The Eielson Ravens battled the weather, inexperience and the North Pole Patriots Friday night in the 2019 Blood Bowl. The Ravens took on every challenge to win 32-12 over the Patriots, to become back-to-back Blood Bowl champions.
The Ravens displayed poise beyond their years on defense to put away North Pole. The Dirty Birds got a great defensive effort from freshman Demario Mesa, who snagged two interceptions.
“Well we have had a lot of bonding experience,” said Mesa after taking down North Pole. “You know to come as a team, play football and win a game. It just means a lot.”
On the offensive end, Will McManus ran all over the Patriot’s defense getting multiple touchdowns on the night.
“Honestly, it was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen,” said McManus. “A lot of people were doubting us this season, and for us to go and destroy a 4A team like that it’s just amazing. Everyone played to their best ability and I am so surprised. Honestly, I believe we can compete for another state championship this year.”
This of course was set up by the defense and the special teams. Zoltan Holmly ran back a kick-off return touchdown, and also got the ball deep into North Pole’s side of the field numerous times.
It was a tough off-season for the Dirty Birds. Their season was close to being combined with the Patriots due to numbers. They graduated some of their top players, from the likes of Scott Fry and Brock Renson. However, they quelled a lot of their worries with an impressive effort from all three facets of the game.
Eielson now prepares for their next matchup, when they take on the Kenai Central Kardinals down in Kenai.
North Pole played their first game under new Head Coach Mike Hollett. While the elements were not favorable for a football game, the Patriots did show some growth from last year. Their rushing game was led by Isaiah Harding, who scored for North Pole in the first half. The turnovers mounted for the Patriots however, as they gave up fumbles throughout the match.
North Pole will look to rebound next week when they host the Wasilla Warriors, who are coming off a 39-32 victory over the West Valley Wolfpack.