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Hamilton, Predators outgun Wranglers 51-21

March 26, 2005 - Arena Football League (1987-2008) (AFL I) - Austin Wranglers News Release

ORLANDO, FL - The Orlando Predators and QB Joe Hamilton outgunned the Austin Wranglers on Friday night, 51-21. Hamilton scorched the Wrangler defense, completing 22-of-26 passes for 236 yards and throwing six touchdowns.

Making a game-time decision, Wranglers Coach Skip Foster brought in Bobby Pesavento to start at quarterback for the first time since being injured in Week 2 at Tampa Bay. Pesavento started for an injured John Fitzgerald, completing 18-of-31 passes for 181 yards and two scores.

The Wranglers started the game off with a bang as OS Tacoma Fontaine ran the opening kickoff back for a touchdown. The return marked the first time that the Wranglers ran back a kick for a score in their two-year history.

The Predators weren’t phased by the big play as they drove down the field on their first drive. QB Joe Hamilton found OS Jimmy Fryzel in the end zone to tie the score at 7-7 with 10:51 left in the first quarter.

Austin stalled on their next offensive drive, a frequent result for the squad on the night. Todd Sievers missed a 29-yard field goal attempt to turn the ball back over to Orlando. The Predator offense took advantage after the miss as Hamilton found an open OS Jerrian James for a 5-yard score to go up by 14.

The Wranglers next drive ended abruptly when Pesavento’s pass for WR/DB Charlie Davidson was picked off by DS Kenny McEntyre.

The turnover proved costly as Hamilton hit Corey Fleming on an 18-yard TD to end the first quarter. After one period of play, Orlando led Austin 21-7.

The Wranglers offense drove down the field to start the second quarter, but again stalled inside the red zone. Todd Sievers missed his second field goal attempt of the game to leave the Wranglers down by 14.

Austin’s defense played tough inside the red zone on Orlando’s next drive, but on third down, Hamilton found Jerrian James again for a 5-yard score to put the Predators up by 20 with 4:03 left in the half.

After the Wranglers turned the ball over on downs again, Orlando mounted a big drive that ended when Hamilton found James for another score. The offensive specialist’s third TD catch of the game put the Predators up 34-7 to end the first half of play.

Orlando received the ball to start the second half and looked for another score. The Wrangler defense held tough in the red zone, holding the Preds to a 20-yard Gowins field goal, making the score 37-7 early in the third.

Down by thirty, the Wranglers fought back for their first successful offensive drive of the game. Pesavento found WR/DB Kevin Nickerson open in the end zone for a 6-yard score to reduce the Wranglers’ deficit to 23 with 7:05 left in the quarter.

Hamilton continued his hot night with a 20-yard TD strike to Jimmy Fryzel on the Predators ensuing drive. The Wranglers managed a late score when Pesavento hit Gooch for a 12-yard TD to cut Orlando’s lead to 44-21, but with time running out, the Preds clearly had the win insight.

Predators backup QB, Chris Sanders, would come in to throw a late touchdown to Jimmy Fryzel as Orlando defeated the Austin Wranglers by a final score of 51-21.

With the loss, the Wranglers drop to 3-6 in league play. They will face the division-rival New Orleans VooDoo next Friday night (4/1) at the Frank Erwin Center. Kickoff is slated for 7:30pm.

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