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“ReGuards”: Week 3 Notebook

New York Guardians RB Tim Cook runs away from the St. Louis BattleHawks defense on February 23, 2020.

Playing Smarter 

The Guardians suffered their second straight loss on Sunday during a 29-9 defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Battlehawks. 

Head coach Kevin Gilbride said after the game he believed his guys played hard but did not play very smart -- pointing to the 86 penalty yards, the most they’ve accumulated in any game so far this season.

Gilbride was particularly bothered by the three unnecessary roughness penalties and the unsportsmanlike conduct.

Some of those penalties came at key moments to kill drives or keep St. Louis’ drives alive. 

“You can’t win football games when you play like we did and you make as many mistakes as we did. There were foolish penalties, stupid penalties and too many errors to win a football game against a good football team”

Guardians head coach Kevin Gilbride

Running Game Gets Going 

The Guardians were able to run better than they had in their previous two games. 

Tim Cook and Darius Victor each had 50 yards rushing, and Marquise Williams added 12. It was the first time this season New York eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. 

Improvement in the running game should help with the passing game and the run-pass option plays. Right tackle John Kling thinks there’s a lot more improvement coming from the run game. 

“I think we’re getting more comfortable with each other and getting more comfortable with the schemes. Our backs, they run hard so that helps, but as an offense, I think we’re just starting to gel.”

Guardians tackle John Kling, on the offensive line's performance

Moving Forward

New York faces the Los Angeles Wildcats on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 2 p.m. at MetLife Stadium. Both teams are 1-2.

The difference is the Guardians have lost two in a row since winning the season opener, and the Wildcats notched their first win of the season last week in a blowout of the Defenders. 

Now the Wildcats will face their first cross-country trip of the season as they head to MetLife Stadium. Kling is hoping it’s just as loud as it was on opening day -- if not louder.

“I love our fans. I love when you guys come out. I love when you guys cheer. I know we all do, and we all appreciate it. So just keep believing in us and we’re going to do right by you.”

Kling

Meanwhile, RB Justin Stockton, who had 120 yards on five kick returns last week, knows that staying within themselves and will help the Guardians return to their winning ways. 

“We just have to keep our composure when things get out of hand and as a team we have to build together, stay strong together and continue fighting and regroup.”

Guardians RB Justin Stockton