The Tampa Bay Bandits gather around in practice. March 26, 2022 (Via @USFL on Twitter)

New Tampa Bay Bandits win first game

The Tampa Bay Bandits beat the Pittsburgh Maulers 17-3 in a Monday night matchup. The team’s season opener, originally scheduled for Sunday, was postponed due to risk of severe weather.

The Bandits’ Early Lead

Tampa Bay got off to an early lead, capitalizing on their first possession of the game. In their first drive, the team went 68 yards on eight plays. To finish the drive, running back B.J. Emmons carried the ball three yards into the end zone for the Bandits’ first touchdown of the season.

From there, Tampa Bay did not slow down. The Bandits were always one step ahead of the Maulers, never trailing in their week-one matchup.

Toward the end of the first half, quarterback Jordan Ta’amu connected with Jordan Lasley to extend the Bandits’ lead to 17.

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Although the Bandits recorded all their points in the first half, they were able to fend off the Maulers, allowing only a single field goal.

The Bandits’ Defense Held Off the Maulers

Tampa Bay’s defense, lead by defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Pepper Johnson, did not allow a single touchdown from the Maulers. The strong defensive line held Pittsburgh in its defensive end for a majority of the game.

Notably, cornerback Quenton Meeks led the Bandits with eight tackles and two pass deflections.

https://twitter.com/USFLBandits/status/1516229803774464000?s=20&t=jcoib8mvEbTwh7G5a4v3tg

While Tampa’s defense executed a strong performance, the Maulers could not get into a groove, which contributed to their demise.

The Road Ahead

The Bandits have an entire season of football ahead of them. The USFL season consists of 10 weeks of games, concluding on June 19.

Tampa Bay’s next game is on April 24 against the New Orleans Breakers.

About Victoria Siwek

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