It was a defensive mêlée concluding with an unlikely football score, making the victory go down that much smoother. The Maryland Sting came out on top in the 3-2 matchup versus the previously undefeated Montgomery County Rams Saturday.
Both teams defenses were flat-out stingy, neither willing to give up any points. “It was a great, physical game. We grinded, they grinded. We grinded, they grinded. This was the most mental and emotional filled game that I have ever been a part of in my life,” said Sting’s head coach Bryan Milburn.
So much so that after the game, “While I am hugging and crying in my girl’s shoulders, I get the Gatorade bucket,” Milburn noted.
Crying in football? This battle was ripe enough to bring any man or woman to tears. Emotions were up and down both on and off the bench. And like any great defensive battle, it came with all the fixings. There were blocked field goals, bad snaps, fumbles- missed opportunities. Plus a safety with just over two minutes left that gave the Rams the 2-0 lead.
Did I mention pressure? Scoreless for 58 minutes and the Rams get to do their safety dance? That is how this game rolled. Rams two, Sting zero.
The Sting responded in kind. Or so they started to anyway. They put together a “sweet” drive looking to put some points on the board. The Rams had other intentions. On 3 & 3 at the Rams 20-yard line, QB Jamal Frazier rolled back and gets taken down by the Rams.
This put the game in Sting’s kicker Chris Roberts boot. Roberts lined it up at the 57-yard line and missed the strike by inches. Fortunately for the Sting, the Rams couldn’t keep their defenders off Roberts. So a roughing the kicker penalty resulted and a 15-yard penalty was assessed.
The Sting catches a break and Roberts makes good, advantage goes to the Sting 3-2. “Chris [Roberts] does what Chris does. He is ice cold, he has no nerves. It was just amazing,” said Milburn. So Roberts has the Sting sitting (sort of) pretty with a 3-2 lead. But the Rams won’t go away. And Roberts isn’t done yet either.
On the ensuing kickoff, Roberts mans up once again making a crucial tackle to protect his territory. However, the Sting is penalized for a face-mask call giving the Rams some new life. They end up with a field-goal attempt at the Sting’s 20. After a bad snap, the boys in burgundy block the Rams second field goal of the day. Rams denied. Sting wins 3-2.
The Sting’s tumultuous defense soared to new heights and defensive coordinator, Joe Taylor confirmed it, courtesy of game film. “The guys made me proud. They flew around and made plays. Never folded when adversity hit. They played as a team on Saturday.”
For Carl King, this was an especially uplifting game, “[It] was special because the Rams are the team that I started my minor league football career with and we won in dramatic fashion.”
I”ll say. The Sting came away with a W and the dog in their fight just grew stronger.