Jacksonville Axemen crucial win over Tampa Mayhem
With the previous encounter against the Mayhem on June 17th in Jacksonville, the Axemen suffered a close loss by only 2 points. The game yesterday however, was very much in Jacksonville’s favor and the hard work the team has been putting in throughout the season paid off.
Tampa received the ball to start the game, but mistakes cost the Mayhem to hand it back over to the Axemen on a few occasions. The Axemen, who seemed to have really gathered their focus took advantage and began an onslaught of tries during the first half which brought the score to 30-0 lead going into the halftime break. Tries were scored by David Washington, Kyle Grinold, Jon Purnell, Sam Dickey and Kevin Wathen.
Starting off the second half the Axemen were able to keep the momentum going, scoring again with a try from Pio Vatuvei. Jacksonville had a nice lead at 36-0, but it was noticeable that some fatigue was starting to set in with a heat index in the triple digits. The Axemen contributed to a couple of knock ons and other penalties of their own in the second half, resulting in the Mayhem finally scoring 6 points with 30 minutes left in the game. The Axemen never lost control of the game however, and scored again with a final try from Desta Bailey with 8 and a half minutes left. Sam Dickey was nearly perfect on his conversions only missing one kick out of seven tries scored. The final score was 40-6, a big win for the Jacksonville Axemen.
“I’m happy with the performance,” said Coach Sean Rutgerson. “After losing so many players before the match the new guys all stepped up. It was a good team performance and it was great to see the effort that we have been putting in over the past few weeks finally pay off.”
The Axemen will play the last regular season game at home next weekend against the Central Florida Warriors. Kick off is 5:30pm at the University of North Florida Practice Soccer Field. This game is a must win for the Axemen to potentially get a home semi-final playoff game so we need to see all our fans out there for support!