New York Guardians
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Jarrell Owens was a man of many talents for the New York Guardians on Saturday, earning two sacks and a crucial blocked field goal.

Geoff Magliocchetti

The joyous visitors to MetLife Stadium’s parking lots spend their weekends regaling each other with tales of ghosts of defenses past. Such tales would no doubt haunt any opposing quarterbacks that dare to listen. Michael Strahan, Lawrence Taylor, Mark Gastineau, and Shaun Ellis are frequently mentioned, while secondary visitors like Jamal Adams are undoubtedly referenced.

If this keeps up, Jarrell Owens could soon find himself added to those legends.

The New York Guardians‘ defensive lineman gave the Los Angeles Wildcats a rude welcome to the east coast, sacking quarterback Josh Johnson twice and blocking a crucial Nick Novak field goal. Owens’ efforts made a difference in a narrow 17-14 decision that went in favor of the Guardians.

“My mindset was to get off the ball and make a play,” Owens said of his Saturday showing. “We were prepping for that game all week, and when the time came, I just took advantage of it.”

The NFL veteran Johnson earned 330 yards and two touchdown passes in defeat, but they didn’t come easy. He was sacked three times on the afternoon and knocked down on five other occasions. Owens, in fact, narrowly missed a third sack on Los Angeles’ penultimate drive. Sneaking up on Johnson’s blindside on a key third down, Owens laid down a big hit on Johnson, who could only toss the ball forward in desperation.

A sack and fumble were denied, but the Guardians (2-2) were able to finish the job on the next play, forcing an incomplete pass to take back possessions with under three minutes to go. The offense ate a majority of the remaining clock before the defense erased whatever was left on one final Los Angeles drive.

“We all feed off each other as d-linemen,” Owens said of the team’s mindset going into that last drive. “We all have special abilities. My mindset was to use it, come off the ball, and make a play.”

Strong defensive exploits were present all over the stat sheet. Los Angeles mustered only 40 yards on 13 rushing attempts and went 2-for-12 on third down. Cornerback Jamar Summers earned his first interception of the season in dying stages of the third quarter, one that set up the de facto game-winning field goal from Matthew McCrane.

The Guardians (+7.5) return to action on Saturday on the road, taking on the Dallas Renegades (5 p.m. ET, Fox).

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Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags