Florida defeats Memphis
Estero, FL --- The Florida Firecats came back from a 26-0 first half deficit to hand the Memphis Xplorers their first loss since July 9 of last season. Firecats QB Chris Wallace hit WR Brent Burnside on a 23 yard pass with 18 seconds remaining for the game winner. The Firecats came back to close to within 33-27 at the half on their way to avenging a Week Two 78-46 loss to the Xplorers in Southhaven and forcing a season series split.
The Xplorers, playing without WR/DB Terrell Adams, received a sizable contribution from WR/DB Terrance Quattlebaum. Quattlebaum, who missed last week's game due to a concussion, caught 9 balls for 97 yards and 4 TD. He also added a touchdown on a 48 yard missed field goal return in the first quarter.
A Brian Jones 1 yard run, Quattlebaum's return, a Jones to Quattlebaum scoring pass and Chris Eggleston's 24 yard interception return built the 26-0 cushion with 9:11 remaining in the first half. Florida would score 6 of the next 8 touchdowns to take the lead, 41-39, with 7:05 left in the third.
The teams would exhange scores until the Firecats scored at 4:52 of the fourth, but missed the PAT kick to make it 55-54 Xplorers. Memphis recovered the ensuing on side kick attempt, but was stopped by the Firecats defense setting up the game winning drive.
The Xplorers did get the ball back with :12 seconds left and advanced as far as mid-field, but Brian Jones' pass on the final play fell incomplete.
Jones finished 18 for 30 passing for 208 yards, 5 touchdowns and 1 interception. He also added a rushing touchdown.
The loss snapped a nine game winning streak for the Xplorers, including regular season and playoff games, that dated back to a 44-41 loss to Tulsa on 7/9/05.
The Xplorers fall to 3-1 on the season and will host the Macon Knights on Friday night at 7pm at the DeSoto Civic Center.
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