Artichokes lose Valley of the Sun Bowl

A mistake-prone Artichoke team ends the season with eight wins

Nicholas Tirella, Reporter

In a heartbreak loss, the Fighting Artichokes lost to Nassau CC Lions 34-27.

It was a battle in the first half as neither team backed down. But the second half, Nassau started to bring the heat, with two quick scores that left the Artichokes stunned. The Artichokes then had to fight to get within reach, but the Lions kept the pressure on the quarterback and ran though the defense to keep the Artichokes at bay. Poor tackling and lack of pass protection doomed the Artichokes the whole game. Mental errors and costly penalties also ruined the comeback. Nassau’s quarterback kept the ball most of the game to himself and ran through the Artichokes defensive line.

“Overall it’s a team loss,” secondary coach Darrell Dawson said. “We made mistakes across the board, and I think that hurt us especially when we ran out of time.”

The mistakes that the Artichokes made included mental errors with misplays and lack of attention to details, like a long punt return, too many men on the field, and not keeping an eye on the ball with costly flags. Some physical errors the team made included not wrapping up tackles and lack of urgency with both the clock and game.

“The third quarter absolutely just destroyed us,” head coach Doug Madoski said. “We came out and made mistake after mistake and it became ultimately too much for us to overcome the entire game.”

The Artichokes played well enough until the third and fourth quarters where they fell apart, and Nassau just out-played the Chokes and took advantage when they were down.

“They had a good attack and they found ways to apply pressure without blitzing,” quarterback Michael Sanders said. “They were just better than us today but we felt like we could of beat them.”

Overall, the Chokes didn’t come prepared to play and it cost them the Sun Bowl title. Still, the team had a tremendous season, as they finished with an 8-3 record. Now comes the long offseason, where Madoski and his staff will prepare their players for another run next fall.