a QB sneak from Dennehy to add to the first half score line. Adding to his rushing total, Dennehy walked in the two points from two yards out on the following play. 26-0

Swallowing up anything in their path the Defense forced another punt, this one bouncing out of bounds at the 5-yard line.

Backed up at the 5 yard line, the Champions took to more dominant running, led by Offensive MVP Alfredo Meneses the Rebels domineering O-Line gave the offense some breathing room. Incompletions and solid tackling from the home Defense brought out the Rebels punt team for the first time in the game.

The change of possession didn’t last long.

An errant throw from the Panthers QB Ian Cahill would fall gracefully into the hands of Meyer for yet another takeaway for the Rebels Defense. Incompletions, not helped by the rain soaked game, and a lack of running room forced the Rebels into a rare 4-and-out, giving the ball back to the home team.

The home offense continued to struggle to get any yardage versus the monstrous defense, and a bad snap on a 4thdown punt play, placed the Rebel offense deep in scoring position.

Keeping the game on the ground, and with a good lead, Omorodion punched in his second TD of the day, extending the lead further. 32-0.

Consistent tackling and air tight coverage forced the home team to punt yet again.

Continuing to show the depth of the Rebels squad after a plethora of changes, and facing third and long, Dennehy threw a rainbow to rookie WR David Duffy, who rose to make a spectacular high point grab at the 6 yard line and energize the Rebels side-line. McMahon followed through on Duffy’s big play, crossing the goal line to add to his tally for the season, 38-0.

“Conrad Cook” Photo courtesy of Terence McCann Photography

Determined to get in on the scoring party, and get the Defence on the scoreboard, LB Conrad Cook plucked an interception out of the air, and took off like he was running the 40 at the NFL combine, took the ball all the way back for 6 points. Omorodion followed up his teammate, and fellow Team Bicep member and converted the two-point attempt. 46-0.

So Close But So Far…..

Not to be outdone by his defensive teammate, stalwart Ross McCooey saved what should have been the play of the day for last. With 2 seconds remaining on the clock and the Panthers finally knocking on the door of the Rebels Redzone, a tipped pass looped high into the air, falling into the arms of the waiting McCooey on his own 21 yard line. Number 51 took off towards the sideline, a powerful stiff arm followed, then a high step to avoid a diving tackle, it looked like McCooey would take it to the house, but the wheels seized up, and despite tacking the return 78 and a half yards, the final few inches eluded him to finish the game without the score the play thoroughly deserved.

“Ross ’51’ McCooey” Photo courtesy of Terence McCann Photography

The Dublin Rebels finish the regular season 6-2, winning the SBC South, earning a bye and home field advantage for the play-offs, and going on to host the winner of the Belfast Knights versus Belfast Trojans Wildcard game next week,  in a Semi-final on the 5th of August at Sportslink in Santry.

By Calum Walsh

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 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