Invincible Storm

The Saint John Afterburn Storm is unstoppable.

After last weekend’s action, the Storm remain undefeated with a 3-0 record in the Maritime Women’s Football League (MWFL).  The team were victorious over the Fredericton Lady Gladiators 21-6.  Meanwhile, the Moncton Vipers are keeping pace with the Storm and sit in second place in the standings with a 2-1 record.  The Vipers cruised by the Halifax Xplosion 50-14.

As for the Gladiators, they are now 1-2 while the Halifax Xplosion is still searching for their first win of the season as they are 0-3.

Here are recaps for the two games last weekend:


(Recap by Larry Harlow, defensive coordinator Saint John Afterburn Storm)

Rain turned to drizzle and wind became gusts around the field but on the field, there were some louds cracks of shoulder pads on blocks and hits by the Afterburn Storm.

The first quarter was a stalemate as defenses made stops on both sides, then in the second Lori Boyles tore it up for 80 yards and Maygun Mullett converted to put the Storm in front.

On the offensive next series for the Gladiators, Saint John Corner Jen “The Hawk” Brown intercepted an Alex Black pass and scampered 15 yards for a touchdown, Mullett converted.

On the Storm’s next possession, Lori Boyles ripped off a 70 yard run, Mullett converted for 21-0 lead. Black countered with a 50 yard run of her own to make the score 21-6 at half.

There was no scoring in the second half but the Storm defense laid down some smack with some thunderous hits from Robin Richardson, Jill Cox, Gillian Leblanc, Melissa Daley, Kristie Perry and Trina Graves.

Strength: Defense flow to the ball

Weakness: Ball handling

Big Plays: Nice runs by Lori Boyles, Lisa Harlow, Kristie Perry and Kaitlynn Girouard for offense and catches by Alysha Rioux.

Postgame Comment: “Days like today are hard to play and focus, but we did it well,” – Storm defensive coordinator Larry Harlow.

Next Week: Gladiators at Storm – between the two original teams who started it all 10 years ago the second game of the rivalry.  Expect a defensive battle.


(Recap by David Murray, Halifax Xplosion)

The Halifax Xplosion’s offense has improved steadily each game this season, and that trend continued against the Vipers this weekend as well.  Quarterback Ashley Howatt and her receivers showed why the Xplosion have the most versatile and formidable passing attack in the league.

Howatt completed 7 passes for 71 yards to five different receivers, including a touchdown to Rhea Munro.  When she wasn’t passing the ball, Howatt was equally as capable running it – gaining 35 yards and scoring a touchdown herself.

The story of the game though, was the unbelievable running of Michelle McLeod.  The “Blonde Bolt” ran like lightning for a team record 220 yards and 12 first downs on top of her 15 yards receiving (including two more first downs).

On the defensive side of the ball, a strong defensive line led by Nikky Adams and Sarah Atwell, and bolstered by the new additions of Sarah Pearce and the return of Sarah Ingraham and Monique Johnson, helped limit the runs up the middle and force the Vipers to run outside, where the phenomenal Emily Armsworthy made 9 tackles.

When the Vipers did try to run away from Armsworthy, they were taken down three times each by Terri Smith-Fraser and the ultra-fit Cody Spence – who was playing both ways, on all special teams, and also had a 15 yard reception for a first down on offense.

Going in to the next game, the Xplosion will be looking to fix some key errors on special teams that really hurt them this game.  The defense will look to better contain the awesome running of the Vipers, as well as stop the deep passes that hurt them.  The offense will continue to improve on a playbook that was overhauled after the second game, and add more plays to keep the defense of the Vipers on its toes.

That said, with the return of many key players and a week of practice ahead, the Xplosion are eager for a rematch with the Vipers next week and look to reverse the score in an exciting game in Moncton on June 15th.


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