Night Train's trip out West ruined by Outlaws

04/28/02 LaCrosse Tribune
BILLINGS, Mont. - La Crosse had a new philosophy and a new quarterback, but the result was the same: A loss.

Billings quarterback Albert Higgs threw for three first-half touchdowns as the Outlaws handed La Crosse its fifth straight loss of the season 48-39 Saturday night at the Billings Metrapark.

Coach John Schimon opted to start 22-year-old former Valparaiso University quarterback Marrial Shields, who signed with the team this week, with Colby Vogt still nursing a shoulder injury. The Night Train also went with a more ground-oriented attack. Unfortunately for La Crosse, it was still susceptible to the big play.

La Crosse (0-5) went three-and-out on the game's first possession. The Outlaws' Keyon Kemp returned the ensuing kick for the game's first touchdown.

The Night Train answered when Doby Howard took a quick pitch for a four-yard touchdown run, but the rest of the first quarter belonged to Billings (6-1). Higgs completed touchdown passes on three consecutive possessions, as Billings stretched its lead to 26-10.

Shields, one of four players added this week by La Crosse, finished the game with three touchdowns, two rushing and one passing. The other three players were Derric Coakley, who made one sack, Darnell Dixon, who caught a touchdown pass, and nose tackle Ted Coleman, who was ejected in the second quarter after a scuffle.

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