The Pioneer League season officially came to a close last night in a winter wonderland with the 5th annual Spartan Bowl game. The latest installment of the series brought in for the first time a 3 way fight between New York, New Jersey and the undefeated champion mother nature. Nat Turner Field in Newark New Jersey was the snow covered battleground for another classic battle in Spartan Bowl history. In Spartan Bowl II the New York team came from two scores down to beat the Garden Staters… But this time the New York team was down 6-0 but with just 2 minutes left on the clock and 8 inches of snow on the field.
In what would be a miraculous sequence of events, the Pioneer League All Stars overcame many obstacles including a 1st half touchdown that was called back for an inadvertent whistle to keep the game at a scoreless tie. Another penalty put New Jersey in a position to get the ball back at midfield as New York had been driving before. New Jersey converted the opportunity into a touchdown on a big run play through the snow.
So with two minutes left the PFL offense had stalled out again as their speed was neutralized again by the conditions. New Jersey had the ball and were looking to run out the clock. Then, a big play by the defense put the Spartans back on their own 1 yard line. Coach Moss and the Jersey Spartans opted to snap the ball through the back of the end zone for a safety to make the Pioneers offense drive the field. On the ensuing kickoff there was a short kick but the Pioneers had to drive nearly 40 yards to score with 1 minute left. Raphael Trammell took the reigns at quarterback and ran the ball to around the 20 yard line. After 3 stops by the Spartans the Pioneers faced 4th and 10 from around the snow covered 20 yard line. Trammell ran around and threw up a hail mary. Timothy Fears jumped over 2 defenders at the 2 yard line. The Spartans defenders tried to grab a hold of Fears who wiggled free and scored. After the 2 point conversion it was New York now up 10-6. The defense held for 3 plays after the kickoff and the miracle was complete. The New York Pioneers (Spartans) win the Spartan Bowl. In the midst of this big win the PFL All Star Team (4-0 in two seasons) had big contributions from our 15-17 programs including Bronx Nittany Lion running back Tjae Montgomery who picked up big yards in the 2nd half, Dajawn White of the Harlem Jets, who played excellent in the elements as quarterback to keep the game close, and Theo Jackson of the Yellowjackets, who played against some very big competition and rose to the occasion. Awesome job to all PFL programs and players that participated!