Birds Fall In Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 49-40
Wilkes-Barre, PA - The Firebirds rallied to pull to within nine points of the division leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Pioneers in the final minute of the game, but defensive back Micheaux Robinson put an end to Albany's comeback with an interception in the endzone and the Pioneers held on 49-40 Saturday night at Wachovia Arena.
Firebirds receiver Johnnie Butler scored his third and fourth touchdowns of the night midway through the third quarter and Albany's defense notched its first stop of the game to bring the club to within three points. However, the Pioneers scored the contest's next two touchdowns to build a seventeen-point fourth-quarter lead. Alvin Ray Jackson's second endzone catch brought Albany to within nine points and the Firebirds forced another defensive stop with minutes to play, but Robinson halted Albany's late surge with 53 seconds on the clock.
Jackson and Butler each found the endzone in the first quarter to give Albany an early 13-7 lead, but the Pioneers scored three straight in the second quarter to make it 28-13 late in the half. Playing in his first game back from injured reserve, Butler's second score of the night made it a one possession game before the break.
Pioneers receiver Irvin Campbell accounted for three scores in the contest; Rich Musinski added a pair of touchdowns for Wilkes-Barre and Kirby Griffin scored his 17th rushing touchdown of the year.
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