Round 4 saw Jacksonville pull of an incredible comeback against Boston while Philly battled in tough on the road against their old foes the DC Slayers.
Boston verses Jacksonville – Thanks to “An act of God,” the game was pushed back to 12pm Sunday as the Axemen who were grounded Friday evening making them unavailable for Saturdays scheduled kickoff. Rested, Jacksonville battled it out with Boston in what will now be referred to as “one for the USARL history books.”
A well-prepared Boston started the game quickly and forced the Axemen to adjust to the pace of the game. The Axemen switched gears and Brenden Beedle was over the line to get them on the board. The ever improving, Cade Pollard bobbed and weaved his way to also score and the Axemen were now in the drivers seat. With sound leadership the Boston 13s managed to regroup and thanks outstanding direction by Dustin Cooper, Boston took the lead again by scoring 24 unanswered points to lead 32 to 14.
For the Axemen, the 3rd quarter break seemed to come at a good time and they were able to regroup and gain possession for what would become twenty “history making” minutes. Matt Thorton was the spark and he scored out wide after some outstanding sets of play by the entire team. The game was now a difference of two scores and both teams could sense a shift of power taking place while the Gods of Rugby League watched over.
The clearly fitter Axemen re-gathered the ball while Boston’s big men struggled to close gaps that gave away more yards with each play. Late in the tackle count and with the Axemen again surging forward, Dylan Beaver was dragged towards the sideline when he offloaded a miracle pass back to Josh Jackson who in turn dived over the line. The spectacular play brought the Axemen back within two points and with five minutes remaining on the clock.
The Axemen players were now in a frenzy both on the field and the bench while Boston had the look of a team already defeated. The 13s put what energy was left into their tackles but Jacksonville continue to make easy ground. With minutes remaining, Brenden Beedle sharpened the axe with a charging run up the middle before Dylan Beaver delivered the fatal blow dragging 3 defenders over the line to score a memorable try.
Mik Shammas, CEO of the Boston 13s commented, “Genuinely, one’ve the most enthralling games I’ve ever been a part of. There’s so much both teams can be proud of, and it truly bodes well for their levels of development. I’d like to thank the Axemen for making the trip, and congratulate them for their win. Fingers’ crossed we’ll meet again in the Playoffs, and give all our fans the game of a life-time.”
With Round 4 coming to a close and halfway through the season, the result might be the difference for both teams playoff hopes when when the victor revels being on home soil and the visitor is reminded to dig just that little bit deeper.
Final Score: Axemen 36 to Boston 32
Philadelphia Fight 36 defeated D.C. Slayers 18
Oneida FC 68 defeated Baltimore Blues 28
Rhode Island Rebellion 54 defeated New Haven Warriors 24