Fire fall to Fusion
LOUSIVILLE, KY - On the opening drive the Ft. Wayne Fusion they drove passed the Fire to score first for the night as QB Blayne Baggett passed to WR Cesare Manning. The starting score: Fusion 7, Fire 0. As the Fire began their drive down the field, QB Joel Steele connected with WR Tiger Jones for a 35-yard pass to put the Fire in excellent scoring position. Two plays later FB Demetrius Forney broke the plane to tie the score. Ft. Wayne came out for their next drive but was kept at bay by the Fire defense. The Fusion were unable to penetrate the Fire until QB Baggett and WR Mario Pratcher connected to give the Fusion a 14-7 lead.
The Ft. Wayne Fusion started the second quarter with a 23-yard touchdown pass from QB Bagget to WR Manning. The Fire answered the Fusion with an 8-yard touchdown pass from QB Steele to WR Lawrence Matthews to increase the Fire's score to 14, Fusion 21. As the Fusion flirted with the goal line the Fire's DB Rusty Midlam came up with a fumble to give the Fire the ball with five minutes remaining in the second quarter. On the next play QB Steele and WR Lonnell Dewalt connected igniting Fire fans as Dewalt drove down to the 1 - yard line. Forney then rushed into the end zone to again tie the score at 21 a piece. With four minutes left in the second quarter the Fusion attempted a long pass but DB Nate Green picked it off and blazed up the field 32-yards to put the Fire in scoring position. However the Fire was unsuccessful in the touchdown attempt thus bringing out K Dave Hendrix to try for the field goal. Hendrix kick nicked off the side crossbar and was recovered by the Fusion. After the recovery, Ft. Wayne completed a field goal to give them the edge at the half 24-21.
As the third quarter started QB Steele's pass was intercepted by DB Barry Drakeford running it in for a touchdown. The score now stood at 31-21 in favor of the Fusion. When the Fusion got their next possession they again ran in for the touchdown. The Fusion had the lead 38-21 with five minutes left in the third quarter. However the Fire bounced back late in the quarter as Steele WR Quorey Payne connected and Payne lit up the field as he scored another touchdown for the Fire. The Fire was now down by ten, 28-38.
With the Fire down by 10, fans ignited the fourth quarter giving the team a boost as the Fusion drove down the field. Thanks to the encouraging fans, Midlam was able to get an interception. As the Fire possession continued Forney rushed up the field breaking through three tackles to put the Fire on the eight yard line. Although the Fire was unable to get the ball in the end zone Dave Hendrix came out to take the field goal. However, Hendrix kick again hit the side crossbar to keep the score 28-38. On Ft. Wayne's next possession the Fusion burned the Fire as Manning again went in for the score. The Fusion then led 45-28. Late in the quarter the Fusion scored again, making the score 52-28. QB Steele launched a pass to Payne for another touchdown making the score Fire 34; Fusion 52. The Fire lost a heartbreaker to Ft. Wayne Fusion 52-34.
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