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Ninjas' Comeback Falls Short Against Pioneers

May 19, 2002 - arenafootball2 (af2) - New Haven Ninjas News Release

New Haven, Conn. – Bryan Snyder completed 19 of 29 passes and the Pioneers running game netted 59 yards and four touchdowns to give Wilkes- Barre/Scranton (1-6) its first victory of the season, a 47-43 win over New Haven Ninjas (2-4) in front of 3,745 at the New Haven Coliseum.

The Pioneers held a 44-30 lead with just 56 seconds left in the game, but Jarrod Rouanzoin hit Anthony Comer for 35 yards and a touchdown to cut the lead. A Ninjas’ on-side kick attempt was ruled down and Wilkes- Barre took over on the five-yard line with 45 ticks remaining. The Pioneers ran down the clock before Jimmy Kibble kicked a field goal to push the lead to 47-37. On the first play of the following Ninjas’ drive, Rouanzoin again connected with Comer for a 25-yard touchdown. New Haven attempted another on-sides kick, but this time Peter Clarke recovered the ball for the Ninjas. With 16 seconds left, the Ninjas took control at their own 17-yard line, but were not able to capitalize.

Rouanzoin threw for four touchdowns on the day, and ran for another pair, but completed just seven of 28 passes.

“It’s tough coming off a bye week, especially after we got our first two wins and seemed to be on a roll,” said Rouanzoin. “But we’ll be ok, and we’ll get back on track.”

Snyder utilized seven receivers for the Pioneers, including five passes to both Bob Washington and Matt Jackson, with Jackson pulling in both Snyder touchdown passes.

Wilkes-Barre worked onto the board first with an eight-minute drive, with seemingly every bounce going its way. The drive almost ended before it started as Snyder’s pass from the five-yard line was batted by Brian Watson and back into Snyder’s hands. He was able to just get out of the end zone to avoid the safety. Five plays later, a hit by Comer forced Opio Gary to fumble, but he was able to recover the ball to keep the drive alive. The Ninjas next face instate rival, Mohegan, Friday, May 24 at the New Haven Coliseum. Game time is 7 pm.

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