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Ninjas Earn First Victory, 51-38, Over Mohegan

April 28, 2002 - arenafootball2 (af2) - New Haven Ninjas News Release

New Haven, Conn. – The New Haven Ninjas erased a 10-0 deficit to defeat the Mohegan Wolves 51-38 at the New Haven Coliseum Saturday night in front of a crowd of 3,626. The victory is the first in franchise history for the Ninjas, and gives them a 1-3 record on the season. The win also gives New Haven the advantage in the battle for Connecticut arenafootball2™ supremacy.

Entering the second quarter down 10-0, the Ninjas rattled off 28 unanswered points. Jarrod Rouanzoin found Eric Wise on two consecutive drives for 22 and 25 yards. Anthony Comer and Kerry Taylor finished off the respective drives with touchdown runs, giving the Ninjas’ a 14-10 lead.

“Eric Wise and Anthony Comer are always going to be some of the most consistent players on this team,” said Buffington. “We had a lot of guys step it up and hopefully this is a change for us.”

The Ninjas’ defense made big plays throughout the game, scoring 14 points of its own. Ryan Brady blocked a field goal attempt and defensive lineman, Eric Bouris, pounced on the ball in the endzone for the third Ninjas’ touchdown. Defensive back Victor Benson recovered a fumbled, stripped by Bill Gipson, and returned it 24 yards for the score. Three plays later Brian Watson pulled down Mohegan quarterback Kevin Carty in the endzone for the safety. Brady also intercepted a pass that led to a Ninjas’ score.

“We won this game tonight all on defense,” said Buffington. “Basic defense - we just really stepped up.”

While the first three quarters were relatively low scoring, the two teams lit up the scoreboard in the final frame, adding 43 points. Comer and Taylor each scored their second touchdowns of the game - Comer’s on an 11-yard pass from Rouanzoin, and Taylor on an 8-yard run.

While the Ninjas’ defense stepped it up through the game, the team took a breather in the final minute, allowing the Wolves (2-2) to put up two touchdowns. Carty threw a 40-yard strike to Brent Burnside with 36 ticks left, and a 45-yarder to Anthony Giovingo as time expired to make the final score 51-38.

The Ninjas travel to Rochester next Friday, May 3, at 7:30 pm. The Brigade defeated the Ninjas 61-34 in the first meeting between the two teams.

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