Odessa Drops Opener To Abilene, 39-24
ODESSA, TX: The Odessa Roughnecks and Abilene Ruff Riders opened the 2009 regular season on Monday, April 6, from the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene. Odessa entered the game without several key members of their defensive and offensive line, including Ahmad Childress and Elex Reed, due to injury. The Roughnecks got out to a quick start in the first quarter after RB Tony Taylor fumbled the football in the Ruff Riders end-zone as WR Jimmy Conner recovered it for a touchdown. With Odessa leading 6-3, Abilene struck back quickly after Abilene QB Quincy Carter hooked up with WR Jerale Badon for a 34-yard touchdown pass.
Abilene's 10-6 lead was short-lived in the second quarter after Roughnecks RB Tony Taylor sneaked in a one yard touchdown run giving Odessa a 13-10 advantage. Abilene pulled out in front just before halftime after a questionable two yard touchdown run by Quincy Carter. The Ruff Riders led after two quarters, 17-13.
The second half completely belonged to the Abilene Ruff Riders. Following a Roughnecks field goal to start the third quarter, Quincy Carter found WR Chris Morris for a 23-yard touchdown reception to give Abilene a 24-16 lead. A Jimmy Conner fumble on the ensuing kickoff and a turnover on downs on the following Roughnecks possession led to two more Quincy Carter touchdown passes. The first being a 24-yard strike to Badon and the second was a 16-yard pass to once again WR Chris Morris.
Odessa was able to score late in the fourth quarter following a six-yard touchdown pass from QB Dennis Gile to WR Torrey Day. However, time ran out on the Roughnecks as the Ruff Riders ran the clock out to win the ball game, 39-24.
Quincy Carter finished 18-of-31 for 235 yards passing and five total touchdowns. Dennis Gile went 14-for-24 for 116 yards passing and one touchdown. WR Jimmy Conner collected four receptions for 50 yards including 143 yards on kick returns. WR Chris Morris had a big night for Abilene after registering six catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
Missed opportunities inside the red-zone and time of possession hurt Odessa throughout the game as Abilene registered 292 yards of total offense. Odessa and Abilene have three more meetings in the regular season with the next coming on June 13 in Odessa. Odessa travels to San Angelo to face the Stampede Express on April 11 as the Ruff Riders remain at home to take on the Omaha Beef.
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