Fire Blaze a Trail to Youngstown
Louisville, KY- The Fire head back on the road for week 14 as they face the Mahoning Valley Thunder on Friday, June 27 at 7:00 P.M. in the Chevrolet Centre. Visit www.louisvillefirefootball.com and click on the Nifty TV link to view this week's game.
This week's contest marks the second meeting between the two squads during the 2008 season as Louisville took a 53-22 victory over the Thunder in Freedom Hall earlier this year. PNC MVP of the game, Ricardo Lenhart led all receivers with seven receptions for 99 yards and four touchdowns. Aaron Marshall finished the game 15 of 29 for 178 yards completing five passing scores, while adding a rushing TD to the Fire's win.
Louisville is coming off a last second 54-50 defeat over in state rival Lexington, solidifying their three game sweep of the Horsemen. Behind the Fire quarterbacks Danny Southwick and Matt Bassuener, Louisville's offense regained their much-needed rhythm. Southwick saw his first start of the 2008 season on Monday night as he finished 13 of 21 for 151 yards putting up three passing scores. Matt Bassuener also completed three passing touchdowns, a rushing score, and a two-point conversion midway through the fourth quarter. It was Bassuener and PNC MVP of the game Tymere Zimmerman who teamed up for the winning score, a 7-yard pass to the middle of the end zone, which gave the Fire the final advantage and the win. Zimmerman ended the game with 10 receptions for 81 yards and two touchdowns. Also contributing to the offensive rhythm was receiver Lonnell Dewalt completing five receptions for 99 yards and three scores. Dewalt leads the team with 74 receptions and 14 touchdowns.
The Fire defense turned out another exemplary performance as they now lead the af2 in interceptions, posting 26 on the year. Contributing the last two picks were Dominic Ross and Matt Forbes. Forbes also returned a failed field goal attempt 53 yards for a touchdown just before halftime. He was named ADT Defensive Player of the Week for his Monday night showing. However, it was Jerome Jones who completed the most important defensive effort of the game, recovering a fumble with 16 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, which allowed the Fire offense to take the field for one last drive.
Louisville currently holds a 7-5 overall and a 5-4 conference record. Despite the win the two teams are still battling for second place in the Midwest division.
The Thunder have struggled in the 2008 season, posting just two wins in 12 games for the year. Most recently they fell to Midwest division leader, Green Bay in a 27-69 defeat. Tim Murphy leads the Thunder's rushing game with 34 carries for 246 yards and four touchdowns for the season.
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