Halifax Xplosion defeat Moncton Vipers to climb to 500-level in MWFL play

The recurring theme for the Halifax Xplosion in the 2015 Maritime Women’s Football League (MWFL) season is change. From a new coaching staff to a new group of recruits, the only MWFL squad in Nova Scotia is hoping that change leads to an appearance in the league’s championship game.

As the improving Xplosion look to improve .500 on the season, their obstacle was the Moncton Vipers. Having not played for the 2014 season, the Vipers have endured their struggles in their return to MWFL play in 2015. In the first quarter, Angela Hoffman tried to turn the tide for the winless Vipers, scoring a touchdown for the early lead. Missing the conversion, it would add to the Vipers woes this season.

Bouncing back as the Xplosion’s Michelle McLeod logged a rushing touchdown to tie the game at 6-each. Jocelyn Masyerman successfully converted the one-point attempt, giving the squad their first lead of the game. On the following kickoff, the Xplosion showed some bravura by attempting an onside kick. Recovered by Natasha Stewart, it would add to the squad’s growing confidence.

Gaining her second touchdown of the first quarter, Michelle McLeod would set the tone for the remainder of the game. Despite the Vipers attempting to assemble an offensive attack, the squad suffered to reduce the Xplosion’s lead. Compounded by injuries to starting quarterback Jenny Miller, the Vipers were unable to score for the remainder of the first half. Defensively, the Vipers continued to struggle, allowing a third rushing touchdown by McLeod, as the halftime lead was 21-6 in favor of the Xplosion.

In the third quarter, the Vipers managed to prevent the Xplosion from scoring. Building momentum with a touchdown pass to Marie Beaudy, the Vipers were successful on a two-point conversion. Heading into the fourth quarter trailing by only a touchdown, the Vipers attempted to tie the game.

Despite their best efforts, the defense struggled to contain the Xplosion’s revived running game. Cody Spence would extend the Xplosion’s lead by a 28-14 margin. The Vipers confidence would return as Cody Spence ran in for a touchdown, reducing the Xplosion’s lead to 8 points. Subsequently, a two-point attempt was successfully converted after a run into the end zone.

Once again, the Xplosion utilized McLeod to extend their lead. Rushing for her fourth touchdown of the game, she turned in one of the greatest performances of the season, let alone her career.

Behind by 13 points, the Vipers attempted to salvage things. Joselyn MacLellan forced a fumble, making things interesting. Recovered by Vipers teammate Christina Bernard, a win was not yet guaranteed for the Xplosion. A combination of pressure, fatigue and inexperience took its toll, and the Vipers could not add points to the scoreboard.

In the second half of the game, Moncton outscored Halifax, but it was not enough to earn a victory. Struggling to contain Michelle McLeod, they allowed two rushing touchdowns as the final score was 35-22 in favor of the Xplosion.

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