Roughnecks Unable To Hold Second Half Lead, Omaha Defeats Odessa, 70-58
ODESSA, TX: For the first time this season the Odessa Roughnecks played an opponent outside the Lone Star Division on Friday, April 24. That opponent was the Omaha Beef who entered the game at 3-2 and riding a two-game winning streak. Omaha struck first following a QB Dennis Gile interception. RB R.J. Rollins scored his first of three rushing touchdowns to give Omaha a 6-0 lead. Odessa quickly countered as Gile hooked up with WR Eric Taylor for a 36-yard touchdown pass to give Odessa the lead at 7-6. Omaha added rushing touchdowns from Mike Jones and James McNear in the first quarter, and Roughnecks wide out Eric Taylor registered a 38-yard rushing touchdown to make it 19-13, Omaha leading after the quarter.
Odessa exploded for 27 points in the second quarter and it all began with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Dennis Gile to WR Torrey Day making it 20-19, Odessa. Beef wide out O.J. Simpson caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from QB James McNear to give Omaha a six point lead at 26-20 following the Torrey Day touchdown reception. Dennis Gile added a two-yard rushing touchdown and RB David Daniels registered his first touchdown of the season from five yards out to tie the game at 33 with five minutes remaining in the half. The momentum swung in Odessa's favor before halftime as Dennis Gile found Eric Taylor for a 40-yard touchdown pass to give Odessa a 40-36 lead at halftime.
The second half once again did not roll in the Roughnecks favor. Beef running back R. J. Rollins gave Omaha the lead in the third quarter with a one-yard touchdown run to make it 43-40. Beef defensive back, Cortney Grixby, was the difference-maker in the third quarter. Grixby returned a blocked Roughnecks field goal attempt 50 yards for a touchdown and he returned a kickoff 57 yards for a score, giving Omaha a 56-46 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The Roughnecks defense could not slow down the Beef offense in the fourth quarter as WR O.J. Simpson caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from McNear to give the Beef a 63-46 lead. McNear would later add an eight-yard touchdown run in the quarter. Odessa would make a late surge to close the gap with two touchdown passes from Dennis Gile to Eric Taylor. However, the Beef offense was too much for the Odessa defense as Omaha sent the Roughnecks to an 0-4 start on the season with a 70-58 win.
Dennis Gile threw for 260 yards and recorded 6 total touchdowns in the loss. Eric Taylor had his best game of the season with eight receptions for 141 yards and four touchdowns. Beef quarterback James McNear threw for 162 yards and registered four total touchdowns (two rushing, two passing) and WR O.J. Simpson caught seven passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns.
Roughnecks newly acquired DL Marc Jones led Odessa with seven total tackles including one tackle for a loss. Odessa remains on the road next weekend as they face the Corpus Christi Hammerheads for the first time in the '09 season on Saturday, May 2.
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