Manchester Wolves Crush Quad City in arenafootball2 league action 53-35
MOLINE, IL--The Manchester Wolves kept themselves in the arenafootball2 league playoff hunt by crushing the Quad City Steamwheelers 53 to 35 at the i wireless center on Friday night as they improved to 6-7 and extended the Quad City losing streak to seven games.
The Wolves (6-7) also avenged an earlier season loss to Quad City at home and the Steamwheelers (4-9) haven't won a game since beating Manchester back on May 9th.
This time Manchester's defense had a big night, shutting down the Steamwheelers offense on fourth down all game long and picking off two interceptions. Quad City quarterback Brian Zbydniewski, who played for the Wolves in 2007, had a rough game as he missed open receivers and never looked comfortable while trying to contend with a heavy pass rush that sacked him five times and hurried him throughout. Zbydniewski was held to just 16 completions of 40 throws for 198 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensive end Brian Robinson turned in an outstanding effort for Manchester with one sack and four hurries and was voted the Aaron's Defensive Player of the Game. Rookie defensive lineman Tyler King had his best game of the season, contributing two sacks and two tackles for loss and nose tackle Xavier Lawson-Kennedy, who returned to the line-up after being sidelined for several games with an injury, also threw Zbydniewski to the turf. Linebacker Matt King was a force on defense and special teams, adding yet another sack and scoring a touchdown on a blocked field goal attempt.
While defensive back Martel Vanzant would finish as the Wolves leading tackler with 4.5 total hits, Brandon=2 0Isaac showed again that he has taken on a leadership role in the secondary and contributed another four tackles with an interception as he drew the tough assignment of covering Jesse Schmidt, one of the top receivers in the af2, all night.
Schmidt, the Steamwheelers powerful offensive weapon on course to break several af2 records this season, was held to nine catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns. Manchester quarterback Mike Potts, making his fourth start in the af2, directed the Wolves to their second consecutive win as he had a solid night and connected with his receivers on 24 of 37 passes for 252 yards and six touchdowns against one pick. The Wolves owned the first half as they grabbed a 33-21 lead, aided in great part by four Quad City turnovers and two defensive stops on fourth down that put the ball back into the hands of Manchester's offense. The Wolves scored their last touchdown before intermission when they blocked a Matt Denny field goal attempt on fourth-and-13 from the Steamwheelers 3 yd. line and Matt King fell on the ball in the end zone. Rather than go for the PAT, as Chris Koepplin had already missed two in the half, holder and back-up quarterback Willie Copeland simply ran across the goal line untouched for the two-pt. conversion.
The Wolves have a bye next weekend over the July Fourth holiday weekend and then travel to Albany to take on the Firebirds on Saturday, July 11th in a critical American Conference East Division tilt in which both teams will be fighting for a wildcard berth in the playoffs.
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