Fire Fall to Visiting Quad City
Louisville, KY- Plagued with injuries and nearly 60 penalty yards, the Louisville Fire fell to the visiting Steamwheelers leaving them with a 2-1 record. Despite a great effort by Offensive Player of the Game Lonnell Dewalt and rookie quarterback Matt Bassuener the Fire could not respond to the unrelenting Quad City squad.
Former University of Louisville standout and newly assigned rookie, Broderick Clark returned the opening kick off 14 yards to start the game. Quarterback Matt Bassuener once again showed his running game with a 12-yard carry. He connected with Ricardo Lenhart twice and Lonnell Dewalt once to move the ball down the field. Two incomplete passes left the Fire no chance for a touchdown. Kicker Danny Kight was able to put three points on the board with a successful field goal.
Quad City's quarterback J.J. Raterink connected with Deontrae Johnson on 2nd and long, but Raterink was sacked by the efforts of returning linebacker Brett Maddox. Possession quickly changed when Bassuener's pass intended for Dewalt was fumbled and recovered by the Steamwheelers. Raterink then found Johnson for a completed pass and a touchdown. Derek Pearson's kick was good, putting the score in Quad City's favor 7-3.
As the penalties and incomplete passes began piling up for the Fire, Bassuener and his offense were unable to put anything on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. Raterink found Jesse Schmidt in the end zone and Pearson's kick was again successful making the score 3-14. Louisville Fire then brought in quarterback, Aaron Marshall, who connected with Clark and Dewalt to move the ball down the field. Although unable to score, Kight's kick was good advancing the score 6-14. Quad City's offense could not answer giving Louisville an opportunity to even the score. Bassuener took advantage, completing a 12-yard pass to Dewalt. A short run by Demetrius Forney ended in a score. Bassuener had a last minute pitch to Dewalt to complete a successful two-point conversion, tieing the score 14-14. Quad City responded with a touchdown of their own with 45 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. After a failed extra point, the Fire trailed Quad City 14-20 at halftime.
Quad City started the third quarter with a pair of incomplete passes; however Raterink managed to find Kris Peters for a 20-yard pass. He then connected with Johnson for a touchdown. Following the Steamwheeler's successful field goal, the Fire took action. Bassuener ran in the end zone for a touchdown and once again Kight's kick was flawless. In an effort to shut down the Steamwheelers, returning defensive back Matt Forbes picked off Raterink's pass. The offense tried to pull out a score but was unable to do so when Bassuener's pass was intercepted.
In the fourth quarter, Quad City's Raterink found Johnson again for a touchdown pass, and Pearson's kick was good making the score 21-33. Clark returned the kick 15 yards to give the Fire momentum. Marshall connected with Lenhart then found Dewalt in the end zone. Kight again kicked making the score 28-33. Tavoris Horton quickly pulled down a Steamwheeler pass as the Fire made a final attempt to score. Unable to post another touchdown, Quad City held off Louisville 39-28 for the final score.
"We knew Quad City was a good team and we knew we would show up eventually, but were going to have to go back to the drawing board," commented Head Coach Tommy Johnson.
The Fire will hit the road for their second away game of the 2008 season on Saturday, April 19 against the Tennesse Valley. They will return to Freedom Hall on Saturday, April 26 as they face their hometown rival Lexington Horsemen.
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