Week 15 - Defense lifts Screaming Eagles over Titans, 64-27 May 29, 2017 20:09:15 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on May 29, 2017 20:09:15 GMT -8
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT - Defensive back James Calhoun led a ferocious defensive charge as the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles embarrassed the Cedar Rapids Titans, 64-27, in week 15.
Calhoun intercepted Titans quarterback Brion Carnes three times, returning all three for touchdowns. Fellow defensive back Rashad Greene had a pick-six as well, as the Screaming Eagles held the Titans scoreless in the second half. For their part, Salt Lake scored 40 points of their own in the final half.
Calhoun now leads the Indoor Football League in interceptions with seven, interception return yards with 205 yards, and interceptions returned for touchdowns with five. And he has done it in just seven games. Michael Carter and Michael Green, both of the Wichita Falls Nighthawks, each have six interceptions on the season in 10 games apiece.
Salt Lake actually trailed at the half, 27-24 before it took the lead on a one-yard run from Chris Robinson. They extended that to 38-27 on Lucien Walker's 12-yard run with 12:57 left in the fourth quarter. Two-and-a-half minutes later, Greene stepped in front of Carnes' intended receiver just inside the end zone and returned the interception 51 yards for the score.
Then with just over seven minutes left in the half, Calhoun recorded his second pick of the night, returning it 46 yards for the touchdown. Less than five minutes later, he repeated the effort; this time going for 49 yards. With just 31 seconds remaining and the Screaming Eagles simply trying to run out the clock, Walker emerged from the scrum near the line of scrimmage and sprinted 29 yards for the score.
The Titans struck first, less than two minutes into the game, as Carnes' hit Damond Powell for a six-yard touchdown. The Screaming Eagles struck back on a three-yard run from James Poole. On the ensuing Cedar Rapids possession, Calhoun registered his first interception of the night, returning it 31 yards for the score. The Titans tied the game with 5:37 on a eight-yard pass from Carnes to Conner Hollenbeck.
Salt Lake took answered early in the second quarter on a three-yard pass from Verlon Reed to Dontrelle Sanford. Greene's rush for the two-point conversion made it 21-13 in favor of the Screaming Eagles. The Titans cut that to 21-19 on Powell's 36-yard pass from Carnes, and took the lead on Powell's 17 yard pass from Carnes. Newly signed kicker Scott Thomsen cut into Cedar Rapids lead to three points with a 28-yard field goal on the last play of the second quarter.
Powell was outstanding in the first half for the Titans, catching four balls for 66 yards and three scores.
Cedar Rapids actually outgained Salt Lake, 173 yards to 160 yards, but the Screaming Eagles had an 87-yard advantage in the rushing game. Both teams were penalized heavily. Of the accepted penalties, the Screaming Eagles were flagged 11 times for 102 yards, while the Titans were called for 12 infractions for 97 yards.
It was the Screaming Eagles fourth win of the season, second at home, and first win against a team other than the Colorado Crush, whom they have defeated three times.
Reed had an uncharacteristically rough night. He completed nine of 20 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown, while rushing six times for 30 yards. Walker may be the new running back on the block with his four rushes for 44 yards and two scores. Aside from his 29-yard scamper in the final minute of the fourth quarter, his other rushes tallied three carries for 15 yards. Robinson, who scored his rushing touchdown, had two receptions for 29 yards. In addition to his touchdown on the ground, James Poole had a pair of receptions for 17 yards. Ed Burns had seven total tackles, and Villseni Fauonuku and Ben Compton each had a sack.
Carnes, who was effective in the first half with nine of 17 passes for 94 yards with four touchdowns and an interception, did not fare nearly as well in the second half. He finished 20 of 40 passes for 192 yards with those same four touchdowns and four interceptions. Powell finished the game with six receptions for 80 yards and his three scores. Franklyn Williamson caught 41 passes for 41 yards, while Hollenbeck had three catches for 26 yards and a touchdown. Fred Barnes led all defenders with 9.5 total tackles, and Ausar Walcott had a sack.
The Screaming Eagles (4-9) will host the Iowa Barnstormers (11-2) on June 2 at 6 p.m. The Titans (1-13) will be at home against the Nebraska Danger (7-6) on June 3 at 5:05 p.m. All times are pacific time.
Both of those games, as well as most of the leagues games this season are available for streaming on the IFL's Youtube channel. The Screaming Eagles-Barnstormers' game will be broadcast on Twtich TV, which is unsupported by the IFL.
(Graphic courtesy SCtoC)
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