Late-Game Heroics Lift Dodge City over Salina, 34-31
March 31, 2014 - Champions Professional Indoor Football League (CPIFL) - Dodge City Law News Release
A solid effort on defense and a game-winning field goal by newly-signed kicker Adam Fambrough lifted the Dodge City Law to a 34-31 victory over the Salina Bombers on Saturday night at the United Wireless Arena in Dodge City.
On the opening kickoff, Dodge City's Dominique Carson returned the ball 34 yards to bring the Law deep into Salina territory. Three plays later, Carson put Dodge City on the scoreboard first when he broke into the end zone on a five-yard run.
After Carson's touchdown on the game's opening drive, all was quiet until Law quarterback Joshua Floyd hooked up with wide receiver Mo Young for a 43-yard touchdown pass just seconds into the second quarter. Young's touchdown catch put the Law up 12-0.
Salina quarterback Damien Dunning and wide receiver Ricky Roberts connected on a 43-yard touchdown pass of their own with 2:15 left in the half.
Dodge City needed only four plays on the ensuing drive to respond to Salina's touchdown. Quarterback Joshua Floyd capped the Law's quick 34-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run with 1:49 left in the half to give Dodge City an 18-7 lead.
On the first drive of the second half, Salina quarterback Damien Dunning found wide receiver Keith Valentine open for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Valentine's touchdown reception and kicker Andrew Hunt's successful extra-point attempt pulled Salina within four points of Dodge City.
The Law started their next drive at midfield after Hunt sent the ball out of bounds on the kickoff. After quarterback Joshua Floyd got the drive started with a 7-yard pass to Mo Young, running back D.D. Holyfield carried the ball on three of the next four plays, including the final play of the drive when he scored from 4-yards out.
Holyfield's touchdown and the extra-point by kicker Alex Fambrough gave the Law a 9-point advantage with 8:42 left in the third quarter.
Salina quarterback Damien Dunning was nearing the Dodge City end zone when linebacker Walner Leandre forced a fumble at the 2-yard line and recovered it near the 5-yard line.
The Salina defense exacted revenge three-plays later when defensive lineman Meeshak Williams sacked Law quarterback Joshua Floyd in the end zone for a safety.
Five minutes into the fourth quarter, Salina brought the score with two points when quarterback Damien Dunning threw a 45-yard touchdown strike to Attrial Snipes.
With 5:26 left in the game, Dodge City quarterback Joshua Floyd scored on a 2-yard quarterback sneak to give the Law a 31-23 lead.
Law defensive back Cashmin Thomas thwarted Salina's attempts to score on the next possession when he picked-off quarterback Damien Dunning.
Dodge City tried to put the game out of reach of Salina allowing kicker Adam Fambrough to attempt a 33-yard field goal, but his kick was blocked.
Salina then tied the score at 31-all when quarterback Damien Dunning completed a ten-yard touchdown pass to Keith Valentine.
The Law had one more shot to come out on top and they made the most of it.
Starting at their own 10-yard line, Dodge City advanced 37-yards to Salina's 3-yard line with a 26-yard catch by Dominique Carson and an 11-yard run by Joshua Floyd.
Rather than trying to punch the ball in from 2-yards out with :02 left in regulation, Law Head Coach Sean Ponder put the weight of the game on kicker Adam Fambrough's shoulders, or rather, his foot.
Despite having missed four field goals and having another attempt blocked earlier in the game, Fambrough came through in the clutch by kicking a 10-yard field goal as time expired.
After the game-winning kick, the Law claimed the Wagon Wheel Trophy, which will be awarded to the winning team in each matchup between Salina and Dodge City.
"Our last two games were pretty rough on us," Head Coach Sean Ponder said. "It feels great to be able to put a mark in the win column again and to keep the Wagon Wheel in Dodge City."
Ponder was proud of how the defense played throughout the game and how they contained Salina in the most crucial points of the game.
"The defense did a heck of a job out there," Ponder said. "They forced several turnovers and they made stops when they needed to. Those guys came out of the locker room hungry for a win and they definitely did their part to help us get one tonight. I couldn't be more proud of the coaches and players on the defensive side of the ball."
The head coach added that the offense deserves credit for how they came together and improved following last week's debacle.
"I am really proud of how these guys on offense persevered and fought through all of the adversity they have faced over the last few weeks," Ponder said. "Instead of getting discouraged when our first two quarterbacks went down with injuries, the guys on offense went to battle for Joshua Floyd."
Ponder added that the energy of the crowd at United Wireless Arena played a role in the outcome.
"We played really well tonight as a team and I am proud of that," Ponder said. "But, anybody that was here tonight will tell you that this place was loud and rockin'. We received a lot of support from our fans tonight. They got loud and gave our defense a boost when those guys needed it most. The fans were like a ninth-man on the field tonight for us."
The Law will play on the road against the Bloomington Edge on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.
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Champions Professional Indoor Football League Stories from March 31, 2014
- Late-Game Heroics Lift Dodge City over Salina, 34-31 - Dodge City Law
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