MAFIA HOLD OFF NIGHTMARE IN CLOSE FINISH

HILLSBORO – After finishing the regular season with the best record in the PNFL’s inaugural season

before falling in the championship game, the Rip City Mafia hoped to come out and set the tone early

and send a message to the rest of the league in their opener of the PNFL’s second season. The Portland

Nightmare didn’t get that message. The Nightmare, featuring a number of players from the Oregon

Outlaws of last season, put together a textbook opening drive, utilizing a number of short passes and

well timed runs, to punch it into the endzone, but it would be the Mafia who ultimately came away with

a victory.

 

After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive of the game, the Mafia responded with three

consecutive touchdowns in the first quarter. Featuring a balanced attack with Blake Imholt at

quarterback and Kelsie Turner and Adrian Smith at runningback, the Mafia worked their way down the

field for a couple of scores. The defense even got into the mix, as Mafia linebacker Marco Zamora

intercepted a Trevor McGraw pass and took it all the way into the endzone for a pick six.

Despite the turn of events, the Nightmare did not go quietly into the night. Behind Malcolm Grady’s 3

touchdown receptions, the Nightmare were able to tie the game 20-20 late in the 4th quarter. After

securing the touchdown reception on the opening drive, Malcolm’s last two touchdowns came from

deep throws down the field, where he was able to utilize his speed to get behind coverage and out run the

defense.

 

Getting the ball back late the 4th quarter with the game tied, the Mafia put together what may ultimately

be a season defining drive. Utilizing some big plays through the air and fantastic runs behind a solid

offensive line, the Mafia were able to work the ball into the redzone with two minutes remaining.

Despite displaying a stingy defense for most of the game, the Nightmare were unable to stop Marco

Zamora, as he took a pass out of the backfield, and was able to cut up field and dive into the endzone for

the game winning touchdown.

 

After getting the ball back with less than two minutes left to tie the game or take the lead, the

Nightmare started their possession with three straight incompletions. On 4th down Nightmare

quarterback Trevor McGraw was flushed out of the pocket, and after tucking it in and giving his all on a

run, he came up a yard short of a first down, giving the ball back to the Mafia, who were able to secure

the win in what proved to be a hard fought battle between two very good teams.

 

The crowd was treated to a highly entertaining game between two fantastic teams. Certainly, the loss

stings for the Nightmare who came close to pulling out a victory, despite having a small roster with few

available players on the bench. Although one team had to be crowned a winner, one thing is for certain

– the Rip City Mafia and Portland Nightmare are both going to be in the mix for the coveted PNFL

championship.

 

The Mafia play the Vancouver Venom next week, while the Nightmare face off against the Benton

Bulldawgs. Both games will be held Sunday at Hare Field.