Spartans Tripped Up In Home Opener
La Crosse, WI: Improvement is sometimes an underappreciated word, however that is the perfect way to characterize the Spartans play as of late. Playing in front of a raucous home crowd at the La Crosse Center on Saturday night, the Spartans fell 37-27 to the Omaha Beef, but it was the stout defensive play against one of the league's top offenses, and a fierce rushing attack that has shown the rest of the Indoor Football League that this isn't the same Spartans team that began their season a little over a month ago.
"Any fan who has followed this team can tell what an improvement we have made in a short time on both sides of the ball," stated Spartans Co-Owner and General Manager Chris Kokalis. "The home crowd definitely gave us a little spark this evening, and with four more home games in a row, we fully expect the continued improvement to turn into W's."
Omaha jumped on the board on their first possession when Quarterback Ben Sankey, who played in last season's United Bowl Championship as a member of the Rivercity Rage, found receiver O.J. Simpson for a ten yard strike. Then after going down 14-0, Spartans Runningback Mark Bonds took matters into his own hands. The elusive back rumbled 14 yards before crossing the goal line to give La Crosse their first points of the game. At half time the scoreboard read 20-9.
The second half belonged mainly to the Spartans. Bonds ran for two more scores, including a nine yard scamper that got the Spartans to within two points at 29-27, however the veteran Sankey caught the defense out of position on their next possession hitting Simpson once again for a 38 yard scoring strike. The pay sealed the Spartans fate, and they saw their record fall to 0-4.
The team is hoping their second half success carries over into this weekend's home game against cross state rival, the Green Bay Blizzard. In their first meeting on March 19th, the Blizzard handed the Spartans a 48-12 defeat. Kickoff for the rematch is scheduled for 3:00 p.m. at the La Crosse Center this Sunday. Tickets for the game are still available, but are running out FAST! They can be purchased through ticketmaster.com or by visiting the La Crosse Center Box Office. Partial-season and discounted group tickets are still available as well, and can be purchased by calling the Spartans office at 608-567-4299. For more information on tickets, or for general Spartans news, visit www.lacrossespartans.com.
Game Notes: Bonds finished with 79 yards on 18 rushing attempts to go along with his three scores...Defensive Linemen Xzavie Jackson scored a 1 yard touchdown run as welcoming into the game as a short yardage back...Sankey finished the night 22 of 31 passing for 183 yards and five touchdowns...Simpson and Mo Avery combined for 135 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns.
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Indoor Football League Stories from April 6, 2010
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- Spartans Tripped Up In Home Opener - La Crosse Spartans
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