Austin Loses To New Orleans, 66-61
NEW ORLEANS-In what was a homecoming for several Wranglers players that are native to Louisiana, Austin traveled to New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Crescent City. It was a rematch
of an overtime thriller from Week 8 when the Wranglers beat the VooDoo 45-38.
This trip, Austin came up short, losing to New Orleans 66-61 at the New Orleans Arena in front of 16,476 fans. The New Orleans Arena is also the home of ArenaBowl XXI on July 29.
These teams both traded scores early, with the Wranglers drawing the first blow as Otis Amey grabbed a 27-yard pass from Lang Campbell. Beginning the game 8-of-8 for two touchdowns, Campbell was 32-of-41 for 356 yards and seven touchdowns. His second incompletion was his only interception on the night, but Austin quickly got the ball back thanks to a VooDoo fumble and a Dane Krager recovery.
With the score at 13-13, Campbell quickly answered back with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Derrick Lewis (New Orleans), his second of the night. He ended the game with 12 catches for 184 yards and three touchdowns, as he put on a show for his family and friends including former Saints wide receiver Michael Lewis who was in attendance.
The VooDoo owned the second quarter as the Wranglers only managed seven points while New Orleans scored 29. Short-handed on offense due to an injury to Aaron Gibson early, the Wranglers utilized defensive linemen Ramon Richardson and Donovan Arp, but the VooDoo's defense was too much to handle. Former Wranglers linebacker Henry Bryant recovered a fumble in the end zone for a touchdown while VooDoo defensive lineman Henry Taylor sacked Campbell for a safety.
Just before halftime, the VooDoo wanted to continue the scoring as they attempted an onside kick and recovered with 56 seconds remaining. Luckily, Wranglers defensive back Toure' Carter was able to pick off VooDoo quarterback Steve Bellisari as time expired in the half.
New Orleans scored on their opening possession of the second half, but Amey began to take over on offense for Austin as he added a receiving and rushing touchdown. He ended the game with four carries for six yards and two touchdowns while grabbing 15 catches for 128 yards and three touchdowns through the air.
Damon Mason (LaPlace, LA) also helped the Wranglers stay close as he intercepted Bellisari in the end zone, preventing another VooDoo score. Mason had 6.5 tackles, one pass breakup and the interception. Austin kept the game within five points for the majority of the fourth quarter and scored with 19 seconds left, but it was too late as they were unable to recover the ensuing onside kick attempt.
Erin Damond was also playing in front of family as he is a Bogalusa, Louisiana native and resides in state during the off season.
Austin travels to Tampa Bay for the 2007 season finale, looking to get revenge against the Storm on Saturday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m. CST. The game will be LIVE on Fox Sports Net Southwest and the Wranglers will hold a watch party at 300 Austin for the game.
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Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from June 17, 2007
- Gladiators Defeated by Avengers, 60-42 - Las Vegas Gladiators
- Thank You, Justin Skaggs - Utah Blaze
- Austin Loses To New Orleans, 66-61 - Austin Wranglers
- Storm Clinch Home Playoff Game - Tampa Bay Storm
- Columbus Destroyers Fall To Soul In The Final Seconds 56-53 - Columbus Destroyers
- SaberCats beat Rattlers, 66-26, for ninth straight victory - San Jose SaberCats
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