THE Pakenham Silverbacks bounced back in style on Saturday, with an impressive Gridiron Victoria Division-2 win over the Monash Barbarians, 24-14.
From their 24-18 win over the Northern Raiders in Week 1, the Silverbacks were shutout 22-0 by the Bendigo Dragons last week.
On paper, the Silverbacks’ task on Saturday at Maryvale Reserve in Morwell hardly got any easier… the ladder-leading Barbarians.
But Pakenham started strongly, moving the ball down the field with purpose. Josh Smith carried the ball beautifully, hitting the gaps opened up by the offensive line. Aaron Verbakel made up plenty of yards on the end of some pinpoint Steven Mclean passes, as did Ben Hiam, along with making some great blocks on running plays.
And when Damien Belsham went down with a potentially serious knee injury, the defense stepped up. Chevy Edwards and Jaxson Mahy each had a pick, Tommy Trimble stepped up in the middle and, along with an imposing defensive line, shut down Monash’s offense.Man of the match Dan Salvar was huge, with two sacks, as he and the rest of the defensive line maintained suffocating pressure on the opposition quarterback all day.
With touchdowns to Paul Ballinger, Verbakel and Hiam – and some brilliant kicking by Toby Currie (three one-point conversions and a field goal), things are looking up for the boys from Pakenham.
They have a bye this week, before taking on the Gippsland Gladiators at LE Cotchin Reserve in Reservoir on 30 May from 1.30pm.
While the Silverbacks are still dealing with a number of injuries, Adam Kolinski, Jason Siegel and Jason Howlett are all likely to be back for the clash with the Gladiators.
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