This past Saturday night, the West Virginia Roughriders won the AAL Championship. Not only did they achieve that great feat, but they also finished with a perfect undefeated season. The Roughriders defeated the Carolina Energy with a final score of 55-29 in the WesBanco Arena, otherwise known as ‘the Banc’ to players and fans.
The Roughriders, led by former West Virginia Mountaineer quarterback Jarrett Brown, were a juggernaut from the beginning of the season. There is no single weak link to this team. The receivers, such as Larry Beavers Jr and Noel Devine, were absolute nightmares to the defenses of every team. I believe Beavers is one of the most talented players in the AAL. Defenders couldn’t stop Beavers when he was in his zone, which was every single game.
The defense has always been really good, but it seemed to get even scarier with the acquisition of Shawn Oakman. Oakman was available after he was cleared of all criminal charges. Oakman, who was projected to be a top NFL draft pick, fell into a bad slump at Baylor which led to him being undrafted. As a football player Oakman is just scary, he stands at 6″9 and is billed at 290 pounds. Oakman could undoubtedly be playing in the NFL but a lot of controversies led him here. If Oakman stays with the Roughriders it will certainly be a nightmare scenario for the defense of any team they face.
On special teams, Anthony “Swiss Army Knife” Prevost was a huge factor all season. He can play literally anywhere you put him and he will succeed. Focusing solely on this past weekends championship game, even after a botched extra point snap, Prevost picked up the ball and ran into the endzone. He was absolutely hyped and accidentally pelted the referee with the football in celebration. The fans were livid with emotion too, it sounded like the stadium was rocking.
One of the most underrated Roughriders this season has to be Drew Bolton, the second string quarterback. Bolton did get playing time within the year but I feel like he deserved more. He has a cannon for an arm. One play that sticks out specifically in my mind is late in the fourth quarter in the second matchup against the Burgh Defenders. Bolton sent a pass pretty much the length of the field for a touchdown. Bolton is a great leader to the team, as well as when his number is called.
The Roughriders were unstoppable this season and insatiable about winning. Congratulations to West Virginia Roughriders on winning the AAL Championship!