Week 6 Wrap-up

04/21/03 – Randy Schad

Welcome to the Week 6 spelling lesson, brought to you by Dusty Bonner, Matt Strand, and the letters "T" and "D" -- as in, 6 of 'em. Ready? Let's begin: There's no "D" in "Pacific West"... There's no "W" in "Oklahoma" either... "La Crosse" has a new coach, and both begin with "L"... Omaha's Clinton Childs is awarded the Grade "A" seal... Any questions?

Billings 54 @ Wyoming 62
The Outlaws and the Cavalry combined for 644 yards of total offense, 118 points, and a back-and-forth game that wasn't decided until late in the fourth quarter. With 1:37 remaining and nursing a 56-54 lead, Wyoming RB Anthony Simmons tossed the ball to WR Charlie Ricks for a 7-yard score. Three plays later, it was Simmons again, intercepting an Albert Higgs pass at the Wyoming 5-yard line to douse the late comeback attempt. Higgs completed 50% of his 26 passes, throwing for 251 yards, 5 TDs, and 3 picks. Wyoming QB Matt Strand finished 12 of 29 for 215 yards, 4 passing TDs, 2 rushing TDs, and 1 INT. Outlaws WR Bryan Meier led the receivers this week with 7 catches for 162 yards and 3 TDs.

Show Me 46 @ Omaha 54
Clinton Childs is this week's main attraction, rushing for 140 yards and 5 touchdowns as Omaha held off a late comeback to hand the Believer's their third straight loss. With just over 3 minutes remaining and ahead 43-33, Omaha QB Troy Travis bobbled a snap at the Believer's 1-yard line, which was eventually picked up by Show Me DB Donald Harris and returned 34 yards for a touchdown. An Omaha field goal was answered by Show Me QB Rick Little as he ran it in from 2 yards out, tying the score at 46-46 with 1:22 left on the clock. Childs put the Beef back on top when he scored his final touchdown of the night with 21 seconds to go. A rouge point scored on the ensuing kickoff was the icing on the cake.

Lincoln 41 @ Lacrosse 35
Capitols rusher John Hall held the weight of the offense, posting 105 yards on 21 carries and 4 touchdowns, but it was defense that made the difference. Less than a minute into the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 35, Night Train QB Johnny Johnson was intercepted by Capitols DB Chris Stimmel, who returned it 38 yards for the score. The scoreboard remained unchanged for the remaining 14 minutes, and La Crosse left their home field with their second straight loss, dropping to 2-3. Lincoln, improving to 2-3, hosts Tri-City (2-3) next week.

Night Train Head Coach Reggie Mathis led the team for the first time this week, replacing former coach Mike Brown who was fired last week after starting the season 2-2. Coach Mathis has apparently earned the respect of the players already, as evident by Johnny Johnson's statement appearing in the La Crosse Tribune following the loss. "If we capitalize on our opportunities, we win this game by 20 points. There were too many errors, too many mental mistakes. Coach Mathis put us in the best possible position to win this game."

Houma 33 @ Austin 44
The Rockers, in their inaugural home game, gave the fans something to cheer about as they evened their record at 2-2. Austin RB Shon Mitchell carried the bulk of the load, 13 times for 82 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Bayou Bucks, now 2-3 after losing the first three games of their 4-game road trip, round out their tough away schedule next week at Lake Charles. Austin hosts winless Oklahoma.

Sioux Falls 48 @ Bismarck 58
The Roughriders scored 15 points as they overcame a 45-40 fourth quarter deficit to topple the Storm. QB Chris Schwab reached the 200 yard passing mark, completing 18 of 26 with 5 TDs and a sole interception. Storm passer Ryan Johnson accounted for the majority of the offense, rushing for 2 touchdowns and throwing for 2 more as he tallied 84 yards rushing and 88 yards passing. Sioux Falls (3-2) travels to Utah (3-1) next week, and Bismarck hosts Sioux part deux, as the 4-1 Bandits roll into town.

