Week 17 - Blizzard freeze Screaming Eagles, 37-34 Jun 10, 2017 19:46:13 GMT -8
Post by DiamondThief on Jun 10, 2017 19:46:13 GMT -8
GREEN BAY, WI - Kenny Veal's game-saving interception with two seconds left preserved a 37-34 season-ending home win for the Green Bay Blizzard in front of their home crowd tonight over the Salt Lake Screaming Eagles.
It was just the third win of the season for Green Bay, which was playing its sixth game without their starting quarterback, Matt Behrendt, who was lost to injury in week 10. This also was the Blizzard's only home win of the season. Like the Cedar Rapids Titans, the Blizzard have a bye in week 18 meaning they finish 3-13 overall and in fourth place in the United Conference.
Darryan Ragsdale's 32 yard scamper put the Blizzard up by three with 2:27 left, setting up Salt Lake's dramatic final drive. A trio of incomplete passes intended for Devin Mahina forced the Screaming Eagles into a fourth-and-10 situation. Quarterback Reed found Chris Robinson for 13 yards for the first down and a face mask penalty tacked on 15 yards to give Salt Lake the ball at the Green Bay 17. A 14-yard run from Reed put the Screaming Eagles in the red zone. After a couple rushes were unable to reach the end zone, it brought up third-and-goal at the three. Reed threw toward the back and right side of the end zone, with Veal coming up with the pick.
The Screaming Eagles fell to 4-11 with the loss, setting up a June 16 showdown with the Spokane Empire in the week 18 season finale. The Empire have defeated the Screaming Eagles in each of the three previous meetings between the teams.
In a defensive first quarter, it was Jeff Budzien of the Blizzard, who put his team up 3-0 on a 17 yard field goal. It would be the only score of the quarter. Budzien made three of his four field goal attempts of the night.
Green Bay added to their lead when Jack Bramswig caught a 22-yard touchdown strike from Greg McGhee early in the second quarter. Salt Lake went on to score 20 straight points. Reed found Chris Robinson for 34 yards to get the Screaming Eagles on the board. Lucien Walker and Reed scored on one- and four-yard runs, respectively, and they were up 20-10. Green Bay cut into that when Tyrell Pearson returned the next kickoff 54 yards for the score. Salt Lake had a chance at the end of the half to punch it into the end zone, but were unable to do so.
The second half started out with a series of turnovers by both teams before the Blizzard tied the game at 20 apiece on Budzien's 21-yard field goal with 4:51 left in the third quarter. Reed's 23-yard run put the Screaming Eagles up by a touchdown before McGhee tied it again with his one-yard run.
Reed found Devin Mahina's for a 17-yard touchdown and the Screaming Eagles were once again ahead, 34-27. Budzien pulled Green Bay to within four and the defense stopped Salt Lake on downs on their ensuing possession. Ragsdale's 32-yard run capped a three-play, 39-yard drive which took just over a minute and a half.
The Screaming Eagles dominated in total offense, more than tripling the Blizzard in first downs, 20 to six, and doubling them in total offense, 291 to 146. Salt Lake was flagged nine times for 61 yards, while Green Bay had six penalties for 55 yards.
McGee completed just three of his attempts for 59 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. All three of those completions went to Bramswig. McGhee also ran for 15 yards and a touchdown. Ragsdale had 72 yards on 15 rushes with a trip to the end zone. J.D. Roussel finished with 9.5 total tackles, while Veal and Cory Grissom each recorded an interception.
Reed completed 13 of 30 passes for 192 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He ran 14 times for 80 yards and two scores. Lucien Walker had 165 yards on seven carries and a touchdown. Mahina led all receivers with five grabs for 73 yards and a touchdown. Robinson finished with four receptions for 65 yards and a score. James Calhoun had seven total tackles and his IFL-leading ninth interception, which he nearly returned for a touchdown. Rashad Green also picked off McGhee.
The Blizzard, who snapped an 11-game losing streak, completed the regular season 3-13 overall. They were 1-7 at home and 2-6 on the road, and 2-9 in United Conference play. The win over the Screaming Eagles was their first and only win over a team from the Intense Conference.
The Screaming Eagles (4-11) can possibly play spoiler as they close out their season at home against the Spokane Empire (8-7) on June 9 at 6 p.m. (pacific time). If the Empire win and the Nebraska Danger lose their finale to the Wichita Falls Nighthawks, the Empire would make it in as the second seed from the Intense Conference. If the Empire lose, or the Danger win, The Danger would become the second seed.
The regular season finale between Salt Lake and Spokane will be audio streamed at 700ESPN. A video stream also will be featured on the gaming website Twitch.
(Graphic courtesy SCtoC)
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