The Massachusetts Pirates signed former NFL Pro Bowler Dexter McCluster in the middle of week 6 of the National Arena League (NAL) season. May 14 to be exact.
Massachusetts was in the middle of a bye week after they got off to a 1-4 start.
They were at the bottom of the NAL standings.
Since then, however, all things were a go.
NAL: The Massachusetts Pirates signed McCluster and then said ‘Go’
The Pirates were faced with a daunting task as they came off the bye week and moved on to Week 7.
They would travel to New York to face the Streets – the new team on the block that had been tied for first place in the league with a 3-1 record.
The Streets opened the season by beating the 2017 champion Jacksonville Sharks, making a statement that just because they were a new team, they wouldn’t be taken lightly.
It was a tall task to ask for the struggling Pirates to go into New York and come out with a W.
After McCluster signed, though, it seems like the direction that the Pirates were going in took a complete 180.
The Pirates put up 70 points on a New York defense that hadn’t given up more than 53 points in a game.
McCluster didn’t lead the team to the victory. He finished with three receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.
The thing is – he didn’t need to lead the team to the win. Mardy Gilyard and Devonn Brown combined for 13 of the team’s touchdowns. They scored five touchdowns and corralled 168 yards.
It was like McCluster’s presence just made the team better.
The same happened on Saturday in a rematch between the two teams back in Worcester at the Pirates’ home DCU Center.
The game was tied early in the third quarter, but thanks to a Brown touchdown and an interception by linebacker Kavika Luafatasaga, the Pirates flipped the scoring and kept the Streets at bay to earn their second straight victory.
The mojo on this team has flipped and after the pair of wins, the Pirates hold the final spot to qualify for the 2019 NAL Playoffs.
Massachusetts will return to the field after another bye week on June 15 when they take on Orlando to see if they can win a third straight game and improve to .500 on the season.
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