Destroyers comeback bests Firebirds
Columbus DS JoJo Polk returned a Tony Zimmerman pass four yards for a touchdown with 4:30 remaining to cap off a 26-point fourth quarter as the Destroyers won their inaugural game, 54-48. In the process, the Firebirds set a franchise attendance record with 14,007 fans Saturday night, the most in their 15-year history.
Zimmerman, who came on in relief of starting QB Kevin Daft, completed 3-of-7 passes for 46 yards, including a 29-yard touchdown strike to Brett Bech that accounted for the Firebirds only score of the fourth quarter. Daft left the game with an arm injury after completing 14-of-22 passes for three touchdowns and an interception.
Firebirds coach DeBerg was unhappy with the way his team came out.
In general, Im very disappointed, he said. Right now, we should have played better. Its all on us, we just made too many mistakes especially on special teams and the interception. We just need to keep progressing.
He did see a positive in the form of the ground attack, which gave the Firebirds some versatility on offense. The team accumulated 66 yards on the ground including two touchdown runs of 10+ yards. We did some good things on the rushing game. We had some good long runs and Im a believer in the running game and it just kind of fell into place tonight as it takes a little heat off of Daft since it was his first start, he said.
The Destroyers began their comeback when QB Ryan Vena hooked up with Cornelius White on a 9-yard touchdown toss. Two minutes later, White picked off a Kevin Daft pass and returned it to paydirt to tie the score at 41 apiece. After Zimmerman hooked up with Bech, Vena threw a 17-yard touchdown to Sedrick Robinson. However, Chris Janek blocked the ensuing extra point to keep the Firebirds ahead by a point.
FB/LB Leroy Thompson saw the problem as being more mental than physical. We just made some mistakes in the middle of the 4th quarter but youre going to have that with young players. Were gonna have to start concentrating on trying to stop the mental mistakes we made tonight.
• Discuss this story on the Arena Football League (1987-2008) message board...
Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from February 7, 2004
- VooDoo sign Hamilton, waive Holloway - New Orleans VooDoo
- Destroyers comeback bests Firebirds - Albany/Indiana Firebirds
- First Arena Football League game in Philadelphia Soul'd out - Philadelphia Soul
- Gladiators fall to Crush in season opener - Las Vegas Gladiators
- Dragons Kickoff: Dragons Open in Georgia - New York Dragons
- Gruden signs contract extension - Orlando Predators
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.