Beef give Warriors fight of their lives

07/19/03 Beef Press Release

Saturday, July 19th the Omaha Civic Auditorium was the site of the NIFL battle of the century as the 2003 Pacific Conference Northern Division Champion Omaha Beef football team, faced the Utah Warriors to determine who would take their place facing the Atlantic Conference Champion, Ohio Valley Greyhounds, and become the National Indoor Football League 2003 National Champions.

Both teams had regular season records of 12- 3 before the playoffs and both teams came into the game with blood in their eyes and winning on their minds.

The war was on from the first second of the game as these modern gladiators readied themselves for battle before a crowd of 4398 cheering fans. The Utah Warriors came away the victors in this arena war by 11, but it wasn't for lack of spirit, ability or trying by the Beef, in this hard played championship game.

The warriors won the toss and decided to receive to start the game. It took the Warriors six minutes, nine plays to cover 41 yards and fight their way through the dynamic defensive line of the Beef to score when #21, Omar Bacon took it in from the one yard line to make the score 6-0 in favor of Utah. The Warriors kicker, Pete Garces, put it through the uprights to make the score 7-0 for the visiting Utah team with 9:00 left to play in the first quarter.

With only :46 left in the first quarter, Omaha Beef's Clinton Chiles pushed through a tough Utah line from 1 yard out to make the score 7-6 when the unimaginable happened; Chace Long missed the short boot through the goal posts to leave the Beef down by one going into the second quarter.

20 seconds into thee second quarter the Warriors came on strong when #32 Emmett White for the Warriors waltzed in to make the score 13-6. The Warriors kicker, Pete Garces, put it in the air again to bring in the extra point and make the score 14-6 in favor of the team from out west.

Immediately upon entering the game Quarterback, Matt LaFleur saw his chance with only 12:27 left before the half and fox-trotted into the end zone to help the Beef attempt a come back and add 6 points to the score making it 14-12. To vindicate himself, Beef kicker, Chace Long came back to put it through the uprights to bring the Beef to with in one.

Scared their lead and welcome was wearing thin the Warriors came fighting back with 8:53 left to score again as Jason Quinn snuck in to add another six the score and again put distance between the two teams. The Warriors Pete Garces again put it up and through those long skinny outstretched fingers of the goal post to make the score 21-13in favor the Utah team.

The Beef seemed besieged with mistakes that took their toll in the first half of the ball game. With less than 5:00 minutes left quarterback Troy Travis through a long hard bomb that was picked off by Utah's #5, Jay Hill. Hill ran 36 yards to bring it back into Beef territory and set up the next score when Quarterback, Danny Ragsdale hit #1, Jason Quinn from 5 yards out to make the score 27-13. Again Warrior Kicker, Pete Garces put it in the air to make the score 28-13.

The Beef's own Clinton Childs decided to answer the call and grab a quick six points with 2:31 left before the half to help narrow the score and make bring the Beef within 9 points. Chace Long again worked to gain points and add one to the scoreboard to bring the game score to 28-20.

With only: 55 left before the half. Warriors fought back as #21, Omar Bacon, went over the top of the pile from less than a yard out o score again and run the score up to a fourteen point lead. Pete Garces again saw the light between the goalposts and popped another point onto the board to add still another point to make the score35-20 in favor of the Warriors. Going into the half the score was 35-20 with the Utah team leading by 15.

Stampeding onto the field for the second half it only took the Beef's #40, Keith Mercer 6:03 to recover a fumble and start the war games again.
Following suite, Beefs hard-line kicker, Chace Long put the pigskin up from 46 yards out to add three to the score making it 35-23.

Fired-up for the victory, the Beefs defense charged hard to take over the game as they sacked the Warriors in the end zone for an extra point cashing in on the safety.

Fighting back, the Warriors, #6 Cody Weight, snagged a 33yard pass in the grass to wedge a 17 point lead between them and the Beef. The extra point was good to make the score 42-24 as the Beef continued to fight hard.

The war was wearing thin for the Beef as the Warriors #44 grabbed a Beef fumble with 1:47 left in the third quarter and ran almost the entire length of the field to score making the score 49-24 after Utah kicker, Garces put up the extra point.

Going into the forth quarter, the Beef were 25 points in the rears as the war went on. The two battle weary teams began to show the toll this game takes on these big hardened bruisers with every snap of the ball and every inch of turf they fought so gallantly for.

With only 10:37 left in this championship game the warriors #32, Emmett White pushed in from 10 yards out to score for Utah again pushing a bigger wedge between the two teams and making the score 55-27 in the Warriors favor. Again, Utah kicker, Pete Garces, found the uprights and grabbed the extra point to push the score up 56-27 widening the Warriors lead by 29 blood soaked points.

Not to be discounted, the Omaha Beef fought back with 7:43 left in the game as #9, Jesse Von Behren pushed in to score six much needed points and bring the score up to 33-56 with the Beef still trailing. In less than 20 seconds after scoring, quarterback Matt LaFleur hit Von Behren again for the two points making it 35-56.

Widening the gap even further, Warriors #1, Jason Quinn, marched in to score another six points with only 5:39 left and push the score to 62-35. Again, Utah kicker, Pete Garces added the extra point with a good boot into the end zone making it 63-35 their favor.

The Beef's Steven Lovell hit the ground running as Quarterback, Matt LaFleur hit him with a hard bullet from five yards out to add six much needed points to the Beef's favor and bring the score to within 21. Quarterback, Matt LaFleur decided to sneak in to the end zone for two extra points and push the score to 43-62 with only 3:00 minutes left.

Never willing to give up Beef's #25; Dante Jones snagged a hard pass from the Warriors to run 30 quick yards to the seven and to set up the next quick six point score as Steven Lovell, #44 caught one of Matt LaFleur's rockets in the end zone to bring the score to within 13. Beef Quarterback, Matt LaFleur quickly saw the opportunity to capitalize on a quick two point play and snuck into the grass to bring the score to only an 11 point game with the score 62-51.

The Beefs noble effort to finish off a great winning season with a championship didn't materialize this year, but the team can walk away from the season knowing they are the 2003 Pacific Conference Northern Division Champions and have earned the respect of the rest of the NIFL and the fans in Omaha.

Congratulations to the Noddles, Coach Sanders, and the rest team and administrative staff for a great season of fun for the Omaha community. Thanks for providing the spirit and winning attitude that makes the Omaha Beef #1 in our hearts, win or loose.




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