Riptide Swallowed by Fire, 62-40
LOUISVILLE, KY - Steve Gonzalez notched 283 all-purpose yards and returned a kickoff for a touchdown but it wasn't enough to put out the Fire as Louisville came away with the victory, 62-40. The Fire (8-5) held San Diego (4-9) scoreless in the second and third quarter. Quarterback Kane Claunch was given the starting nod and completed 25-of-41 passes for 285 yards, five touchdowns, and three interceptions. He was replaced by Joe Jackson with under a minute of play in the fourth quarter. Jackson completed 4-of-7 passes. The receiving core was led by Nian Taylor and Ryan Smith. Taylor hauled in 11 receptions for 74 yards and two touchdowns while Smith brought down eight catches for 117 yards and a touchdown. Smith also chipped in on defense with an interception. The Fire defense started strong in the first quarter when Lawrence Matthews intercepted two Claunch passes on San Diego's first two drives, both resulting in scores for the Fire. San Diego's Taylor and Gonzalez kept the Tide close with two touchdowns leaving the score tied, 13-13 at the end of the first. The Fire went wild in the second and third quarter as Matt Sauk opened his aerial onslaught with four touchdown passes. San Diego started to rally back in the fourth with Taylor pitching in with two quick scores, bringing the Tide within 14 with seven minutes left to play. Matt Sauk stunted the Riptide surge with two more touchdown passes. Steve Gonzalez valiantly chipped in with two touchdowns, one receiving and one kickoff return. But the Fire defense capped off the win when Rob Green returned an interception 24 yards for the touchdown leaving the score, 62-40.
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