The Lonestars made the long trip over to Baton Rouge on a day that was more suited for lounging by the pool than playing football. We were missing a large number of the usual suspects, including our captains. After a quick consultation with the leadership available Coach Dan anointed Captain Beers his first Cap and told him not to fuck it up ;)
USAFL President Denis Ryan made the trip and umpired the fist half of the game - needless to say the umpiring got better in the second half when he grabbed a Baton Rouge jumper and helped them out.
With Captain Beers in the ruck and Stu, Fielder & Mash as midfielders, the Lonestars quickly took control around the midfield and kept pumping the ball forward to Coach Dan who was running riot in the forward line, kicking 3 quick goals before Baton Rouge threw another old stager (Robbie Montanaro) on him. This pattern continued through the first quarter with Jordan starting to get his hands on the ball more and more at half forward, with a very nice goal running off the flank from about 40 out.
The second quarter saw the return of Trig to playing duties (welcome back mate!), whilst the Lonestars were still dominating the midfield, Baton Rouge started to get a bit more of the board and kept it pretty level through the quarter. In the heat of the day - I think most guys were pretty happy to hear the half time whistle, where plenty of hydrating occurred.
In the third quarter, to keep the guys nice and fresh, Peter Coates moved into the midfield and the Lonestars once again ran rampant, especially Mash who after Mueller went off with a calf niggle, added a spark to the forward line. Our defence continued to be nice and strong with Jake Plaisance, Shaun, Zach and Ott doing a fine job at holding their oppenents and then running the ball forward.
The fourth quarter continued to be tough for Baton Rouge, the Lonestars midfield got another boost from our little pocket dynamo, Zach "The Destroyer" who had no problems in running in straight lines through the packs and clearing the ball. Chris Ott also moved into the ruck for the quarter and dominated at both stoppages and around the ground. Baton Rouge started dropping a few extra players into the backline to try and stop Coach Dan from kicking a bag. Which leads to the moment you were all waiting for, the send off. Baton Rouge president Joey was being a bit frisky off the ball (as usual) and roughed up a couple players with bumps in their backs after the whistle, Coach took exception and returned the favor (pro tip - don't do this in front of the umpire if you want to stay on the field) with his own bump. After a little argy bargy where nothing of note happened - the umpire gave Joey and I a rest on the sidelines, where we immediately shook hands and made up. Joey ran straight back on the field, where the umpire told him to get back off...."but we made up, we are cool!" was his response, to much mirth around the ground.
The game finished with the Lonestars too strong 21.10.136 v Baton Rouge 4.2.26.
Goals: Coach Dan 12, Jordan 4, Mash 4, Pete 1
Best: Not going to name names, everyone played great, good team effort.
Also - well done to all the guys for getting over to the after party and helping to contribute not only financially to Baton Rouge, but also cementing the great friendship we have with these guys! The Montanaro jambalaya is some tasty stuff and not to be missed if you get the chance!
~ Coach Dan ~