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Pirates Corralled By Horsemen

June 30, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Peoria Pirates News Release

PEORIA, IL - (June 28, 2008) The Peoria Pirates caught a little bit of luck this weekend, but it was certainly not from their own doing. Despite losing 61-33 in front of 3,884 at Carver Arena against Lexington, the Pirates remain mathematically alive in the playoff race because of a Louisville loss on Friday night.

The rough game started early for the Pirates when quarterback Donald Carrie, making his first career af2 start, was stripped of the football by Lexington's Jamal Naji, losing possession a little over three minutes into opening quarter. The Pirate turnover would lead to a two-play drive worth 34 yards, ending in a 28-yard pass to Lexington's receiver John Cooper to put the visitors up 7-0. Less than three minutes later, Naji would be a factor again, this time sacking Carrie in the Peoria endzone, increasing the team's lead to nine. Lexington would continue fighting in the closing minutes of the first quarter, driving to the Peoria four yard line, but turning the ball over on downs with a minute remaining.

The Lexington turnover would set up Peoria's first real drive of the game, starting on the Pirate four yard line. Phillip Brock opened up the run with a 32-yard reception from Carrie to land them in the red zone, then closed it out himself on the next play with a 9-yard run for the TD. The following point-after was blocked to keep the Lexington lead to only three. Despite the Pirate score, Lexington continued their dominance over four minutes later, this time with Chad Spencer on the receiving end of a touchdown pass. Phillip Brock would score again with over a minute remaining in the half, hauling in a 31-yard pass to put the Pirates back within two. An 11-yard pass to Harry Lewis, however, would put Lexington in a 21-13 lead to end the half.

With the exception of Phillip Brock, the second half would be anything but pleasant for Peoria. After Lexington scored two more times within the first three minutes of the half, Brock pulled in two touchdown passes 35 and 12 yards out, respectively. Those two scores would be the closest the Pirates would come to Lexington for the remainder of the game. The Horsemen would return a fumble and an interception, as well as pull in two passes to move the game out of reach for a fighting Peoria team. De'Tario Frederick would make the final score of the game, earning a 30-yard reception touchdown with 11 seconds left in the game.

Donald Carrie was roughed up in his first career af2 start, being sacked three times and picked off twice. He did manage to throw 17 for 29, totaling 277 yards in his debut. Phillip Brock was limited to his third-highest receiving total of the season, controlling 131 yards in the air with four touchdowns, three of which was by reception. Defensive manhandling from Lexington's Jamal Naji would determine the game. Naji had one sack, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery to make Carrie's debut a difficult one. Eddie Eviston would have a stellar game as well for the Horsemen, throwing 24 for 40, totaling 285 yards. John Cooper would pull in the majority of those yards, earning 141 marks and three touchdowns on ten receptions.

The Pirates take the 4th of July weekend off before traveling to Wilkes-Barre Scranton on July 12th. The Pirates head home for the final time July 19, taking on South Georgia. Great seats are still available by calling 309-673-1000.

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