The West Portsmouth Tanks will open their post season with a home game on Saturday night at The Complex at 7 p.m. against the Tri-State Saints. The Tanks defeated the Saints earlier in the season by a score of 20-0. Although the Tanks defeated the Saints handily in the regular season, head coach for the Tanks, Jamie Rice, still believes this will be a tough test for his team as they begin the playoffs. “I think they’re well coached” said Rice, “They play hard, and they’ve been in most games that they’ve played in. They’re a really solid team that likes to run the ball.”
The Tanks were unsuccessful in last Saturday’s road game against the Kings Comets from Cincinnati, losing by a score of 14-13. The defensive game plan was very successful for the Tanks against the Kings Comets a week ago, only allowing a few key plays that impacted the game in a big way. The offensive side of the ball is the area of the game that needs to work itself out if the Tanks wish to push for another Blue Collar Football League title, however.
Rice was critical of his team and their willingness to follow a game plan on offense that the coaches believe is necessary to win games. “First off they’re a really good defensive team” said Rice, “We had too many mistakes again, and at times we still have continuity issues as far as people working together and trusting play calls. Some of these guys maybe haven’t won a lot of games, whether in high school or if they played semi-pro in the past. They might not understand there’s a way to win football games, and that’s to play as a team and sometimes we lose a little bit of track of that.”
Although his team lost last week’s game against the Kings Comets, they still finished as the East Division champs in the BCFL with a record of 8-2. “It was definitely one of our goals” said Rice, “Our goal is to win the league and to win the league you have to win the division. It’s a nice accomplishment.”
If the Tanks were to win this Saturday’s game against the Tri State Saints, they would go on to face the Cincinnati Dukes in Cincinnati in the semi-finals of the playoffs this season. The winner of that semifinal matchup would, barring an upset, travel to Indianapolis to face off against the Marion County Crusaders in the BCFL title game.
For his team to make it to that point, Rice knows his team must come together and play as a team. “Our biggest thing is believing, making sure we stay together as a team” said Rice, “Sometimes in football, people try and do different things, and when that happens it can cascade. We still have a little bit of that. Trusting our process is the main thing and trusting that we’re going to put those guys in the best position to win.”
Anyone interested in watching the Tanks first playoff game can visit their Facebook page by searching “West Portsmouth Tanks”. When the game starts at 7:00 p.m., the Tanks will begin streaming the game on their page via Facebook Live. Or you may visit the Complex in West Portsmouth if you wish to cheer on the Tanks in their first home playoff game of this postseason.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT