The Spring League is headed to Houston to today to wrap up week 3 of the season. Kicking off the doubleheader is the Generals and the Blues, who will both be looking to rebound from last weeks losses. Each team sits at 1-1, and with a short six-week season every win counts if you want an opportunity to play in the championship.
This game is also set to become the third to air on FOX for the league. The ratings have improved each week on FOX, and with this matchup in the books we could see the ratings success continue.
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You know what time it is…#TSL2021 football is on FOX right now!
The Generals will kickoff to start the game giving the Blues the first possession. Deondre Francois will take the quarterback spot to begin the drive, looking to get some momentum going early. As with most of The Spring League games this season, it started out pretty slow. Francois was moving the ball through the air, but the receivers could not pull them in.
The Generals now have their first chance of the game to get on offensive, with Ryan Mallet coming in for the team looking to rebound from his mistakes last week. For the first two plays of the drive Mallet handed off to Paul Terry, who moved the chains for the Generals.
Siaosi Mariner came out strong for Mallet today as well. After securing a couple first downs, he brought the ball all the way to the 1-yard line for the Generals. Setting up Paul Terry to continue his success by rushing it in on the goal-line giving the Generals an early lead over the Blues.
GAME DAY UPDATE: The #TSLGenerals go up early with Paul Terry rushing it in on the goal-line.
With Francois back in for the Blues again, he was doing his best to keep his team in the game. When it seemed like he was going to secure a first down on the ground, his team was hit with a holding call pushing them back. Although he gained about half of the yard back, the drive ended with a sack forcing them to punt.
The Generals will have a chance to add to their lead with this drive. Darnell Holland showcased his skills on the running game, moving the chains and bringing the team to the 41-yard line. The team two back-to-back flags, pushing them back but keeping them at first down.
Mallet connected with Gray to erase most of the lost yardage, leaving only 3-yards to move. The next play saw Mallett connecting with Conela getting right back at the goal-line ending the 1st quarter.
The Generals held great field possession to start the second and they capitalized on it. After two attempt from Mallett to Holland, third time was a charm. Darnell Holland rushed it in grabbing the second touchdown for the Generals this afternoon. With another successful extra-point they now lead the Blues 14-0.
GAME DAY UPDATE: The #TSLGenerals find the end-zone again with Mallett handing off to Darnell Holland.
The Generals were having a lot of success on their first two drives. Quarterback Ryan Mallett joined the FOX crew to talk about the game so far. At this point he was 9/10 on passes, grabbing 111 yards with almost 3 quarters to go.
The Blues did not want a repeat of last week, and this drive was moving a little better for them. Donte Strickland specifically had an impressive first down drive, keeping the teams scoring chances alive. For the first time today, the Blues were able to move the chains more than once.
Francois then took the game into his own hand, running it 30-yards and getting his team near the 6-yard line and a 1st & Goal. This drive was also the longest of the game so far for either team. After three attempts, they could grab the six. Instead opting to go for the three, with Jonathan Barnes grabbing the first points of the day for the Blues.
Mallett and the Generals were back on the field and were looking to go three-for-three on their drives. This drive, they decided to continue their run game success. With a good lead and a lot of time to go, the Generals were able to bring the clock under 5 minutes with this drive alone. Ultimately, they couldn’t convert on 3rd & 2, forcing the team to attempt a field goal.
Lirim Hajrullahu shined again, knocking it in from 50-yards away.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLGenerals add three with a a successful 50-yard field goal from Lirim Hajrullahu.
The team did have points now, but their defense wasn’t stopping the team from scoring on every drive putting in them in a hole early. The team was continuing to struggle moving the call, and the team had worse news to deal with. Deonfre Francois took a big hit, forcing an injury time out. He was favoring the back of his around the left ear, bringing Kaegi into the game for the first time.
On third and short, Kaegie was able to grab the first down on his first play. With his second play he tossed it to Davion Davis who ran it in for the teams first touchdown of the afternoon. The extra-point attempt bounced off the uprights, but they were moving in the right direction.
GAME DAY UPDATE: With Connor Kaegi in the game with the #TSLBlues, he connects with Davion Davis after only two plays getting them into the end-zone.
The Generals had just over a minute left in the half to complete this drive. They couldn’t move the ball much at all, ultimately giving the Blues the ball back with 50 seconds left in the second. Davis takes the return and brings them all the way to the 26 with 31 seconds to go.
Kaegi tried to connected with one of his receivers, but after three attempts they opted to go for the field goal. Again, they couldn’t find the uprights, leaving the score as is going into the half.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLBlues couldn't capitalize off a huge return from Davion Davis, ultimately settling for three but it goes wide
With the lead, the Generals will receive the kickoff to start the half. Darnell Holland performed spectacularly on the return, bringing them near midfield. The team continued to focus on their ground game. One, it has been working so far against the Blues defense and two is it takes more time off the game.
Siosi Mariner continued to showcase his skills on a huge reception from Mallett giving his team the first down and putting them in scoring position again. Holland and Chris James both took turns running the ball, bringing them to the goal-line and knocking on another touchdown. Chris James was the man this time, putting six more on the boards.
GAME DAY ALERT: The #TSLGenerals start the half with another touchdown.
Clearly the Generals were not taking their foot off the pedal, putting the Blues in a spot where they needed to score. Kaegi was able to keep the ball moving for the team. On a 3rd & 1 he attempted to sneak it in, grabbing the first down. They grabbed the first down but Tyler Roemer drew a foul for fighting and was kicked from the game. Because of this, the Blues were left with only 6 offensive linemen.
Davion Davis, kept the drive alive by grabbing the pass out of the air and going 12-yard getting another first down. There was definitely some tension in the air for both teams.
This time the Generals were charged with a foul when Kamilo Tongamoa threw a haymaker at one of his opponents on the ground. Tongamoa was also ejected from the game, and the officials will be watching both teams closely going forward now to try and keep things in order.
Kaegi and the Blues could not withstand the Generals defense, once again being forced to give the ball back.
The Generals didn’t have the greatest luck on this next drive. Mallett ended the drive by throwing his first pick of the game, giving the Blues great scoring position.
They couldn’t capitalize off the interception, giving the ball back to the Generals in quick fashion.
Seattle Seahawks scout Alonzo Highsmith was shown to be in attendance. Proving again that there is merit to The Spring League’s mission of giving players a shot to extend their careers. The announcers also mentioned that Browns officials were also in the building as well.
Now in the 4th, the Generals had the ball and a good shot to pull out the win. The Blues defense came out strong, stopping the Generals from extending their lead. Not much came from the Blues next drive, once again giving the Generals the ball and time running out.
The Blues defense came close to getting another pick, but at the end they were successful at stopping the Generals from scoring. Less than 5 minutes remain for the Blues, and a lot of points to make up. if they wanted to make a comeback. The Blues drew a foul on the return, giving them a long field to play with.
Pinned back at the 4-yard line, the team didn’t have much luck moving the ball forward. Even when it looked like they had a shot on 3rd & 1, they drew another costly foul pushing them back to 3rd & 6. They also had some trouble with clock management, letting the play clock runout and wasting a timeout.
The Blues punting from their own end-zone give the Generals the ball back and great field position. The Generals kept on with the running game, bringing the clock down and them closer to victory. Not looking to score again, the team was happy with ending the game.
Even with all the scoring, neither team was able to score in the 25:32 of the game. The Generals rebound from their loss against the Sea Lions last week to go 2-1. The Blues look like they may need to make some major adjustments next week if they want to get back on the winning column.
What did you think of this weeks TSL on FOX broadcast? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below or join the conversation on Discord.