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Haymakers Edge Defenders 46-40

April 30, 2013 - Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) - Oklahoma Defenders News Release

LINCOLN, NE - The Oklahoma Defenders traveled to Cornhusker country for their first ever meeting with the Lincoln Haymakers on Friday night in an attempt to get back on the winning track after losing to Bloomington last week.

After falling behind 14-0 in the opening minutes of the second quarter, Oklahoma receiver Jason Stephenson fielded a Lincoln kick five yards deep in the end zone and took off the length of the field for the first Defenders score of the contest. Then, after a Haymaker's fumble, Defenders QB David Bowie found Packy Jones the open for the equalizer.

The home side scored with 30 seconds remaining in the first half giving Lincoln a 7 point lead at the intermission. The Haymakers opened the second half with a 27-yard field goal by Benny Hanaphy, extending Lincoln's lead to 24-14. Then on the ensuing possession Defenders running back Kingjack Washington took a handoff from Bowie 39-yards for a touchdown, cutting the Haymaker's lead to 24-21.

Haymaker running back Nick Rhodes took a handoff from quarterback Benny Bolles and ran 11-yards in for a Lincoln score, then Benny Hanaphy struck again for Lincoln with a 21-yard boot with just :45 seconds elapsed in the fourth quarter to give the home team a 34-21 advantage,

Kingjack Washington scored the second of what wound up being three touchdowns on the night at the 13:05 mark of the 4th quarter when he reeled in a 31-yard strike from Bowie, cutting the Haymakers lead to just 6 points at 34-28. Benny Hanaphy then kicked his 3rd successful field goal of the night, this time a 38-yarder to give the home side a 37-28 lead.

Juan Redmon hauled in an 11-yard strike from Bowie to allow the Defenders to cut the Lincoln lead to three, but Brandon Noahr's extra point try was blocked and the Haymakers Willie Horn ran the kick recovery in for two points extending their lead to 39-34. The Haytmakers followed that with an 18-yard run by David Ferris to give Lincoln a 46-34 advantage.

Kingjack Washington scored his final touchdown of the night with just under 90-seconds left in the game, but that was not enough and the game ended with the Defenders on the short side of the scoreboard 46-40. The loss drops them to 2-5 on the season thus far and Lincoln improves to 2-4.

In the end it was the Defenders slow start that had them come up short when the final buzzer sounded, a sentiment echoed by head coach Derek Rasmussen after the game.

"We waited a little too long to get rolling.  I need to figure out a way to get our guys playing the first 3 quarters like they do in the 4th." Rasmussen said, "Again my guys showed resiliency and took the game to the wire. We're an extremely young football team compared to the others, and I know these games will come back to help us down the road."

The Defenders will remain on the road for a matchup with the Wichita Wild on Saturday, May 4th at 7:05pm. Be sure to follow all the exciting play-by-play action with Blake Gazaway and Shan Jordan who will broadcast the game live on the Oklahoma Defenders Media Center at www.oklahomadefenders.com. The Defenders will return home on May 11 to face the Kansas Koyotes in the Convention Center.

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