Manchester Wolves Win 53-28 in Green Bay
GREEN BAY, WI-The Manchester Wolves manhandled the Blizzard in Green Bay 53-28 with a dominating defense and offensive firepower as they won their first game of the arenafootball2 league season on Friday night.
Despite trailing 20-18 at halftime, the Wolves (1-1) held the Blizzard (1-1) scoreless in the third quarter with the help of back-to-back interceptions by Rob Green on Green Bay's first two drives while they were backed up against their goal line. The Wolves offense, led by quarterback James Pinkney (25 of 32 for 306 yards with 0 INTs and 4 TDs), was unstoppable in the rest of the stanza as Manchester hung 21 unanswered points on the scoreboard to take a 39-20 advantage and then also outscored the Blizzard 14-8 in the fourth quarter.
Under heavy pressure from the Wolves defense, the Blizzard were out of sync all night and quarterback Gino Guidugli (17 of 36 for 166 yards with 3 INTs and 1 TD), who was replaced late in the fourth quarter by Mark Nicolet, was ineffectual. While Nicolet got Green Bay into the end zone and then connected on a 2-point conversion to make the score 46-28 with 2:34 left on the clock, the Wolves came right back after recovering the onside kick and tacked on another touchdown.
Pinkney, who was outstanding in his second start of the season, had solid protection from his offensive line and spread the ball around to all three different receivers while takin g full advantage of a Blizzard defensive unit that was worn down by being on the field for most of the action.
The Wolves set the tone on the first play of the game when Pinkney connected with Steven Savoy for a 45-yard scoring strike and then the two were successful again on the two-point conversion as Manchester had an easy 8-0 lead with a little more than one minute elapsed. The defense held Green Bay out of the end zone on its first possession with a forced and recovered fumble at the Manchester 3-yard line, and then Pinkney shredded the Blizzard secondary as he moved the offense at will before waltzing in to the end zone untouched on a 1-yard quarterback keeper to put the Wolves ahead 15-0.
With the Wolves leading 18-7 midway through the second quarter, Manchester again froze the Blizzard drive when Dwan Wilson picked off a deflected ball to give the Wolves a first down at the Green Bay 10-yard line. But Green Bay's defense, which had given up big plays until then, held the Wolves on downs and when Guidugli got the ball back he found Brian Hernandez in the end zone on a 20 second scoring drive to bring the Blizzard within four points at 18-14. The20Green Bay defense came up with a big turnover to end the first half when Robert Garth recovered a Pinkney fumble inside the 10-yard line and returned it all the way up the field for the score and the 20-18 lead at intermission.
After two straight road games, the Wolves return to Manchester to face their East Division foe Albany Firebirds in the home opener on The Acting Loft Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena next Saturday night on April 18th.
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