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Despite strong defensive effort, Wranglers fall to Desperados, 52-28

March 13, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

“The Cattle Drive on I-35” was a shootout full of penalties. The Dallas Desperados defeated the Austin Wranglers 52-28 as the two teams totaled 21 penalties for 129 yards. Austin’s John Fitzgerald completed 20 of 35 passes for 184 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Dallas’ Clint Stoerner completed 17 of 28 passes for 219 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. WR/DB Bobby Sippio was chosen as the Offensive Player of the Game, DS Jermaine Jones was the ADT Defensive Player of the Game and WR/DB Will Pettis was named US Army Ironman of the Game.

Pettis mishandled the opening kickoff and the result was a touchback. After a long drive, Clint Stoerner found Jason Shelley for an eight yard touchdown. Carlos Martinez’s kick was good and Dallas led 7-0.

The Wranglers started on their own five and the drive ended on the second play when Fitzgerald’s pass was intercepted by Jermiane Jones in the endzone. As Dallas began their next drive, two incomplete passes brought them to third and ten and Wranglers WR/DB Kevin Nickerson intercepted Stoerner’s pass and returned it to the seven-yard line.

On first and goal, Fitzgerald found WR/LB Darrin Chiaverini who muscled his was into the endzone. Dodson’s kick was low which left the Wranglers behind 6-7.

Dallas’ next drive went to Austin’s six-yard line before Stoerner handed the ball off to WR/DB Bobby Sippio who ran wall to wall before he went in for a touchdown with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.

At the beginning of the second quarter the Wranglers got to the Dallas 15-yard line and Dodson’s field goal was blocked by FB/LB Duke Pettijohn and recovered by Dallas on their own 16-yard line. The recovery resulted an eight-play drive for 30 yards and ended with a field goal, making the score 17-6.

On first-and-goal on the Dallas three, Fitzgerald found Nickerson for 28 yards and a touchdown. Fitzgerald again found Nickerson on the two-point conversion to make the score 14-17 in favor of the Desperados.

The Wranglers attempted to get the ball back, but their onside kick was recovered by WR/LB Andrew Layton and Dallas started with the ball on the Austin six. Stoerner found Sippio in the endzone and Martinez’s kick was good to make score 24-14 with a minute to play in the half.

On Austin’s opening play of the drive, Dallas bit on a hard count to move the Wranglers five yards closer to the endzone. Fitzgerald found Nickerson for 19 yards which took Austin to the Dallas 21. On fourth-and-goal, Fitzgerald’s pass was incomplete, giving Dallas the ball back at their own nine-yard line with 11 seconds left in the half.

After Dallas stopped the Wranglers on their first drive of the second half, Stoerner hit Shelley on the first play of their ensuing drive on a 29-yard pass for a touchdown. The kick was good and Dallas extended their lead to 31-14.

After a penalty-ridden drive, Fitzgerald found OL/DL Angel Rubio in endzone for his first touchdown of the season. Dodson converted on the point after to pull the Wranglers within 10, 21-31.

Dallas started the fourth quarter with third down and 24 yards from their own nine yard line. Aaron Humphrey broke through the line and sacked Stoerner to give Dallas fourth down and 30 yards to go. The field goal attempt by Martinez was wide right and Tacoma Fontaine returned the ball to the Austin 22 yard line.

After finding Fontaine for a first down, Fitzgerald’s pass was picked off by Hamin Milligan and he returned it to the Austin 10 yard line before he was tackled. On second and ten from their own 24, Pettijohn ran the ball up the middle of the field but Aaron Humphrey forced a fumble from behind. It was recovered by Charlie Davidson and returned 12 yards to the Dallas 19 yard line.

The Wranglers were called for a false start and an unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the them third and 25 from their own 16 yard line. A pass to Fontaine brought the Wranglers back to fourth and ten but Fitzgerald’s pass was long and incomplete and Dallas got the ball back on downs.

On first and ten from the Dallas 19, Stoerner found Sippio who ran for more than 20 yards for the score. Martinez’s kick was good and Dallas went up 37-21 with just under six and a half minutes left to play.

After a two minute drive, Fitzgerald found Ira Gooch for a 23 yard touchdown. Dodson’s kick pulled the Wranglers within ten at 28-38.

Dodson’s onside kick was recovered by Andrew Layton again and he returned it to the Austin 14 yard line. On fourth and nine from the Austin 14, Stoerner found Pettis for another touchdown. Martinez’s kick made the score 45-28.

The kickoff went off the net and bounced for over ten yards before Hamin Milligan fell on it to give Dallas the ball on the Austin 13 yard line. On their third running play of the drive, Ja’Mar Toombs took the ball four yards for another Dallas score. Martinez’s kick made the score 52-28.

After Fontaine returned the kickoff to the 20 yard line, Scott Dreisbach came in as quarterback to finish the game for the Wranglers. On third and ten, Will Pettis picked off Dreisbach’s pass and returned it to Austin’s 14 yard line. One more run by Toombs ended the game with a score of Dallas 52 to Austin 28.

The Wranglers have a short week to prepare for New York, who comes to town next Saturday, March 19. Kickoff is set for 7:30p.m.

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