8000 fans watch Warriors shine in debut, 70-16

03/02/03 NIFL Fan Article by Philip J. Rogich, Syracuse, UT

     March 1, 2003. The Utah Warriors came to play in their Pre-season exhibition game against the Rapid City Red Dogs. The Warriors looked like anything but an expansion team in their first game ever. The game was played in the West Valley City E - Center in front of 8270 screaming fans. The E - Center was also the site of Mens Hockey at the 2002 Olympics.

     On the first offensive play of the game, Danny Ragsdale showed why he was last years league MVP. He threw a 42 yard strike to Cory Grow for a touchdown. Ragsdale ended the night 25 of 18 for 237 yards and 5 touchdowns. His go to man was Cory Grow who had 4 grabs for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Red Dogs came back and scored the next possession but missed the extra point. The Red Dogs kept it close the first half down only 26 -16.

     Leading the team in scoring and total yardage was Running Back Omar Bacon. He had 117 total yards (50 rushing, 45 receiving, & 22 kick returns) and 3 touchdowns (2 rushing & 1 receiving). Bacon played behind Mike Anderson of the Denver Broncos at the University of Utah. Emmitt White also looked good with 90 total yards (30 rushing, 45 receiving, & 15 kick returns) and 2 touchdowns (1 rushing & 1 receiving). Pete Garces was 7 of 9 on extra points and kicked a 44 yard field goal.

     The Warriors defense was stifling. They gave up only 16 points in the first half and shut the Red Dogs out in the second half. They had several stops inside their own 10 yard line. The defense won the turnover battle intercepting the ball 4 times and recovering 3 fumbles. Leading the way was Jason Potter with 2 interceptions and a fumble recovery. Shawn Kojima recovered a fumble for a touch down in the last seconds of the game. Big men Jason Ah-You & Henry Kaufusi had a sack each,

     Are the Warriors an NILF powerhouse? Was this a pre-season fluke? Only time will tell, however they played a great game tonight. Final score Warriors 71 - Red Dogs 16.

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