Field Goal on Final Play Gives Steeldogs the Upset
SOUTHAVEN --- Birmingham kicker Alex Walls kicked a 25 yard field goal on the final play of the game to the send the Birmingham Steeldogs to 43-42 upset win over the Memphis Xplorers Saturday night at the DeSoto Civic Center.
The Steeldogs rallied from a 42-33 deficit in the final five minutes to improve to 6-5. The Xplorers fell to 8-3 and had their nine game home winning streak snapped.
Memphis QB Brian Jones passed for 278 yards and five touchdowns, but he also threw an uncharacteristic three interceptions, including one in the final minute that set up the winning kick for the Steeldogs.
Xplorers WR Kenny Higgins, who finished with a team high eight catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns, caught a Jones 25 yard pass at 5:20 of the fourth quarter to give Memphis a 42-32 lead. The Steeldogs then came back with a Robert Kent three yard run with :55 left to cut the lead to two.
Two plays after Memphis got possession on the ensuing onside kick attempt that the Steeldogs touched prior to the ball going ten yards, Bradly Chavez picked off a Jones pass and returned it 30 yards to the Memphis 5. Five plays later Walls, who finished with three field goals, booted the game winner through the uprights.
Birmingham QB Ryan Hawk was 25 for 37 passing for 231 yards and one touchdown. The Steeldogs did not turn the ball over while the Xplorers had the three interceptions. Steeldog receiver Allynson Sheffield had a big night with 14 catches for 148 yards and one TD.
The Xplorers may have lost more than the game. WR/DB Terrell Adams left the game in the first quarter with a badly sprained MCL to his left knee. Adams condition will be evaluated next week.
The Xplorers host the South Georgia Wildcats next week while the Steeldogs return home to host Florida.
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