Warriors beat Outlaws in Wild West Shootout

03/26/03 NIFL Fan Article by Philip J. Rogich, Syracuse, UT

It was like two gun-slingers meeting at high noon when the NIFL’s two top quarterbacks (Danny Ragsdale &Albert Higgs) met this Saturday. The game featured last years league MVP vs. last years championship runners up. Both had a few miss fires but were both deadly. The lead was flying as the two teams combined for 101 points and 544 total yards. Danny Ragsdale ended the game 24 of 34, 270 Passing Yds, 34 Rushing Yds, 6 touchdowns & 2 INT. Ragsdale proved he was to better quarterback that night. While his opponent Albert Higgs (formerly of the Utah Rattlers) was 18 of 32, 222 Passing Yds, 1 yard Rushing, 4 touchdowns & 2 INT. Higgs handled his loss well, talking with fans and Warriors players after the game.

Higgs started the game gunning. On the second offensive play he threw a 33 yard TD to Bryan Meier. Higgs missed the extra point kick. Utah answered back with the help of Billings. Billings had a key 4th down defensive penalty which kept the drive alive. The drive ended with a 10 yard pass to Emmett White for a TD. Utah’s defense had three key stops while their offense continued to score. Utah was up by 24 at the half and the game looked to be over.

Higgs and the Outlaws were not ready to throw in the towel. 3 TD passes by Higgs and 2 interceptions by Ragsdale got the Outlaws rolling again. The Outlaws were able to get with-in two points. The Warriors defense showed they were made of strong stuff as they stopped a Outlaw drive. A Ragsdale to Emmett White TD pass with extra point kick put the Warriors up by eight. Two key interceptions in the last two minutes by wild man Garrett White (he also had three tackles) put the game on ice for the Warriors.

The player of the game was former Outlaw, Jason Quinn. The Outlaws released him at the end of the season last year. He paid them back with 120+ yards and 4 TD’s. He made several high flying incredible catches. After the game I asked him how scoring four touchdowns on his former team felt? He stated, " it feels great, I am on a natural high!" Other key offensive players were Omar Bacon with 87 all purpose yards & 2 rushing TD’s and Emmett White with close to 100 all purpose yards & 2 TD catches. Former Outlaw Cory Grow was somewhat quiet as he drew double coverage most of the night, However he had a key pass interference call that went his way, that set up a score.

The Warrior defense looked good with several stops. Shawn Kojima and Rob Love lead the defense with seven tackles each. Mike Thomas had a sack. Newcomer Danielle Rollins Kendell (formerly of Bismarck) looked good at Linebacker for only joining the team on Thursday with four tackles. Jeff Main had five tackles while Potter and Ah You each got four. Lance Sopoaga did leave the game early with an injury but should be ready to play next week.

The pre game was very patriotic. A large American flag was brought out by members of the Armed Forces and the Warrior Dancers. About 4000 small American Flags were also given out to the near record breaking crowd of 7900. At half time fan Rob Benson got down on a knee and proposed to Elisha Vaculin on the field. The first person to congratulate them was quarterback Danny Ragsdale.

This game looks to be the start of a great new rivalry. The Warriors won a close game at home. The rematch is next week in Billings. It’s sure to be a barn burner, don’t miss it.


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