Steamwheelers Lose Heartbreaker to Blizzard, 39-34
August 3, 2007, (Moline, Ill.) - The Quad City Steamwheelers controlled the first 29 minutes of opening round of the ArenaCup Playoffs storming out to a 21-0 lead at the i wireless Center on Friday, August 3rd. However, a Gerald Harris 56-yard missed field goal return with no time remaining in the second quarter and a 56-yard kickoff return to open the second half sparked a 39-34 Green Bay Blizzard come from behind victory. With the Wheelers dominating the game and holding a 21-0 advantage heading into the final seconds of the first half the two scores gave the Blizzard new life as it went on to win the game 39-34 in front of 2,562 fans.
An interception by the Blizzard's Ronnie Amadi setup a seven play, four minute and 50 second drive that pulled the Blizzard to within one at 21-20 with just 4:55 remaining in the third frame. Two plays later Wheelers wide receiver Jack Walker Jr., hauled in his second touchdown catch of the night, a 41-yard strike, to give Quad City an eight point lead.
In the fourth quarter, Green Bay quarterback, Zeke Dixon, found Scott Burnoski for a 13-yard pass to pull within six at 28-26. Antonio Ficklin forced and recovered a fumble with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game giving the Blizzard a chance for its first lead of the night. Five plays later Green Bay took the lead on a Dixon to Nathan Hardwick 19-yard pass with 5:06 remaining in the contest. The Wheelers wasted little time regaining the lead as Kris Peters capped a two-play drive with a 30-yard touchdown catch from J.J. Raterink. The Blizzard did everything right in the final three minutes as it controlled the clock and ate 2:16 off of the 2:36 remaining before Burnoski scored on a six-yard pass. The Wheelers had a chance with 20 seconds remaining in the game, but were unable to come up with the needed touchdown.
The Steamwheelers finished with 224 total yards, while Raterink threw for 235-yards and four touchdowns on 19-completion, while adding a two-yard rushing touchdown. Walker Jr., finished with 94-yards and two touchdowns on eight catches, while Tom Anthony registered 83-yards and one touchdown on seven catches. Sidney Lewis led the Wheelers defense with six total tackles.
For the Blizzard, Dixon finished with 223 yards and three touchdowns on 26 completions. Burnoski had 90 yards and two touchdowns on a game-high 10 catches. Stephen Cason finished with a team-high 5.5 tackles for the Blizzard.
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