JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS RETURN TO UK WITH PLAYER & COACH ACADEMY
The Jacksonville Jaguars have announced they will be returning to the UK to run another 3 day player/coaching academy on 13th July through to Saturday 15th. Due to overwhelming demand and the overall enthusiasm for American Football, the Jags have announced that the age limit for the academy has been raised from 26 to 30 years old.
Ciaran would highly recommend any players/coaches to attend if they can.
“It consisted of three full days of nothing but football where I got to train under veteran NFL players.” ” It gave me an opportunity to hone some skills that I had learned back home and develop a deeper understanding of the position I was playing” – Ciaran Fitzpatrick
REBELS ROLL OUT OF REBEL COUNTY WITH ANOTHER WIN
On Sunday, the reigning Shamrock Bowl champions Dublin Rebels made the long road trip to Cork, to take on the Cork Admirals for the first time since 2012. With the home side Admirals making waves early in the season after their return to the Shamrock Bowl Conference, the day held an air of promise to the great game ahead.
After the opening kick-off was boomed out far beyond the Endzone, the strong wind behind it would set out an important factor for the day.
The traveling Rebels would come roaring out of the gates, when back up Punter and human wrecking ball Simon Mackey, would start off with 2 backfield tackles including one sack to really set the tone, despite Defensive End partner Gary Twamley missing the trip. After going 3 and out the Cork team would have to punt, against that wind. Unfortunately for the Rebels this would also be the last play for Mackey, as he would pick up a knock that meant he couldn’t continue.
The Rebels offence taking to the field under the leadership of signal caller, Andrew Dennehy, would pick up just where the defence left off. From the first play from scrimmage, Dennehy would hand off to running back Pete McMahon, who would beat the entire Cork defence to the edge, and speed to the Endzone, giving himself an early birthday present, and maintaining his score in every game this season. The 2 point conversion attempt was failed after Cork ILB Harris Monagan got into the backfield.
On the ensuing drive, the Rebels defence continued to bring relentless pressure on the Admirals offence, again leaving the home side no choice but to punt. On this occasion the punt would leave the Rebels inside their own half for the first time in the game. After some good runs from running back Sean Douglas, Dennehy called for the pass, after a short completion again to Douglas, the shifty back would tack on a huge chunk of yards after the catch, to flip the field in the Rebels favour.
On the very next play, Dennehy would again go to the air and hit receiver Ciaran Fitzpatrick on the seam, bulling through the safety to break the plane for 6 points. Again the Cork defence would stop the conversion attempt.
HORSEMEN OF THE APOCOLYPSE
The game would continue in a similar vein, the Admirals offence struggling to move the ball after hammering tackles from lineback-ing foursome, Conrad Cook, Damien McHale, Matthias Durot and Raphael Meyer.
After the following punt, the game would take a turn. On a second and long, the ball handed off to McMahon, Safety Cathal Buckley would hit the alley hard and punch the ball out, recovering his own forced fumble, giving the Cork offence their best field position of the game.
Cork quarterback, Stephen Hayes, would make no mistake, and after a quick pass to Tight End Paul O’Driscoll to pick up some important real estate, would give the ball off to running back Vladamir La Greca. Making the most of some good blocking from the big boys up front, the speedy back, would race in for the touchdown. Kicker Kieran Murphy would ping over the extra point to bring the Admirals within 5 points of the Champions.
With the home side starting to get a foothold in the game, the next drive was vital to the course of the game, the Rebels would again come out firing, and after good running from Douglas, and a completion to WR Cathal Keane, the Dublin team would find themselves inside the Cork redzone after a 30 yard run from Dave McMahon to bring the traveling side to the verge of the Endzone. That would bring the opening quarter to an end.
On the next play, Dennehy took to the air, searching for Keane in the Endzone, contact in the Endzone brought a flag, and to the surprise of both sidelines, the call was for the home team. After the penalty, the Rebels failed to get back to the original line of scrimmage, and the Cork side would take over on downs.
REBELS LOSING AT HALFTIME
The SBC newcomers would again make it count. After some more great defensive plays from the Rebels defence, and in a punting situation, the Admirals would call and execute the fake punt to pick up the first down. In almost identical fashion, the following downs followed a similar pattern, 3 stops, and this time the homeside found favour in the adjustment the Rebels made to their fake punt, and executed the fake in the opposite direction. After a final 4th down, the Admirals would pin the Rebels deep in their own Redzone.
After penalties and some good defence forced the Rebels to punt from their own 10, the Admirals again found themselves in good field position and finally hit pay dirt. First Hayes hitting TE O’Driscoll and RB La Greca for some good pick-ups, La Greca would find just enough room to punch in the score. The extra point was waved no good, to the surprise of almost everyone in attendance, as the kick seamed to split the posts again from Murphy.
At the end of the half the score sat at 13-12.
The third quarter would turn into a defensive slug fest and positional battle. Stops from both teams would lead to punting exchanges between the Admirals, and the returning Paul Grogan for the traveling team. The latter, punting into the wind again for the entire 3rd quarter.
