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Published: August 14, 2012
BELLEVILLE, NJ – The New Jersey Spartans used an opportunistic defense and a record setting play on special teams to record their first win of the season, a 12-7 triumph over the Connecticut Gamblers on Saturday night. How good was the defense for the green and black? 4 forced turnovers and a key 4th down stop late in the game to wrap up the proceedings. The player of the game was James Colson of the Spartans, who made at least three outstanding plays in the second half. The first play came with the Gamblers up 7-6 when they decided to try a 54-yard field goal attempt. The kick fell well short and Colson made a clean catch 5 yards deep in the end zone. He started off to his left and got to the 20-yard line where he looked to be hemmed in. Not so much. Thanks to key blocks by Eddie Porter, James Wright, and friends, Colson was able to weave his way to midfield and he was gone from there for a record-setting 105 missed field goal return for a touchdown. Then, with the Spartans leading 12-7 on their second-to-last possession of the game, Colson was forced to line up at QB when Rashad Hector had to leave the game for one play after taking a hard hit near the sideline. Lined up in the shotgun, the snap sailed over his head but Colson was able to use his speed to pick up the bouncing ball. He then showed plenty of composure as he rolled out to his right and threw a very catchable pass that wound up being dropped. Then on the Gamblers final offensive possession, he combined with James Wright to bring down Jose Torres for a sack that would prove to be costly for the Gamblers. Quite the night for #11 in green and black.
With the victory, the Spartans improve their record to 1-3 while the Gamblers drop to 1-3. It also marked the Spartans first win as a member of the New England Football League. QB Rashad Hector scored a 9-yard run after he carried a couple of would-be tacklers into the end zone with him to give the Spartans a 6-0 lead in the second quarter after the Gamblers 3rd turnover of the game. The Spartans were able to move the ball but could not take advantage of the first two turnovers. Midway through the 3rd quarter and into the 4th quarter, the Gamblers would unleash the Wildcat package and Brett Antcil played the role of triggerman to perfection. The Spartans defense did all they could to keep them out of the zone but the dam finally broke as Calvin Wilson scored on short TD run and along with the extra point, the Gamblers then took a 7-6 lead in what turned out to be hard-fought physical game for both teams.
The Spartans will play again next Saturday on the road vs. the Tri-State Bulldogs. The next Spartans home game will be on Saturday, August 25th as they take on the Western Connecticut Militia in a rematch from week 4, a victory for the Militia.
Check back every Tuesday during football season for the latest game recap!
Til then AaaHhhOoo!!! To all you Spartan Fans.