Barracudas Avenge Desert Bowl Defeat
The Barracudas regained control of their Dubai rivalry with the Stallions, finally erasing the bad taste in their mouth which had lingered since their Desert Bowl defeat.
Since the two teams tied back in December of last year, the Barracudas have reeled off three-straight blowout victories and the Stallions became their latest victims last night at Zayed Sports City.
The Stallions were previously the only side the Barracudas had not beaten this season and held bragging rights from claiming the crown in the Desert Bowl.
“It’s been a bit of a monkey on our back,” Barracudas coach Kyle Jordan said. “We’re right next to each other, we’re in each other’s backyards, we know those guys, we see them around town all the time. Off the field, we’re good friends, but when we strap it up, you want to take that game.”
Despite the defending champions getting quarterback Chris Wentzel back, the Barracudas were smothering on defence and employed a ground-and-pound attack. Four different Barracudas found the end zone, with the two-headed running back monster of Luke Norrey and Quinton Collins each accounting for short scores in the first half.
“It was a special game. I took a week off as a holiday, so it was good to come back and carry on where we left off,” said Norrey, who produced several long runs, including a 50-yard touchdown sprint which was negated by a questionable excessive celebration penalty in the third quarter.
Tight end Rich Stead go in on the action with a 19-yard touchdown catch up the seam to push the Barracudas ahead 20-6 at the end of the third quarter before Zavier Cobb called his own number and snuck in a 1-yard score in the final period.
Defensively, the Barracudas forced four turnovers from Wentzel – two interceptions and two fumbles – as they were up to the task against a new but familiar face.
“We didn’t know for sure if he was playing, but our mentality is they could suit Tom Brady up and we’re going to play,” Jordan said.
Wentzel did throw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Gary Stillman and said it was “great” being back on the field, but admitted cohesion is still missing.
“We’ll need the practice and repetitions,” he said. “The more repetitions we get as a unit, the more in sync we’ll be.”
JAY ASSER - SPORT360