Steamwheelers Game Recap
MOLINE, Ill. Talk about a second half. On the season, the Quad City Steamwheelers had been an all but perfect 8-1 when leading at halftime and a dismal 1-5 when trailing at halftime. So when the Steamwheelers were trailing 24-19 at the half to the Louisville Fire, things were not looking good. But coach Rich Ingold had something to say at halftime. After the first half, what I said in the locker room, you cant put in print I was so frustrated, Ingold said. (Kicker Ryan) Geisler and (offensive specialist Jeff) Hewitt, I confronted both of them and told them theyve got to play better, and they both came out and had a great second half. That they did as the Steamwheelers outscored the Fire 47-14 en route to a 66-38 win in front of a season best 7,285 fans at The MARK of the Quad Cities. The win clinched their fourth Midwest Division title in five years and a home playoff game on Saturday, Aug. 7., against the Fire. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at The MARK. Tickets will go on sale Monday morning at The MARK box office at 10 a.m. The game was a tale of two halves. The teams traded scores back and forth the entire first half. Then the Steamwheelers took over in the second half. On the first play after the second kickoff, Steamwheelers quarterback Ronnie Gordon found wide receiver/defensive back Tim Dodge at the 10-yard line, Dodge then dodged every Louisville defender and scampered the remaining 40 yards for the go-ahead score. The Steamwheeler would not trail the rest of the game. Geisler then added a season best 46-yard field goal. On the next possession, wide receiver/linebacker Charles Sheffield picked off a quarterback Matt Sauk pass and returned it 8 yards for the score. Sauk, who entered the game as the leagues top passer in passing yards, threw five interceptions on the night with two of them returned for scores. He finished the night 18-of-35 for 250 yards and four scores. Steamwheelers defensive specialist Matt Forbes had three of those picks and one of them was returned for a touchdown. He finished the night with seven tackles and five pass deflections to earn ADT Defensive Player of the Game honors. Dodge was named U.S. Army Ironman of the Game for the seventh consecutive week as he hauled in five passes for 144 yards and two scores to go along with four tackles on defense. Hewitt finished the night with five receptions for 102 yards and three scores as well as three kickoff returns for 48 yards to earn Baby Ruth Real Deal Offensive Player of the Game honors. Gordon, who had a tremendous game when the Steamwheelers played the Fire at Freedom Hall on June 5 in a 62-61 loss, had another big night as he completed 14-of-27 passes for 334 yards (second best outing of the season) and five touchdowns. He did throw one interception. For the fifth consecutive season, the Steamwheelers have qualified for the playoffs (participating in four as they were banned from the 2002 playoffs). Ingold guaranteed that the Steamwheelers would win their final two games of the regular season and the Midwest Division. And the Steamwheelers did just that.
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