Tampa Bay Thunder Trounce Dunedin Pirates, 47-10
January 22, 2022 was a historical day here in Tampa. Tampa’s newest team, the Tampa Bay Thunder, took the field in what would be the organization’s inaugural game since joining the Football Federation Alliance in 2021. At Dunedin Memorial Stadium in Dunedin, Florida, the Thunder went to battle against the Dunedin Pirates, the team’s local rival. Despite entering the game as a 9.5-point underdog, the Thunder stunned the Pirates by a score of 47-10 following a stellar performance.
The Thunder were led by first-year Quarterback, Brian Waiters, who let his dazzling speed, and impressive arm talent show why he was named the starting gunslinger for the team.
In his Football Federation Alliance debut, Waiters completed 14-25 passes for 341 yards and four touchdowns. He also danced around the Pirates’ defense for 50 rushing yards on seven carries, as well as two rushing touchdowns.
Following his insane outing, Waiters was named the League’s Week 1 Player of the Week, an award every player in the league strives to win.
The Thunder had a total of eight players with at least one catch in this matchup. Leading the way in receiving yards was Wide Receiver Jaren Colston-Green. Colston-Green hauled in four catches for 79 yards as well as the team’s first ever touchdown.
Wide Receivers Cyle Kurina, D’Aundre Johnson, and Johnell Barnes each had one touchdown as well. Kurina caught two passes for 78 yards, which includes his 75-yard score.
On the defensive side of the ball, many players held their ground in order to hold the Pirates to just 10 points. Linebacker Demetrius Barry had five tackles and Safety Ty Scott totaled 3 tackles as well as a fumble recovery and a touchdown.
Safety Dauda Presley Jr. and Defensive End Dakota Shelhamer each recorded three tackles. Additionally, Shelhamer took down the Pirates’ Quarterback twice behind the line of scrimmage, recording two sacks.
Here is what Defensive Line Coach, Ronnie Cohen, had to say regarding the defensive performance, “[The win] was actually pretty exciting. I set high expectations for the guys, and they actually met and exceeded them to an extent. But there’s always room for improvement.”
Coach Cohen set high standards for his Defensive Linemen. And, according to him, they stood their grow enough to meet his expectations.
Even though this game featured many offensive scores leading to such a high scoring game for the Thunder I cannot forget to shout out a few of the Thunder’s Special Teamers.
Punt Returner Rob Jones recorded 39 Punt Return yards on 3 attempts, which equals out to 13 yards per return.
Punter Brad Coyle punter the ball three times for a grand total of 110 yards (36.67 yards/punt).
Tomorrow, February 5, 2022, the Thunder will travel to Fort Myers, Florida to take on the Florida Stingrays at Bishop Verot High School at 6:00PM.
Photo Credit: Gio Alvarez