Bjork Game-Winning Field Goal Crushes Wolves
The #4 seeded Manchester Wolves (10-7) may have led for the entire game, but it was the last 00.8 seconds that mattered most as kicker Mickael Bjork booted home a 19-yard game-winner to give his #5 seeded Central Valley Coyotes (11-6) a first-round American Conference victory in front of 3,481 disappointed Wolves fans on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. Friday night.
Both team defenses collected four stops on the night but none proved to be more important then the last, which was a Coyotes interception by Aaron Miller on the Central Valley 5-yard line as the Wolves were threatening to seal the ballgame with 2:48 left. The interception setup a Coyotes score that brought the game to 41-39 with 2:11 left in the fourth, after trailing by more then 13 early on. Bjork then successfully recovered his own onside kick after it went in and out of Manchester's Patrick Rouzard's hands, then the Coyotes burned the remaining 1:49 as they marched down to the Wolves 11-yard line to set up the game-winning field goal.
With the victory the Coyotes will await the winner of tomorrow's Wilkes-Barre Scranton/Tri-Cities Fever match up. The Coyotes were led by quarterback Brian Luke who threw for four touchdowns and 266 yards on the night with no interceptions, while also rushing in for one score. Tonae Martin, the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game, led the Coyotes in receiving with 110 yards and two touchdowns on just seven catches.
Wolves starting quarterback Mark Radlinski (207 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions) once again struggled for Manchester as he threw two costly interceptions, both in the fourth quarter, to Central Valley's Miller. Wide receiver Ari Confesor led all Wolves receivers with seven catches for 78 yards and three scores.
Bennett who guided the Wolves to three straight playoff appearances, which included hosting a second-round playoff game in 2005, and a first-round playoff game in 2006, is now 1-3 in the post-season for Manchester.
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