In his entire football career, including pee-wee, high school, college and pros, Rob Jones had never had a five touchdown game. That was until this past Saturday night when he found the end zone five times in a monster performance during the Streets’ 70-31 win over the Orlando Predators in the inaugural home opener at the Westchester County Center.
The Tampa, Florida native had seven catches for 130 yards and five touchdown receptions.
“It was good to see,” said Jones. “It was a sign that we were clicking. Players are always trying to keep that kind of rhythm throughout the season.”
Through two games, Jones is in some kind of rhythm with fifteen catches for 285 yards and six touchdowns as the expansion Streets have come out of the gates with a 2-0 record. A big reason why is the reunion between Jones and quarterback EJ Nemeth who has thrown eleven touchdown passes so far this season. The fact that they’ve enjoyed instant chemistry is not a surprise.
The duo played together with the York Capitals in 2015 and won an American Indoor Football championship. Now both players are teammates again after some time away from football but they have picked up where they left off.
“I have some experience with him and a little bit of chemistry so us coming back and working together and being that dynamic duo is a great thing,” said Jones.
The Streets have put together an impressive receiving corp led by Jones, Devonte Jenkins and Edgar Allen Poe. When Streets Head Coach Rick Marsilio began to assemble this team, it was a no-brainer for him to reach out to Jones and Nemeth to try and rekindle the magic that they had a few years ago in York.
“We’re really excited to have Rob Jones in New York,” said Marsilio. “He played for me in the past and has a chemistry with EJ that has been very important for our early success. Both EJ and Rob bring veteran leadership to our young guys on offense.”
The former University of Delaware star has proven to be a big acquisition for the Streets. Arena Football is back in New York after an eleven year absence and Jones has made an immediate impact while also becoming a fan favorite. He was able to enjoy some interaction with the crowd during the home opener thanks to the intimacy of the Westchester County Center.
The fans are right on top of the game and Jones loves it.
“I liked that,” said Jones. “It was very different. I felt like the fans were very into the game. They have views like no other. They’re right there next to the action. I was telling one of my teammates that was the first time I had those kind of interactions with fans being there close to the game. As soon as I scored a touchdown, people are grabbing my face so that was pretty cool.”
In the first two games, the Streets outscored their opponents 122-72 and Jones has played a huge role in that success. He has been a threat with the short passing game as well as with Nemeth firing the deep ball down the field. One of Jones’ touchdown passes this past week came on a shovel pass and he’s also the Streets’ kick returner.
For an expansion team to have an offensive weapon like this is unique.
“Rob is a special athlete and we are utilizing his talents,” said Marsilio. “His fast success will open up opportunities for our younger receivers as we move deep into the season. Rob always becomes a fan favorite as shown this past week in our home opener. Rob has the ability to have a breakout season and we are only seeing about half of what he can add to our team.”
The Streets are unbeaten through two games and enjoying a bye week before returning to the field next Saturday May 4th in Carolina. Jones an company may be 2-0, but it’s clear that they have received Marsilio’s message that this team has not even scratched the surface of what they can do.
“Like coach said, we’re not even a good team yet,” said Jones. “We aren’t even clicking on all cylinders how we should be. The chemistry is there but we’re all knocking off a little bit of rust.”
An expansion team that is 2-0 with a high-octane offense but isn’t even “a good team yet”?
That’s bad news for the rest of the National Arena League because right now Rob Jones and the New York Streets are on fire. How do you get hotter than being on fire? The Streets are hard at work during the bye week figuring out just how to do that before returning to the practice field next week.
The Streets’ next home game is on Saturday May 18th against the Massachusetts Pirates at 7pm. For season and group ticket information, please call 1-833-697-8733 and choose extension one. Individual tickets for Streets home games are available at www.ticketmaster.com.