Lone Stars Paige Leads All-Stars to Victory
Anton Paige showed the rest of the league who the true All-Star was Sunday at the IFL All Star Game in Corpus Christi. Paige lead the best of the best in the IFL with 5 receptions and 2 touchdowns, he also racked up 46 yards through the air helping the All-Stars get past the Hammerheads 53-48. Paige said after the game he was just there to have a good time at the game, and spend a little time on the beach.
The Intense Football League All-Stars were missing some of their star power. Eight of the 25 players selected to the squad were absent because of injury.
Corpus Christi threatened when Martin Dossett returned the ensuing kick to the All-Stars' seven yard-line, but the Hammerheads offense couldn't move the ball any further.
Fullback Adrian Barnes was stuffed on a delayed draw, then Hammerheads quarterback Chris Harrington threw three straight incompletions - including one on third down that Brent Holmes nearly snared before getting knocked over the wall in the back of the end zone.
The game was an exhibition and doesn't count in the standings, but it was much more heated than your usual all-star game fare.
"We knew it didn't mean anything, but it didn't take long before things picked up and it became like the Super Bowl," said Corpus Christi defensive back Roy Salas, who returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. "This arena is so small that when one person starts talking mess, we can all hear it. Then it just spreads. Pretty soon, everyone was into it and fired up."
The game meant enough that the All-Stars got together for a drawn-out chant of "All-Stars" after the game.
"It meant something, because we wanted to show to everyone that (the Hammerheads) are not the best team in this league," said Odessa lineman Jermaine Blakely, who recovered Randy Davis' crucial fumble on special teams late in the game. "There are other teams and other players in this league besides them, and we wanted to prove that."
Blakely's reference had more to do with league founder Chad Dittman also owning the Hammerheads than with the play on the field, since the Hammerheads are in a three-way tie for third place in the IFL.
Blakely and the rest of the players also had something to prove to some special people in the stands. A few coaches from the Arena Football League were in attendance, looking for players. The AFL is considered the premier indoor football league, with the best talent.
"I just wanted to show everyone that you can put me on any team, and I can play," Blakely said. "I'll play ball - just put me on the field."
Grand Rapids Rampage coach Rick Frazier mentioned several players that his AFL team will keep an eye on, including Blakely.
"There's definitely some good talent out there," Frazier said. "I don't see any reason why this league can't grow and prosper."
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Intense Football League Stories from July 12, 2004
- Lone Stars Paige Leads All-Stars to Victory - Lubbock GunSlingers
- Lone Stars Bring Back Davis - Lubbock GunSlingers
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