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Ninjas Look to Keep Constitution Cup in New Haven

May 22, 2002 - arenafootball2 (af2) - New Haven Ninjas News Release

New Haven, Conn. - April 27 was a night of firsts for the New Haven Ninjas. It was the first night the Ninjas faced Connecticut rival, the Mohegan Wolves. It was the first game Kerry Taylor played for the Ninjas, and the first start for quarterback Jarrod Rouanzoin. Most importantly, it was the first win in franchise history with New Haven defeating the Wolves, 51-38. That victory not only put the Ninjas in the win column, but it made them the first team to lay claim to the Constitution Cup, a traveling trophy that goes to the victor of the New Haven/Mohegan game. The Ninjas look to keep the Cup in the Elm City this Friday when the two teams meet again.

In that first game, the Ninjas erased a 10-0 deficit en route to the victory, with Taylor rushing for 39 yards and two scores to earn game Ironman honors. Ryan Bland was selected as ADT Defensive Player of the Game, getting in on a game high eight tackles and picking off a pass on the goal line. Anthony Comer's ferocious hits and two touchdowns garnered him MVP accolades and the admiration of the fans as they chanted "Comer" following each big hit.

New Haven (2-4) went on to split its next two games, a 46-28 victory at Rochester, and a 47-43 defeat at the hands of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The Wolves (2-5) dropped their next three contests to Norfolk (58-51), Albany (41-35), and Rochester (53-50). Despite their record, the Wolves boast one of the premier players in arenafootball2T, Brandon Burnside. Burnside leads the league in points (110) and touchdowns (18), while his 756 receiving yards are good for third.

The Ninjas, on the other hand, have moved the ball around, utilizing a number of receivers. The team is lead by Comer, whose 25 receptions, 373 receiving yards, and 11 total touchdowns are top on the team. Bland has pulled in 17 passes for 168 yards and four scores, while Eric Wise's 13 receptions and 123 are good for third on the team. Comer is also the team leader in tackles with 28.5.

The Wolves' defense is among the top ten in the league, but in the first meeting between the two teams, it was the Ninjas' defense that stepped it up, forcing four fumbles, intercepting two passes, and scoring 14 points.

Game time is 7 pm with a pregame "Rock the Block" party beginning at 5 pm. Tickets for Friday's game are on sale now, starting as low as $10. Tickets are available at the New Haven Coliseum Box Office, any Ticketmaster location, online at ticketmaster.com, or by phone at 203- 624-0033. For additional team news and information, fans should visit the Ninjas' website at www.newhavenninjas.com.

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