Week 11 - Empire rallies; holds off Screaming Eagles, 31-29 Apr 30, 2017 19:23:38 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Apr 30, 2017 19:23:38 GMT -8
SPOKANE, WA - The Salt Lake Screaming Eagles were just a two-point conversation away from sending it into overtime, but Verlon Reed's pas into the end zone fell incomplete.
The result was a 31-29 win for the Spokane Empire over the Screaming Eagles tonight.
Reed's four-yard touchdown pass to Juwan Dotson pulled Salt Lake to within two. After the play, Dotson tossed the ball into the stands and was flagged for the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That moved the 2-point attempt from the three yard line all the way back to the 18, making Reeds attempt essentially a Hail Mary.
The Empire were down 23-17 heading into the final quarter. They scored on a 14-yard pass from Charles Dowdell with 2:21 to go to pull ahead by a single point. With the Empire attempting to run out the clock, Dowdell broke through the line and scampered for 30 yards for the touchdown with 24 seconds left.
After James Calhoun returned the ensuing kickoff to the Spokane 16 yard line, Reed went to work. It took just three plays to work the ball down to the four, setting up the final touchdown to Dotson.
It was a slug fest in the first half, with the Screaming Eagles managing a 10-9 lead at the intermission.
The Empire struck first, two minutes into the second quarter on Brendon Garcia's 20-yard field goal. Salt Lake came right back with a 10-yard pass from Reed to Dotson. Spokane went up later in the second on Bryan Pray's five-yard touchdown catch from Dowdell. The Screaming Eagles closed out the quarter on a 37-yard field goal from Josh Wilson.
Kickers Garcia and Wilson were each appearing in their first games for their respective teams. Garcia replaced Craig Peterson who signed a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League. Peterson was in attendance at the game. Wilson was signed to replace Trent Andrus, who was put on season-ending injured reserve earlier this week by the Screaming Eagles.
Calhoun, who had a stellar game for the Screaming Eagles, scored on a 15-yard interception return early in the third quarter. Mulku Kolokoh enabled the Empire to tie the game at 17-17 on a five-yard run. Dotson scored on an 18-yard pass from Reed with 2:25 to go in the third, but Wilson's extra point attempt was no good.
Spokane held a decided edge in total offense, 228 yards to 103. The Empire had 99 rushing yards and 129 yards passing, while the Screaming Eagles tallied 27 and 76, respectively. The Screaming Eagles were penalized 11 times for 115 yards while the Empire were flagged four times for 73 yards.
Dowdell completed 19 of 33 pases for 153 yards and two touchdowns. He tossed three interceptions and was also sacked three times. Dowdell rushed four times for 56 yards and a score, while Mulku Kalokoh added 40 yards on seven carries to his touchdown run. Kalokoh also caught six balls for 33 yards. Pray had seven receptions for 63 yards and a pair of scores. John Hardy-Tuliau led the Empire with 6.5 total tackles and Nick Haag had 5.5 total tackles and a sack.
Calhoun was stellar throughout the night, intercepting Dowdell three times and returning one for a touchdown. He also recorded 5.5 total tackles.
Reed completed 14 of 28 of his passes for 78 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 16 yards. Dotson led all receivers with eight catches for 51 yards and three touchdowns. Devin Mahina added three grabs for 28 yards. Jerome McElroy let the Screaming Eagles with 6.5 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Kelvin Lee had 6.5 tackles and Ed Burns had six for the Screaming Eagles.
The Empire (7-2) will visit the defending champion Sioux Falls Storm (8-1) on May 6 at 5:05 p.m. The Screaming Eagles (1-8) will visit the Colorado Crush (2-7) on May 8 for an IFL version of Monday Night Football. Kickoff for that one is set for 6 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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