Contributed by the Virginia Silverbacks
The Virginia Silverbacks avenged a 2019 loss in the UEAFL Championship game by soundly defeating the Virginia Crusaders 28-13 to bring home the 2021 UEAFL crown on Saturday night in Williamsburg.
Bryan “Keke” Shepherd opened the scoring by returning an interception 53 yards for a touchdown on the Crusaders’ second possession. Allen Lynch converted the PAT to give the Silverbacks an early 7-0 lead.
The Crusaders answered with a 50 yard drive but failed on a two-point conversion to leave the score at 7-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Silverbacks then took control of the game with a 21 point 2nd quarter. Ottawa Anderson, the championship MVP, threw a perfect strike to Ray Brown in the back corner of the end zone and a successful two-point conversion opened the Silverback lead to 15-6.
Another Anderson strike over the middle to Shakur Mason made it 22-6 after another Lynch PAT. The Silverbacks then added an Anthony Hunter touchdown run late in the quarter to open daylight with a 28-6 halftime lead.
The Silverbacks victory was marred only by an injury to Hunter in the first minute of the second half when the league’s leading rusher suffered what appeared to be a broken ankle. After the game was delayed a half an hour while emergency crews were called to the field to safely secure the injury (which turned out to be a severe dislocation) and take Hunter to the hospital the Silverbacks temporarily lost focus and the Crusaders scored to close the gap to 28-13. With momentum clearly on their side the Crusaders appeared on the brink of scoring again after a Silverbacks botched punt attempt but an interception by Luke Elliot in the end zone turned the Crusaders away and the Silverbacks righted the ship and held the defending champs at bay the rest of the way.
Revenge was sweet for the new champs who had lost the last UEAFL Championship on their home turf to these same Crusaders in 2019. This time, however, the ‘Backs went into 757 Territory and returned the favor, bringing the crown back to Charlottesville and Central Virginia.