Back-and-Forth Game Ends in ICE's Loss to Beef

May 22, 2009 - Indoor Football League (IFL) - Colorado Crush News Release

FORT COLLINS, CO - The Colorado ICE (3-6) found some spark in their game, improving greatly both defensively and offensively compared to their last weeks of play, but were unable to hold on to their back-and-forth leads in the Omaha Beef's (6-2) 55-42 win at the "Slaughterhouse" in Omaha on Friday, May 22nd.

The Beef struck first with an 11 yard TD pass by QB James McNear to Beef WR Allen Burrell in a falling, extended catch at the 10:05 mark in the first. The Beef increased their lead to 14-0 at the 5:32 mark in the 1st quarter when they took advantage of an "illegal defense" penalty called on the ICE and converted it to a 32 yard TD pass from McNear to RB R.J. Rollins. The ICE appeared to have their confidence a bit shaken but regrouped and cut the Beef lead to 14-6 when ICE WR Josh Gibson caught a 32 yard TD pass from QB Justin Holland at the 2:58 mark in the first.

The second quarter opened with a 19 yard field goal by ICE K Rocky Stevens at the 10:14 mark, reducing the Beef lead to 14-9. But Omaha's WR Burrell nabbed his second touchdown of the night with a 3 yard pass from McNear at the 5:59 mark, extending the Beef lead to 20-9. The ICE defense stepped up their play with numerous, big third-down stops in the second quarter. ICE WR Josh Gibson made a great, last-second play, leaping over the side boards in the back of the end zone to catch Holland's 7 yard pass with :04 left in the second quarter. The ICE went into halftime with a 20-16 Beef lead, but were gaining momentum and confidence at the break.

Scoring in the third was held at bay by both teams until the 4:39 mark. ICE WR George Hill, back from a month-long hiatus due to an injury, nabbed a touchdown after a great play by Holland who rolled to the right, bought time, and was able to find Hill streaking down the opposite side of the end zone. The ICE secured their first lead of the night, a 22-20 score, but managed to hold on to it for only just over a minute as Beef RB Rollins answered with his second touchdown of the night, a 16 yard run at the 3:19 mark that switched the lead to 27-22 Beef. Further proving he had shaken off all rust from his long absence, ICE WR George Hill again secured the lead for the ICE with a 10 yard pass from Holland at the 0:45 mark making the score 29-27 ICE. But in true ICE/Beef fashion, the lead was switched yet again back to the Beef as DB Courtney Grixby converted a 56 yard kickoff return into a touchdown at the 0:17 mark. The score was 34-29 Beef heading into the fourth quarter.

Again ICE WR George Hill and QB Justin Holland would find each other, with Hill out-running former ICE DB Dorsey Golsten for a 36 yard TD at the 14:16 mark in the fourth, for a re-claimed ICE lead of 35-34. The ICE held onto their slim lead until Omaha WR Javon Bell caught an 8 yard TD pass from McNear at the 5:52 mark, once again switching the lead back to Omaha at 41-35. This time the Beef were able to not only hold on to the lead, but also increase it with two successive, last-second touchdowns from QB McNear at the 0:41 mark and an interception return by DB Brent Hafford at the 0:14 mark. As the clock ran out, ICE DB Joey Rucks secured a 15 yard TD pass from Holland, but it was too little, too late. The final score was the Omaha Beef 55, the Colorado ICE 42, with a total of six lead changes in the second half in a back-and-forth offensive game.

While the loss against Omaha marked the fourth loss in a row for the ICE, the game also brought out many positives. The ICE played with renewed energy and made some much-needed adjustments. The ICE offense even debuted a new "Wildcat" offense. The ICE complete their three-game road trip with a stop in Odessa to meet the Roughnecks on Saturday, May 30th at 6:00 pm (MTN time).

The Colorado ICE are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). All home games are played at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland, Colorado. All ICE games are broadcast live on the Internet on the B2 Network (B2TV.com) and on the radio at Northern Colorado's ESPN affiliate KJUMP AM 870. Single, group, and season tickets for the 2009 season are available at the Colorado ICE headquarters by calling (970) 472-0128. Season ticket packages start at just $120 per seat and include all parking, ticketing, and facility fees.

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