Week 15 - Nighthawks cool Storm, 36-21 May 28, 2017 11:59:41 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on May 28, 2017 11:59:41 GMT -8
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The Wichita Falls Nighthawks scored 24 straight points in the second and third quarters as they handed the Sioux Falls Storm their first home loss in more than seven seasons.
Wichita Falls' 36-21 win muddies the United Conference playoff picture even more so than it already was. The Storm and Iowa Barnstormers are tied atop the standings with 11-2 records, while the Nighthawks are just one game back at 10-3. Should it come down to a tiebreaker between the two teams, the Nighthawks would get the nod due to their 2-1 season series win over Sioux Falls. The Storm and Barnstormers will play the final week of the season.
The Storm won the first meeting between the teams on March 25 by a 55-21 score. Five weeks later the Nighthawks won the second match up, 44-36.
Trailing 7-3 heading into the second quarter, the Nighthawks scored on a four-yard run from Tyler Williams to take the lead 15 seconds into the quarter.They added to that four minutes later on Charles McCullum's two-yard pass to Demarius Washington. Wichita Falls added to that lead with 1:28 left in the first half on a 29-yard field goal from Rockne Belmonte. The Nighthawks increased their lead to 27-7 midway through the third quarter on a one-yard pass from McCullum to Troy Evans.
The Storm cut into the lead later in the third on Robbie Rouse's one-yard pass from Lorenzo Brown. The Nighthawks answered with a 20-yard field goal to open the scoring in the final quarter.
Sioux Falls drew to within 31-20 on Brown's eight-yard pass to Eric Shufford. Wichita Falls iced the win on a McCullum's one-yard run with 3:22 left in the game.
The 21 points by the Storm is their lowest of the season. Their previous low of 40 came in a week 1 win over the Arizona Rattlers.
Sioux Falls held a slight edge in total offense, 192 yards to 182, and in passing yards, 149 to 135. The Nighthawks were penalized eight times for 41 yards, while the Storm were flagged 10 times for 66 yards. The teams combined to convert just three of 16 third downs, and neither team was able to convert on fourth down.
McCullum went 18 of 30 for 135 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and also ran for a score. Williams rushed 14 times for 38 yards and a score. Jordan Jolly caught six passes for 52 yards. Washington finished with four catches for 37 yards and a score, while Evans had five receptions for 28 yards and a touchdown. Tony Grimes led the defense with six total tackles. Robert Haynes had a fumble recovery and Michael Green intercepted a pass.
Browm completed 12 of 26 passes for 158 yards for three touchdowns and an interception. He also ran 11 rimes for 18 yards. Mike Tatum had 23 yards on four carries. Korey Williams led the receiving corps with four catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. Melvin German had 2 receptions for 42 yards, and Shufford and Rouse each had a touchdown catch. The defense was paced by the 9.5 total tackles and three tackles for loss. Korey Williams had 8.5 total tackles and Matt Hermanson had eight total tackles. Williams and Hermanson each also had an interception.
The Nighthawks (10-3) will visit the Green Bay Blizzard (2-12) on June 3 at 5:05 p.m. The Storm (11-2) will visit the Colorado Crush (3-10) on June 3 at 4 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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