Jacksonville Axemen win USA Grand Final for fourth time

Jacksonville Axemen have won the fourth USA Grand Final in their 17-year history, defeating Tampa Mayhem 36-12.

Winger James Williams posted a hat-trick for the Axemen, Justin Williams and Steven Hill crossed twice, and Josh Westerlund and Vashon Mars scored their other tries.

Axemen co-founder and General Manager Drew Slover said: “I am proud of the team for how hard they have worked all season. Coach Sean Rutgerson did a great job developing some new young players and it’s great when the work pays off with a championship.

“Tampa caught us sleeping last year and went on to win the title but we were determined not to let that happen again.

“It’s not an easy feat to go up against a team as good as the Mayhem three times in a season. Now we can take the momentum from the win and keep building for the future.”

Tampa co-founder, coach and manager Billy Neilson was understandably disappointed with the loss.

“Jacksonville deserved it; congratulations to them,” he said. “We picked the wrong day to have our worst game of the season.

“We knew, going into it, that we couldn’t make many mistakes. Jax is too fast and disciplined, giving them extra opportunities. We didn’t take care of the ball and we couldn’t complete sets. They turned our mistakes into points and pulled away in the second half.”