Austin Wranglers Upset Dallas, 56-49
The Austin Wranglers beat the Dallas Desperados 56-49 on Friday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas to remain unbeaten on the season and put themselves atop the National Conference standings with a 4-0 record.
Wranglers QB John Fitzgerald led Austin's offensive attack, as he connected on 23-of-34 passes for 254 yards, five touchdown. Fitzgerald won the Offensive Player of the Game honor as he found three different receivers for touchdowns in Derrick Lewis (2), Sedrick Robinson (2) and newly acquired Sir Mawn Wilson.
Robinson also had two tackles defensively and returned four kickoffs for 130 yards, including one for 57 yards that resulted in a touchdown. Robinson was awarded the Ironman of the Game for his performance.
The Wranglers defense continued to be strong, especially in the secondary with solid performances out of Deveron Harper, Damon Mason and Donvetis Franklin.
Franklin tallied six tackles and two pass breakups en route to being named the ADT Defensive Player of the Game for the second straight week.
Austin and Dallas traded momentum throughout the first half, but in the final minute, fullback/linebacker Dane Krager recovered a Dallas fumble on the 19-yard line. The Wranglers were down a score, but they quickly tied up the game 28-28, when Fitzgerald found Sir Mawn Wilson in the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown.
Coming out in the third quarter, the Wranglers stopped the Desperados on the goal line, as Dallas fullback/linebacker Duke Pettijohn fumbled and Wranglers wide receiver/linebacker Greg Brown recovered.
Austin scored 14 unanswered points in the third quarter, holding Dallas quarterback Clint Dolezel and the Desperados to only 34 yards of offense.
Dallas was not going to go down without a fight as they scored three touchdowns in the 4th quarter, which included a 14-yard touchdown pass to Will Pettis to tie the game 49-49 with 51 seconds remaining.
The Desperados onside kick attempt failed and the Wranglers got the ball deep in Dallas territory.
On fourth down, Head Coach Skip Foster gambled and went for a touchdown, which proved to be the game-winner as Kevin Nickerson scored on a 4-yard run to give the Wranglers the 56-49 lead.
Dallas attempted to drive the length of the field, but was stopped as Wranglers lineman Tom Briggs sacked Dolezel in the game's final seconds.
As the Wranglers move to 3-0 on the road this season, they travel to Tampa Bay next week to face Southern Division rivals in the Storm. The game will be televised on OLN at will begin at 5:00 p.m. Next week's game can also be heard on AM 1300, The Zone with the call from "The Voice" Kent Koen and Glyn Milburn.
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