Week Two of the National Arena League (NAL) concluded on Saturday night. The New York Streets (2-0) defeated the Orlando Predators (1-1) 70-31 and the Carolina Cobras (2-0) defeated the Massachusetts Pirates (0-2) 50-22.
The night before, the Jacksonville Sharks (1-1) also moved past the Columbus Lions (0-2) 48-24 in the standings. Things got chippy all over the league, which resulted in multiple ejections.
NAL: Suspensions and Fines to Follow Week 2 Action
Friday Night Lights
The Sharks controlled just about every 60 minutes of the game with some minor mistakes that would allow the Lions to come back and make it a game.
However, the Lions never came within one score of the Sharks after the second half started. This caused some heated moments, as the Sharks and Lions already have a big rivalry going on.
With 2:50 to go in the game, Defensive Back Seth Ellis intercepted a pass and returned it to the Columbus one-yard line. A Jacksonville Pass Interference would wipe away the turnover, giving the Lions the ball back.
After the play, Lions Wide Receiver Bones Bagaunte allowed tempers to flare and charged at Sharks DB Robert Brown. This ultimately led to Bagaunte being ejected from the game, letting any hopes of the Lions comeback down the drain.
Bagaunte’s suspension hurts the Lions tremendously. He averages 12 receptions for 104 yards and three touchdowns per game this season.
Cobras and Pirates get Chippy All Night
The Cobras dominated all game and showed no signs of slowing down in their 50-22 victory over the Pirates.
Just like the first game of the week, tempers flared in this one. Down 9-34 with just over five minutes left in the game, Offensive Lineman Mitch Bell for Massachusetts was penalized three times in a span of 12 seconds, leading to his ejection.
Shoving three players and getting in their faces surely doesn’t look good on him, nor the Pirates organization.
The already struggling O-Line for Massachusetts was hurting even more without Bell’s presence.
Not only were they struggling before his ejection, visiting teams don’t take the whole roster on away games, which likely meant that the Pirates needed to put someone outside of O-Line as an O-Lineman for the remainder of the game.
Bell’s ejection was not the only ejection of the night, as Cobras Quarterback Charles McCullum got mouthy with officials.
His first penalty was with 23.9 seconds to go in the game. It is unclear as to what he said, but he broke the huddle with his helmet off and started chirping at the officials.
Just seconds after that penalty, he picked up the ball, handed it to the ref, and pointed at the field, instructing the official as to where the ball should go and seemed like he was telling them how to do their job.
End Result of These Ejections?
According to sources, there is a new rule in the NAL this season when it comes to ejections; that rule states that if a player gets ejected or disqualified from a game, they must serve a suspension the following game.
This incident originally took place last season, as former Lions Wide Receiver Jarmon Fortson was ejected and suspended a game. The league reviewed the situation and lifted the suspension.
The Pirates host the Orlando Predators this week and then host the Sharks the following week. According to this rule, Bell would not be allowed to play against Orlando, but would be allowed to return against Jacksonville.
Unfortunately for Bagaunte and McCullum, they both have a Bye this week.
The Lions host the Predators in Week Four, but Bagaunte won’t be able to return to the field until their Week Five matchup against the Pirates.
The Cobras host the Streets in a huge Week Four game, except McCullum wouldn’t be allowed to play. The Cobras travel to Jacksonville, FL for a Week Five game against the Sharks. That game, McCullum can return to the field.
There is no telling as to whether there will be fines associated with these ejections, but a small fine should be implemented if the league wants to be serious about the rules and how games should be played. Regardless, something should be done or else the players won’t take it seriously and will start drama again.