The West Portsmouth Tanks will be travelling to Indianapolis, Ind. to face off against the Marion County Crusaders in the 2018 championship game of the Blue Collar Football League (BCFL) Saturday night with kickoff at 7 p.m.
In their first meeting earlier this season, the Tanks defeated the Crusaders 7-6 at the Tanks home field at the Complex. The rematch, however, will require the Tanks to make the four and a half hour drive west on I-64 to face the Crusaders on their home field.
The Crusaders earned the right to host all of their playoff games this post season thanks to their 10-1 regular season record, their only defeat coming at the hands of the Tanks. Tanks head coach Jamie Rice was very complimentary of the Crusaders as a team while previewing their upcoming battle against them. “They’re a very good team” said Rice, “Really good offensive line, really good quarterback with some good skill position guys on the outside. Just a very high powered offense. We were able to only hold them to six points last time we played them, but I think you would be foolish to go into another game thinking you could hold them to six points again. But we match up really well with them.”
The Tanks finished with an 8-2 regular season record which was good enough to capture the East division title in the BCFL.
Although this game will be a long road journey for the Tanks, Rice isn’t worried about his team’s ability to perform and attendance issues that would normally arise on such a long road trip. “In a game like this, it’s not really that big of an advantage because it’s a championship game” said Rice, “Everyone is going to make that trip. Normally in semi-pro you have that advantage of home field and home surroundings, you’re going to have all your players. In championship games, that’s not as big.”
The Tanks have made the championship game of the BCFL five out of the last six years, but have only been able to capitalize on one of those four previous opportunities.
Rice is looking to add to the Tanks trophy case with their second BCFL, but to do that, Rice knows that his team is going to have to remain disciplined on both sides of the ball. “First thing we’ll have to do is eliminate penalty yardage” said Rice, “We have to eliminate those penalties that I’ve talked about with them all season long. That comes down to playing smart. To me, that comes with playing an intelligent game.”
Anyone interested in following the game can watch the Tanks Facebook Live stream with coverage beginning at 6:30 p.m.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT