This past Saturday, the Indiana Nighthawks took to the road to face the Peoria-based Midstate Steel. It was the team’s second away game but my first chance to travel with my new squad. Both of my ankles felt good in practice this week and felt especially strong during pregame; having the ability to explosively cut on the injured Achilles had returned.
Our TeamBLACKOUT started against the Steel offense first. It was obvious that the Steel planned to run the football a significant amount of the game. The Nighthawk defense spent extended time on the field as the Steel run game ate up the clock in the first half. Although the Steel had showed the Nighthawks sustained drives on run plays, the first score came in the first quarter when a Steel receiver was hit in stride on his way into the endzone. With the Nighthawks’ offense gaining minimal success and the defense spending more time on the field, the Steel were able to punch it in for their second score just before the half but this time on the ground. The Steel led, 16-0.
The Nighthawk offense started the second half and they showed some promise scoring part way through the third quarter. The Nighthawk defense mustered few stops but could not deny the Steel their second rushing touchdown just before the end of the quarter. The fourth quarter ended up looking like a defensive struggle. Either offense to get into scoring position. There was an extended delay in play when the Nighthawks protested the game clock; the clock kept running after an incomplete pass. The stoppage combined with the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty deflated the Nighthawk offense and the momentum that seemed to be swinging their way. The Steel offense got the ball back and ran the ball to milk the clock but took a shot down the left side of the field to the endzone; the Nighthawks were flagged for pass interference putting the Steel just outside the goal line. The Nighthawks made their strongest defensive stand keeping the Steel from scoring. Unfortunately for the Nighthawks, they weren’t able to score in the quarter. The final score, 24-8.
The Indiana Nighthawks will be back in Indianapolis to host the Kokomo Mustangs on August 4th. This game is apart of a special double-header that will be played at Roncalli High School in the Beach Grove area. The two teams will kickoff shortly after the conclusion of the game between the Lake Geneva Generals and the Indiana Generals (seriously, both teams are the Generals). It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Indiana Nighthawks can make the playoffs but it must start with a win this weekend against a pass-happy and undefeated Mustangs squad.