Partlow gets first victiry in Wranglers 57-36 win
AUSTIN - Wranglers Head Coach Brian Partlow secured his first head coaching victory as Austin defeated the Las Vegas Gladiators 57-36 at the Frank Erwin Center in front of 10,422 loud and crazy fans.
In a game that paired two first year head coaches, Partlow ended up on top in large part to his creative offense and the Wranglers relentless effort on defense and special teams. Austin kept Las Vegas off the scoreboard until 8:59 remaining in the second quarter.
Wranglers ADT Defensive Player of the Game fullback Dane Krager sacked Gladiators rookie quarterback Shaun King twice in the game, both of which forced Las Vegas field goals. Krager also had four tackles and one quarterback hit on the day. With the Gladiators struggling to get anything going on offense, this allowed for the Wranglers to move the ball well throughout the game.
Utilizing Austin quarterback Adrian McPherson's arm and legs today, he was able to tally 205 yards passing on 13-24 with five touchdowns through the air and zero interceptions. Also creating plays with his feet, McPherson ran five times for 26 yards and one touchdown. In his Wranglers debut and return to the AFL after two years away from the game, McPherson was named the Offensive Player of the Game.
Spreading the ball out amongst receivers, fullbacks and others, McPherson used five different players to move the ball down the field. The Wranglers also handed the ball off to wide receiver Sedrick Robinson three times, as he gained 21 yards and one touchdown. Veteran fullback Chad Dukes also was a dual threat as he ran twice for eight yards and a touchdown while catching four passes for 66 yards and one touchdown.
Another recipient of a McPherson touchdown pass was linebacker Greg Brown, who scored on 10-yard reception early in the fourth quarter. Dominating on defense as well, Brown made 10 tackles and one pass break up earning the Ironman of the Game honor.
Rounding out the AFL's opening weekend, the Wranglers began the game with a field goal coming from newly acquired kicker Mark Lewis. M.Lewis, who lead's the AFL in all-time field goal percentage, was 2-for-3 on field goals and 6-of-6 on extra points.
Partlow installed some trickery right at the beginning, using M.Lewis' accuracy to place an onside kick right into Brown's hands. Austin drove down the field and capped of the drive with Dukes touchdown.
On the Gladiators ensuing drive, Las Vegas was unable to get out of their own end zone, leading to a safety.
With the Wranglers next possession, sensational wide receiver Derrick Lewis grabbed a tipped ball off the iron, scoring his first touchdown of the season and giving Austin a
19-0 lead to end the scoring in the first quarter. D.Lewis returned to the Wranglers and again made a huge impact, ending the day with two catches for two touchdowns and 27 yards.
The Gladiators began to gain some momentum as the game went on, but defensive back Nate Coggins sealed the victory for the Wranglers with an interception and a 19-yard return, to go with his 7.5 tackles in his Wranglers debut.
Next Sunday, Austin will travel to Georgia to face Southern Division foe, the Force, and Coggins former team, in a game that proves to be an electrifying offensive display from both teams. After a two-game road trip, the Wranglers return home to the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, March 24, hosting the Nashville Kats. For tickets, please call 512.339.3939 or visiting the Official Website of the Austin Wranglers, www.austinwranglers.com.
• Discuss this story on the Arena Football League (1987-2008) message board...
Arena Football League (1987-2008) Stories from March 4, 2007
- Gladiators Unable to Overcome Early Deficit - Las Vegas Gladiators
- Partlow gets first victiry in Wranglers 57-36 win - Austin Wranglers
- Rampage Defeat Crush in Season Opener, 44-42 - Grand Rapids Rampage
- Brigade roughs up defending champs to open second season - Kansas City Brigade
- Rush falls to Kansas City in Opener 54-41 - Chicago Rush
- Dallas Topples Dragons in Season Opener - New York Dragons
- Rattlers Show Fight, Fall To Force 69-65 - Arizona Rattlers
- Game-winning field goal lifts Blaze over VooDoo, 63-61 - Utah Blaze
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.