LandSharks dominate Bayou Bucks, remain perfect

04/28/02 Lake Charles American Press
One week after blaming a lackluster offensive performance on a playing surface that was set directly on top of the ice of a hockey rink, a trio of Lake Charles LandSharks were not looking for any excuses after they scored just three first-half points against the expansion Houma Bayou Bucks.

Instead, Shadrick McAfee, Raymond James and Byron Allen demanded a better effort in the second half. They got it, and the LandSharks dominated the final two quarters en route to a 37-16 victory Saturday at the Lake Charles Civic Center to remain unbeaten in the National Indoor Football League.

"For the past two weeks, we have come out kind of flat, but at halftime tonight our leaders stood up and told the team they were tired of it, and we had to step it up," quarterback Ted Robison said.

"Then we were able to come out and give a much better effort in the second half," he said. "Those guys are great leaders for us. After they stood up and gave us that pep talk, we came back really strong in the second half."

Strong to the tune of five touchdowns on five offensive possessions, including four touchdown passes from Robison.

"The offensive coordinator (James Shiver Jr.) told us at halftime to just take what the offense gave us, and told us where the soft stops were in their defense," Robison said.

"I was struggling in the first half, but after coach told us what adjustments to make, we started to click in the second half."

With Houma ahead 6-3 at the half, the LandSharks (5-0) and Bayou Bucks (1-4) traded scores on the first four possessions of the second half, with the LandSharks getting a pair of touchdowns on a 4 yard run by Allen and a 29 yard pass from Robison to Eric Young.

The Bayou Bucks scored 10 points on a 2-yard run by quarterback Aubrey Jones and a 24-yard field goal by Chris Stropollo, but would not get another first down for the rest of the game.

The LandSharks defensive line harassed Jones into a 3-for-17 passing performance.

Defensive end Kendall Shello had three sacks and constantly forced Jones out of the pocket.

"We told him all week that he had to get to the quarterback and put some pressure on him, and that is what he did all night tonight," LandSharks head coach Kip Texada said of Shello.

"That is how we win, with a great defense," Texada said. "Whenever you can hold a team to 16 points in this league, you are going to win 95 percent of the time. Our defense shut them down, and the offense came around in the second half."

Robison connected with Allen and McAfee for a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

"Our defense has been carrying us all year, but now the offense is starting to come around some," Robinson said.

"The offensive line did a great job of giving me time and the receivers made big plays as always. I was getting frustrated with myself in the first half, but Coach Shiver made some great adjustments and we were able to come out and control the second half."

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