Bolts thunder over Boston in home opener 

Brooklyn Bolts 27 Boston Brawlers 20

After being introduced on the steps of Boro Hall, the Brooklyn Bolts made their highly anticipated home debut on October 15 at MCU Park against the Boston Brawlers in the inaugural game of the FXFL (Fall Experimental Football League), a developmental league founded to give young players exposure for the NFL.

Rosters for the four-team league mainly comprise of players recently cut from NFL summer camps along with some players straight from the college ranks.

The Bolts’ debut ends a 65-year absence of professional football in the borough of Brooklyn since the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers football team folded in 1949. Similar to the Cyclones, Brooklyn’s newest team has also honored the Coney Island area by naming the club after the Thunderbolt roller coaster that stood beyond the left field wall of MCU Park from 1925 to 1982.

“The team is really glad to be here after weeks of practicing against each other in South Florida,” said Greg Garber, Assistant to Head Coach John Bock.  “In fact, we’ve already had one player called up to the Green Bay Packers during practice last week.”

Noting that the many NFL general managers will be tuning in to SNY to see the game, Garber added, “If we’re losing players to the NFL, we’ll miss them; but we’re doing our job.”

Eager to start the game to showcase their skills, the Bolts and the Brawlers played to a scoreless tie until Boston’s Wynel Seldon scored on a five-yard run to end the first quarter with just a minute left.

In the second quarter, the Bolts answered back at the 9:17 mark as Mario Fannin, who last played with the Denver Broncos, scored on a four-yard sweep to score Brooklyn’s first-ever touchdown in the modern era.

With Boston maintaining a slim 14-13 lead at the half, the rest of the game was wide open as Boston’s Quandon Christian blocked a punt and ran the ball back for a 24-yard touchdown. In response, the Bolts answered back with a 46-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Elliott, his second of the game.

Down by one point, 20-19, the Bolts scored again when linebacker Glen Stanley caught running back Emmanuel Moody in the end zone for safety allowing Brooklyn to take the lead at 21-20.

Going into the fourth quarter, the Bolts held the Brawlers at bay during a torrential rain while Nick March added two field goals of 44 and 21 yards in the downpour to give Brooklyn its first victory, 27-20.

“This isn’t a one-man show,” said Bock referring to the rotation of all his players into the game, keeping within the developmental dictate of the league. “No one is going to shut us down since different players will have some surprises for them.”

Bock, a former 1995 New York Jets center, has teamed up with two other former Jets, 1993-2003 linebacker Marvin Jones and 1992-1995 tackle James Brown as the coaching brain trust for the Bolts.

Evaluating the game, Bock stated that he’d award game balls to all the players since this inaugural game was “a real team win.” Noting that this was a historic moment for Brooklyn, Bock concluded by saying, “I was happy for the talent level displayed on the field tonight and you will see some of these young men going back to the NFL very soon.”

Photo courtesy of Jim Dolan
Photo courtesy of Jim Dolan

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