Osceola looks to Rebound Against West Palm Beach
For the first time, Osceola Football was involved in the classic kind of You-Score-But-We-Score-But-You-Score-But-We-Score-But-You-Score-But-We-Score-Last-So-We-Win games the National Indoor Football League has come to be known for. Unfortunately, it was the home team that was on the wrong side of this one. The Fayetteville Guard jumped out to a two-touchdown lead in the first quarter, held on as Osceola mounted a comeback, then scored the go-ahead touchdown with 35 second remaining, handing the home team its first loss, a 58-55 decision at the Silver Spurs Arena on Saturday.
Osceola had a chance to tie it on the final play of the game but a 30-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left.
The Guard went with a steady dose of quarterback Shaun Withy-Allen, who threw for three touchdown passes and led the Fayetteville offense to TDs on seven of its 10 drives. Osceola Football climbed back into it, getting the first of Odest Shannon's four rushing touchdowns and a short TD pass from Ramon Robinson to Ty Law with three seconds left in the first half to close the gap to 36-26 going into the break.
Jeff Bacigalupi made it 35-29 with a 29-yard field goal in the third period, but after trading touchdowns Osceola trailed 50-36 entering the fourth quarter. But, faster than you can say Bacigalupi, Osceola stormed back to take the lead. Coach Marquette Smith went back to his usual suspects, Shannon (TD runs of 4 and 9 yards) and Law (a 9-yard TD pass from Robinson) to take a 55-50 lead with 4:47 left. But the Osceola defense didn't hold and the Guard defense did, and it leaves Coach Smith needed a win this Saturday at the West Palm Beach Phantoms.
Robinson had his best outing in an Osceola uniform. The quarterback was 9-of-18 passing for 131 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown.
"He had a great game, but Odest did everything," Coach Smith said. "He had four fumbles the week before and I'd been on him in practice all week and he really stepped up."
Osceola Football Player of the Game: Odest Shannon. The 5-10, 205-pound running back out of Western Kentucky carried 21 times for 102 and four touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 55 yards and accounted for nearly two-thirds of Osceola's 244 total yards.
Next up is the squad's first road game at the 0-2 Phantoms, who play at home at the Delray Beach Tennis Center for the first time this season. The Phantoms' quarterback is JuJuan Seider. He played at Florida A&M and spent time with the San Diego Chargers. LaFann Williams, last year's starting running back for the Kissimmee Kreatures, also dots their roster.
On The Hot Seat: Chad Mascoe, Terrell Showers and Harvey Joiner, otherwise known as the Front Three. They will have to get in the face of Seider to slow down the Phantom offense, which has gotten off to quick starts in both of their games despite losing each one.
"This is the type of team that makes me nervous because they're 0-2 and we're looked at as a good team so I expect their best game," Smith said. "But our guys got character, showed it and they also saw that we're not invincible. We'll make a few adjustments."
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