As the game rolled into the 4th, the score sat on edge with the smallest possible margin separating the sides. The change of ends and thus direction of the wind would change the course of play. The Admirals now driving inside the Rebels half would try to go long, the deep ball from Hayes hung up in the elements, and with the first of his two picks for the day, Shadowman Sports Defensive MVP, Ricky Paisley would grasp the ball from the air and take off down the sideline.
The Admirals would rally and make the stop, forcing the punt again. This time, Paul Grogan now with the wind behind him, would launch the punt, inside the Cork 10 yard line. The Cork side would fail to leave their own 30 even after the kick away.
Dennehy would step back on to the field and after quick completions to Grogan and Keane, in the backfield, up stepped Dave “Rev” McMahon.
And boy, can the Rev run.
McMahon would take the ball, and like a hammer, would pound the ball in for 6 points. Like all of his RB stablemates, Rev wanted to keep being fed. Again taking the hand-off and force his will on the defence, to tack on the 2 extra points. Capping off a day where he would total 111yards on 15 touches, with a touchdown and 2XP, to be named the Shadowman Sports Offensive MVP.
With the Admirals now chasing the game and being forced into passing situations, Paisley would take his second pick of the day, and after big stop to keep the Admirals in the game, ILB Durot, would pick off Hayes again, to close out the game.
The Rebels reach the mid-point of the regular season with a perfect record, and move on to a home contest against the UL Vikings in Santry on May 28th. In a game that will no doubt have a huge impact on the fate of the division, and the path to the Shamrock Bowl, it will be a game not to be missed.
By Paul Grogan
DUBLIN REBELS FIRST IRISH TEAM TO ACHIEVE 100 REGULAR SEASON WINS
On the face of it, last Sundays match up in Kilcock between the Dublin Rebels and the North Kildare Reapers was just like any other regular season match up, what was different about this match was its potential to set another historic benchmark for the Rebels.
The opening kick-off would be received by the away side, the drive stalling after some good play from the Reapers defence regaining the ball for their offence.
From there the stifling Rebels defence would take over, led by internet viral sensation Simon Mackey, who would record 6 back field tackles, 1 Sack, and 5 Tackles for Loss. This was helped by Shadowman Sports Defensive MVP, Paul Kirkwood, the Defensive Tackle eating up blocks all game, and coming up with one of the plays of the day, recording the rare DT Interception.
The Reapers opening offensive drive would come to an end when Cornerback Andrei-Vlad Vasilescu, came away with yet another interception, maintaining his run of at least one pick in each game this season.
FLOAT LIKE A BUTTERFLY, STING LIKE A BEE!
Not to be outdone by fellow Defensive Lineman, Simon Mackey’s recent exploits carrying the rock, the big man would add to his own highlight reel. Walsh taking the hand-off from 30 yards out, would burst through the offensive line, and showing a light-footedness of a man half his size, floating over the turf for a huge gain, before changing, like a transformer, into a Mack Truck, and bulldozing over the Safety, coming up just short of the goal line. From here, and in much less spectacular but no less satisfying fashion, the veteran would crack the goal line for 6 points.
After the next defensive stop, the ensuing punt would reach the hands of Sean Douglas, maintaining his growing reputation as one of the most dangerous returners in the country, would take the kick the length of the field, crossing the goal line for the Touchdown.
The remainder of the half would continue on in similar fashion, with the Rebels defence stopping the Reapers offence from gaining any momentum, and the offence, under the guidance of Ireland Under 20 Quarterback and Captain, Jack Fagan, racking up yards on the ground through Douglas and McMahon, both crossing the pylons for a further 2 scores, a single extra point added by Raphael Meyer in the days only successful kick at goal.
It wasn’t until late in the Half that the reapers offence would get going, QB Luke Bailey would hit some quick short passes to TE Rob Hall, who would tack on the yards after catch and take the Reapers deep into the Rebels red zone. Unfortunately, for the Reapers, an errant snap would sail over Baileys head, taking them out of range, and after a swarming pass rush swallowed up the QB, Kirkwood would snatch up the previously mentioned interception to end the half.
The 3rd quarter, commenced and continued in unspectacular fashion, with little of note happening. Apart from some more good running from the Rebels backfield, and completions from Fagan, and back up QB John Sherman, to TE Fitzpatrick, the scoreboard remained as it did at the half.
As the fourth quarter approached, the Rebels offence would turn the screw, the Reapers, many of who commendably played Ironman football for the duration of the game, showing huge heart, as is their calling card this season, would begin to tire.
Another Pete McMahon rushing score capped off another solid balanced drive for the travelling team. The final score would come late in the game, when QB Fagan would link up with Shadowman Sports Offensive MVP for the day, Ciarán Fitzpatrick again for 6 more points.
As mentioned earlier, this game had potential to hit a historic milestone for the Rebels. And after this victory, the Rebels achieved their 100th Regular season victory in the Irish American Football League. A first and only in the game in Ireland, setting yet another standard in the Irish game for the Dublin Rebels.
The Scoreboard closed off with a score of Rebels 37-0 Reapers.
The Rebels go to 3-0 on the season, with a long trip to Cork on May 14th to meet the Cork Admirals.
by Paul Grogan