A chop block is defined as an attempt by an offensive player to cut block a defensive player while the defender is already engaged by another offensive player. This is an illegal and dangerous technique and results in a penalty for the team who executes such a move. On Saturday night, as Michael Reeve was hauling in a TD from QB Darren Daniel to cut the Shark lead to 28-26 late in the 3rd quarter, FB Joe Marshall was flagged for a chop block on a Shark defender, nullifying the score. Two plays later the Sharks took control of the ball, casually marched down the field, scored and hit a deuce to make the score 37-20 en route to a 37-28 victory. The “penalty” was the decisive point in the game, as it cost the Lions, dropping them to 3-3, while the Sharks moved to 6-0.
The first half of this now heated rivalry was clearly dominated by the Lions as it enjoyed a 7-0, 10-7, and 17-7 lead after TDs by Reeve and Jarmon Fortson, and via the leg of Lindsey Wolfe. The Lions clearly demonstrated that the unbeaten Sharks clearly had weaknesses and were extremely complacent before a very large and loud home crowd.
After posting the 10 point lead, the Sharks defense stiffened and held the Lions to 10 points in the second quarter while scoring 14. Lindsey Wolfe completed the scoring in the first half with a short FG that cut the Shark lead to 21-20.
The Sharks came out on fire in the second half, scoring on their first drive to extend the lead to 28-20 on a Fleming to Daryl Thompson TD pass. The Lions came roaring back, matriculating the cream colored Chinese made football down the field to the red zone, when the mysterious and phantom “chop block” occurred on the second Daniel to Reeve TD. Two plays later, the Sharks seized possession of the ball, and eventually scored making it 37-20.
Both defenses played extremely well in the 4th quarter, as the only scoring happened on a Mason Espinosa toss to Duron Neal with 1:44 remaining to cut the lead to 37-28.
After failing to recover an onside kick, it was up to the Lion defense to stop the Sharks inside the 10 yard line – which they did on a fourth and goal from inside the one yard line. Needless to say, Sharks FB, Derrick Ross was a nonfactor in the game as he twice tried to punch it in and was denied. The Sharks attempt to run up the score was thwarted and in the process gave the ball back to the Lions with 15 seconds left on the clock. A miracle TD and subsequent Wolfe deuce would send the game to OT. However, the Sharks defense denied to good guys in Blue, and in the process delivered the third loss to the Lions this season.
The Lions will be back at it Monday and prepping for the next game vs. the Monterrey Steel, this Saturday in Columbus.