YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – It’s evident after Saturday’s game against Mahoning Valley that Pioneers receiver J.J. Outlaw is a fan of Michael Jackson.
Outlaw paid tribute to the late musician on Saturday with a celebratory moon walk or famous dance by Jackson after every time he found the end zone. He must have looked like a Jackson clone to the Thunder.
Outlaw caught six touchdown passes on the night and became the second Wilkes-Barre/Scranton receiver to top the 1,000-yard mark this season as the Pioneers held off Mahoning Valley, 62-47, to improve to 11-2. Outlaw was also the recipient of the offensive player of the game and the catch of the game awards as he caught eight passes for 126 yards and now has 1,013 receiving yards and 31 touchdowns this season. Irving Campbell is the other WBS receiver who has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving this season.
Outlaw caught three TD passes in each half as the Pioneers kept the Thunder out of reach the entire game. Whenever MV would close the gap, the Pioneers would come right back with another score. The only time WBS did not score when it had the ball was when time ran out in each half.
Mahoning Valley (1-12) took the early lead after opening the game with a touchdown to go up 6-0.
But, as usual, the Pioneers couldn’t be held down. They came right back with quarterback Ryan Vena’s first scoring strike to Outlaw to go up 7-6. On the Thunder’s next drive, Micheaux Robinson grabbed his af2-leading 12th interception of the season. He capped it with his first touchdown return of the year and the Pioneers were up 14-6. Robinson was named the defensive player of the game.
Vena, who only missed one throw in the first half, also threw TDs to Larry Kendrick and Campbell. Kendrick also added an interception late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
The Pioneers have an open date next week before heading out west to Spokane for a July 11 showdown.