For Week 7, the Indiana Nighthawks played host to the Racine Threat. The game was the first of two ‘pink’ games for the Nighthawks where they were raising awareness of breast cancer in concert with the local American Cancer Society. The Nighthawks were decked out in pink accessories in support for those who have fought and who are fighting breast cancer — and they took to the field to battle the Threat.
The Threat offense took to the field first and had a little success with the running game. They mix it up with run calls stretching to both sides of the offensive line with drives, counters, and even quarterback draws. They connected on a few short passes but TeamBLACKOUT did not allow them into the endzone, in spite of the Threat moving the ball. When the Nighthawk offense got the ball, they also had marginal success moving the ball. They had a more even distribution of running verses passing plays but the Threat defense kept them from scoring. The second quarter wasn’t much different although the Threat offense was able to find a way to turn a long drive into a touchdown; they caught the Nighthawk defense on their heels a few plays and was able to string together some key plays and lead going into halftime 7-0.
The second half saw the Nighthawk offense first square off against the Threat defense. It looked like the Nighthawks were going to score the first drive of the half but stalled just out of scoring range and ended up turning the ball over on downs. The Threat did not advance the ball much once they got it and ended punting it back to the Nighthawks after a quick drive ended. The Nighthawks were able to get things going and move the ball down the field eventually getting into the endzone but the score was 7-6 as the conversion attempt failed. The Threat answered with a touchdown of their own shortly after getting the ball back. The score was 14-6 early in the fourth quarter. The Nighthawks had caught a few breaks to keep them in the game. The Nighthawk offense was able to punch the ball into the endzone once again but, like after the first scoring attempt, the conversion failed leaving them behind the Threat 14-12. Not having a place kicker was a major hindrance for the Nighthawks this season and it proved pretty costly in this game.
The Threat stalled on the ensuing drive and the Nighthawks got the ball back but they could not advance it into the endzone nor kick a field to go ahead. It was on TeamBLACKOUT to hold the Threat offense with less than 4 minutes left in the game. There was a chance when penalties against the Threat caused them to start the drive with a 1st and 24 but three long runs ensured the 2-point win for the team from Racine.
The loss dropped the Nighthawks to 1-5. They were next scheduled to play the winless Lake County Steelers (0-7) but the Nighthawks had to forfeit the game because they were not able to secure an approved field in time. This pretty much ends the Indiana Nighthawks’ first MSFL season.
The Nighthawks’ players and coaches would like to thank all of those to supported us throughout the season. The family members, the fans, the sponsors, and the other teams fueled us with encouragement. Credit goes to Sarah Gorden for the action photos in this post.
On a personal note, I really enjoyed being on the field with this group of guys in spite of the record. Expansion teams usually have a tough first year; we were in 5 of the 6 games that we played and probably could have ended this season with 7 wins. But rest assured that the team is not done growing and definitely not folding. Keep involved with the organization and look for us to make more noise on the field next season.