It’s been a thrilling few weeks since I last brought an instalment of 4th and Goal to the good gridiron people of the Festival State. These are 10 things that caught my eye during the period and some thoughts ahead of the Super Saturday approaching.

  1. The Gridiron SA highlight videos are great. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten to as many games as I’d liked to have, but I was able to see the best of plays through these short videos. As a service to the players, coaches (and their friends and families) I have put together a visualisation that allows everyone to see the scoring leaders.
    The best feature, I think, is that click on those circles (on the QB and Player screens), and a tab opens that will show you that scoring play. Amazing for quickly reviewing a specific player’s highlights. It has got all scoring plays up to the end of Round 9. Check it out here
  2. Ok, so I watched a lot of highlights to put that together, and one thing that stood out to me was the Eagles ground attack with Joshua Long and John Seve. They’ve combined for 6 rushing TDs and they have propelled the Eagles to within touching distance of a finals berth. Look at Long’s power run against the Oilers in Week 8!
  3. Also, Andre Benjamin’s been slinging it and has had some big strikes since returning to QB duties with the Chiefs.  Check out this strike to Brandon Kelly against the Hogs; one mate who suck in NFL fantasy wants to add Kelly to his side! The Chiefs resurgence has been dampened by their ability to stop opponents, however this just means an entertaining game for the neutral with lots of scoring.
  4. Joshua Welbourn has thrown 19 TDs this year to 7 different receivers. The ground game of the Hogs has improved somewhat with Jaden Valles a tough player to bring down.
  5. The Spartans secondary continues to produce turnovers, luckily, they’re not concerned with keeping count; this pick 6 (below) is one such play. The Spartans have only conceded 65 points but have scored 24 points in interceptions (for a net of 41 point) when the opposition has the ball.
  6. Rhys Smith has filled in for Michael Tedmanson, with the latter returning for the game against the Eagles in Week 8.  I love the dual-headed QB monster (from my time in NFL Europe, but that’s another story) and the options it provides to spark the Oilers offense, especially in the upcoming contest with the Chiefs porous defense.
  7. The Hogs lost this time last year (the 18th November 2017 matchup) to the Spartans which sparked a run of four defeats in a row.  They are on a 9-0 run since including three in a row against the Spartans.
  8. The Spartans haven’t lost to a team other than the Hogs in their last 14 attempts (since the 2016 finals).  They kept that streak going last week with a convincing win over the resurgent Eagles.
  9. With the Hogs most likely getting the bye this weekend’s matchup between our two best sides could be a dead rubber.  However, the Spartans will be smarting from three narrow losses, so this game will go a long way to determine the psychology of the Spartans heading into a probable Great Southern Bowl matchup.  This appears a must win game for the Spartans and on the other side I am sure the Hogs will be up for it with a perfect season on the line.
  10. You could be forgiven for overlooking the late game on Saturday.  Whilst the Oilers are on an 0-5 slide, they have played hard every and every game. The Chiefs are showing a lot in their passing attack with Benjamin hooking up with Alex Thorpe and Brandon Kelly.  They’ve split the games previously and so it should be a good contest to avoid the wooden spoon.