Fort Wayne 48 @ Tennessee 65
After scoring 27 points in the second quarter, "everything just fell apart," Freedom Head Coach Rich Huff told the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. The Riverhawks, guided by part-time starter Steve Christie, overcame their 11-point deficit by scoring 24 points in the final quarter of play, and the Tennessee defense intercepted Freedom QB Antoine Taylor within the final minute to end any hopes of a comeback. Christie finished 8 of 14 for 150 yards, one touchdown toss, and a 2-yard TD scamper. The 'Hawks have won their second straight, moving up to 2-2, while the Freedom have lost two in a row, also 2-2.

Continuing the coverage of the RiverHawks front office, Heath Shuler submitted his official resignation to the organization last Thursday after a failure to reconcile differences with GM/Offensive Coordinator Garmez Parks. As reported by the Knoxville News Sentinel, Shuler said, "I've got a lot of respect for John Candlish. I just can't work with Garmez (Parks). I was looking for an apology and I never received one," referring to the misunderstanding that took place when Parks claimed Shuler quit following a meeting regarding his financial package.

Parks and Defensive Coordinator Mark Bradley cooperated again this week to handle coaching duties. There has been no word yet regarding a replacement, though there is speculation that Parks will take over as Head Coach for the remainder of the season.

Tri-City 20 @ Sioux City 53
The Diesel, after starting 2-0, have dropped three straight and were stifled offensively for the second week in a row. The Bandits held Tri-City to 28 yards rushing, 78 yards net passing, and just 1 offensive touchdown. The sole highlight for the Diesel was a Justin Comstock 53-yard kickoff return late in the third quarter. The Sioux City defensive stand was led by defensive lineman Jesse Wavrunek, who recorded 3 sacks, 10 tackles (8 solo, 3 for a loss), and a forced fumble. Tri-City continues their road trip in Lincoln (2-3) next week, while Sioux City (4-1) heads to Bismarck (2-3).

Oklahoma 20 @ Lexington 61
Horsemen QB Dusty Bonner threw for 213 yards and 6 touchdowns enroute to their 41-point decimation of the Crude. Dougie Allen, in addition to his touchdown reception on the game's opening drive, also returned a kickoff 50 yards for a touchdown for the second straight week. The Crude offense continues to struggle, gaining only 141 yards on 60 plays this week. Oklahoma, winless in 16 straight games, travels to Austin (2-2) next week, while Lexington, improving to 2-1, visits Tennessee (2-2).

Utah 42 @ Rapid City 48
The Red Dogs, down by 10 at the half, put up 21 points through the second half before the Warriors were able to respond with 2:49 left in regulation. Aaron Turner's 19-yard chip-shot field goal with a minute and a half remaining gave Rapid City the 6-point lead, which the defense secured when Rickie Davis intercepted a tipped pass in the end zone in the final seconds of play. Warriors QB Danny Ragsdale again put up all-star numbers, going 25-37 for 234 yards, 4 touchdowns, and a pick. Ragsdale's favorite target, Cory Grow, had 9 catches for 100 yards and 2 TDs.

Myrtle Beach 15 @ Ohio Valley 41
The Greyhounds won their 19th straight home game and remain undefeated, at the expense of the Stingrays. The Hounds defense, in usual top form, limited Myrtle Beach to a dismal 76 yards of total offense in the one-sided contest, which was made evident by the 27-3 score and the Stingrays' 33 total yards at halftime. Ohio Valley hosts the Freedom (2-2) next week, who the Hounds defeated in Fort Wayne last week. Myrtle Beach, now 1-3, continues their road trip to winless Evansville.

Lake Charles 61 @ Beaumont 20
The LandSharks dominated the Atlantic East rival Drillers in almost every aspect, maintaining their undefeated status. Drillers QB Derrick Taite was intercepted 5 times (twice by Warren St. Junious, twice by Anthony Porter, and once by Darnell Lee), Jacobe Austin returned a kickoff 35 yards for a touchdown, and Michael Warren recorded a safety late in the game to contribute to Beaumont's demise. Lake Charles also held the Drillers to 171 yards of total offense. Lake Charles hosts Houma (2-3) next week, while the Drillers, now 4-1, look to rebound at winless Tupelo.

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