Week 11 - Nighthawks hand Storm 1st loss, 44-36 Apr 29, 2017 20:28:32 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Apr 29, 2017 20:28:32 GMT -8
WICHITA FALLS, TX - The United Conference playoff race just got a whole lot tighter.
The Wichita Falls Nighthawks handed the Sioux Falls Storm their first loss of the season tonight, 44-36.
That, coupled with the Iowa Barnstormers' 33-21 win over the Colorado Crush, engulfed the United Conference with a playoff race after week 11 in which three teams are divided by just one game in the standings. The Storm are still in the driver's seat at 8-1, with the Nighthawks standing at 8-2 and the Barnstormers at 7-2.
Wichita Falls took a 28-19 halftime lead and repeatedly held off the Storm in the second half. But, it was the running of Tyler Williams which really propelled the Nighthawks to the win. Williams scored a quartet of touchdowns, including three in the first half, to pace his team.
With the Nighthawks leading 21-19, they extended that advantage on Troy Evans 19-yard pass from Charles McCullum with one minute left in the second quarter. On the first drive of the second half, they went up 34-19 on McCullum's three-yard pass to Demarius Washington.
Each team managed only a field goal in the fourth quarter.
The game was fairly even statistically with the Nighthawks outgaining the Storm 230 to 227 yards. The Nighthawks had the advantage in passing (160 to 98), while the Storm had a recognizable edge in rushing (129 to 70). The Storm were flagged for 11 infractions for 73 yards, while the Nighthawks had four penalties for 22 yards.
McCullum completed 23 of 34 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Williams rushed for 52 yards on 19 carries to go with his four touchdowns. Jordan Jolly caught 11 passes for 71 yards. Michael Green 7.5 tackles and two interceptions for the Nighthawks.
Lorenzo Brown went 12 of 22 for 98 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. He rushed seven times for 55 yards. Korey Williams had four rushes for 51 yards. Drew Powell and three grabs for 45 yards and a touchdowns, while Rashard Smith caught four passes for 37 yards. Tyler Knight and Carlton Watkins each had nine total tackles for the Storm.
The Nighthawks (8-2) are at home against the Nebraska Danger (2-8) on May 5 at 5:05 p.m. The Storm (8-1) will host the Spokane Empire (6-2) on May 6 in a rematch of last season's United Bowl. Kickoff for that is 5:05 p.m. All times are pacific time. Both of those games, as well as all of the leagues games this season are available for streaming on the IFL's Youtube channel.
(Graphic courtesy SCtoC)
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