McAfee shows up former teammates with five TDs
06/23/02 Lake Charles American Press
Shadrick McAfee's former collegiate teammates were prepared for him. The rest of the Louisiana Rangers were not.
In their final regular-season home game, McAfee touched the ball 10 times and scored five touchdowns to lead the Lake Charles LandSharks to a 48-26 win over the Rangers from Alexandria.
"I talked to some of my old teammates and they said some of the guys were underestimating me," said McAfee, who attended the University of Central Arkansas with Louisiana's Jacobe Austin, Tarvares Wynn and Derrick Lewis. "I don't like to take a lot of credit because we have a bunch of guys on this team that produce, but I wanted to come out and show them that I could do what I did."
McAfee had touchdown receptions of 30 and 18 yards and scored on runs of 2, 3 and 1 yard. He finished with five receptions for 105 yards and five carries for 4 yards.
"In this league if you have one guy who can step up like that and take it to the next level then you will be successful," said LandSharks coach Kip Texada, whose team improved to 12-1. "There is no telling what Shadrick can do. The sky is the limit for him."
The Rangers outgained Lake Charles 200 yards to 157, but only had four scores to show for their effort.
Wynn led all rushers with 85 yards on 17 carries for the Rangers.
Louisiana (6-6) closes out the season at home against Tupelo and needs a win to make the playoffs, and possible force a rematch with the LandSharks. The two teams would have faced each other in the first-round had the season ended before the game.
"We kept them off balance most of the night," said McAfee. "By keeping them off balance we were able to connect on some big plays. It just happened that they were on my side of the field."
The LandSharks, already guaranteed of a home game to start the playoffs, couldn't be stopped in the first half as they scored on every possession to build a 38-14 advantage at the break.
"We came out and played to the tempo," added Texada. "We scored plenty of points early on and played solid defense in the second half to hold on."
The LandSharks had reason to not take it easy with possible home-field advantage throughout the playoffs at stake if Ohio Valley should happen to lose one of its last two games.
"We came out to win this game," said McAfee. "Just securing a playoff spot is not enough to relax. We took that approach last year, and it hurt us.
"This year, we have kept our same practice schedule and gameplan. We are not going to relax and let what happened last year happen again."
"We did what we wanted to in this game," added Texada. "We finished with no injuries, played smart without mistakes and won the game."