Blast Scores

Blast Hold Off Bayou Vipers

Outscores Louisiana 22-6 after going down 14-0

By Scott Wallace

Wallace Media Group

qb1HAMMOND, La. (June 6, 2015) – On a very hot and humid Saturday, the Memphis Blast (2-0) traveled to Hammond, Louisiana to take on the Louisiana Bayou Vipers and came back to the Bluff City with a 22-20 victory. The two teams are very familiar with one another. In 2014, the Blast routed the Louisiana 34-6 in regular season play in Memphis. The Vipers returned the favor and beat Memphis in the second round of the Gridiron Developmental Football League playoffs.

The Vipers, being used to the extreme heat, jumped out early keyed by big runs and a TD for the game’s first score. Louisiana’s defense then stopped the blast on consecutive plays. On their next possession, the Vipers scored on their first play from scrimmage on a play action pass. The partisan crowd was raucous and it looked like the Blast were in trouble.

The Blast offense finally woke up and responded led by QB Nathan Hawkins (22 of 28 passes for 383 yards two TDs and two INTs), Memphis slowly crawled back into it. WR Brad “Mr. Hollywood” Campbell was clutch all night with five receptions for 85 yards and a TD. Using their “Oregon style” offense, Memphis turned the tables on the Bayou Vipers by not allowing them to make changes on defense which eventually tired them out.

Hawkins then hit Robert Fields (six receptions 165 yards and a TD) on an 80 hitch pattern to knot the score at 14. Memphis’ defense then came to life. LeCareous Niles (seven tackles and a sack) and Xavier Jones (eight tackles and a sack) sacked the Bayou Viper QB on consecutive plays. On third down they were able to get an interception. The third quarter belonged to Memphis as RB Robert Harris (10 carries 135 yards and a TD) broke off a 35 yard TD run to give his team their first lead at 22-14.

The Bayou Vipers wouldn’t give up easy. Their defense shut the Blast offense down for the rest of the game. Their offense then scored late in regulation on a 40 yard pass. They went for two but Memphis held them off and celebrated the victory.

“We knew they were stacking the box with an eight man front to stop our running game,” said Blast head coach Carlos Alexander. “They blitzed us so we ran hurry up on them. We ran a play every 13 seconds whether it’s was a run or pass. Not allowing them to make any adjustments and substitutions from the sideline was key to us getting back into the game.”

The victory was especially sweet because it was on team owner Charles Thompson’s 48th birthday. The Blast will be back in action this Saturday when they travel to Clarksville, Tennessee to take on the Tri-City Diesel.

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