Road warriors? 4th quarter rally gives Night Train first road win in history

04/30/03 Jason Christopherson

It seems as though SOMEONE was reading this column last week.

My friend Chris (thanks for being the super substitute!) titled his column “It’s Not How You Start, It’s How You Finish”.  The La Crosse Night Train took that line to heart, rallying from a 29-26 deficit late in the third quarter to beat Show Me 50-29 on Saturday night in Missouri.  The victory was the first road win in franchise history, and the first victory for new head coach Reggie Mathis.  It was also important in that it evened the Night Train’s record at 3-3, only one game behind Sioux City, the division leader in the Pacific North.

Larry Henderson and Johnny Johnson had breakout-type games.  Henderson tallied 137 yards on eight catches, three of which going for touchdowns.  Johnson connected on 11 of 19 for 144 yards and also added 57 yards rushing to help fill the void left by the departure of Chris Floyd.  Johnson hurt his ankle in the fourth quarter and had to leave the game.  On came Sean Hoolihan, the former UW-Eau Claire standout quarterback that was just signed to a contract this week.  And “Hooly” didn’t miss a beat, going 3-3 for 37 yards and a score while also rushing five yards for another TD. 

Defensively, Azriel Woodson had the game’s only interception to go along with his six tackles.  Lorenzo Guess had ten tackles and “Marvelous” Marvin Hooker added seven.

Kicker Brett Gorden had a rough night, connecting on only one of four field goal attempts.  Two of the kicks were blocked.

The Night Train returns home for the first of a two-game home stand Friday, as they will “meat” the always-dangerous Omaha Beef.  Omaha is in second place in the division with a 3-2 mark, but they are a perfect 3-0 in the division, which is key considering how tight this playoff race is and will continue to be.  General Manager Michael Grego reported that Johnny Johnson’s injury is minor and he is expected to start for the Night Train.

Let’s pack the Train station again!  See you there…

p.s.  On a personal note, I would like to send my thanks to Coach Mike Brown for being such a good friend to me.  He basically wrote this column with his insightful quotes—something that really helped out a rookie writer like myself.  Good luck, Coach.  By the same token, I congratulate Coach Mathis on the job, and the win.  Hopefully it will be one of many more this season.

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