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Cavs' high altitude not friendly to Kreatures

May 2, 2005 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Kissimmee Kreatures News Release


KISSIMMEE, Fla. – It’s nice to be home after a 3,608 mile round trip to Casper, Wyoming.

The Kissimmee Kreatures of the National Indoor Football League took their longest road trip of the season, the last 282 miles one-way in Kreaturemobiles (vans) took a little more than four hours from Denver.

“We were excited about the trip and led for eight minutes of the first quarter,” said Kissimmee head coach Marquette Smith. “Then the roof fell in.”

Coach Smith said team’s all-purpose, all-everything James Panui, after scoring on a 23-yard pass, hit the wall in the rounded end zone and sustained a severe cut just below the knee.

“”He hit the wall full speed, and cut the knee so deep you could see the patella tendon,” said Smith, whose Kreatures couldn’t overcome a 31-point explosion by Wyoming and the Cavalry went on to a 52-32 win.

“James had three layers of stitches after they brought him to the sidelines,” coach Smith added. “I would say he’ll be out for a minimum of three weeks.”

Smith said quarterback Rob Harding, who was coming off a two-week absence for cracked ribs, was hurt late in the third quarter and “couldn’t move well and couldn’t plant his feet very well,”

Running back Andreal Curry had a good game with 52 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown. He also had two receptions. “I had to use some running backs as receivers after James went down,” Smith said.

The high altitude also may have affected the Kreatures. “The air is thin and if you are not used to it, you’ll be wanting oxygen,” said the head mentor. “But we stopped ourselves with a couple key dropped balls. They couldn’t handle our trips package.”

In front of 4,119, the Kreatures also saw a kicking performance like they had never seen.

Wyoming kicker Pete Graces, who had a 61-yard field goal in the Cavalry’s opener, connected on another from the same distance against Kissimmee at 14:55 of the 2nd quarter.

“He was awesome,” said coach Smith. “The best I’ve ever seen in indoor football. That ball would have made 75 yards; the height was incredible.”

Next up for the Kreatures is 47.68 miles trip to Lakeland and a Sunday, 4 p.m. game against the ThunderBolts in the Lakeland Center.

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For additional information about The Kissimmee Kreatures, the NIFL, or season ticket and corporate sponsorship information, please visit our website at www.kissimmeekreatures.com or call 863-687-8110. Additional information about the team can be found at the league website, www.nationalindoorfootballleague.net, or 888-422-9682.

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