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 Northern Arizona Wranglers

Strike Force Breaks Two-Game Losing Streak Following 54-45 Win against Wranglers

May 6, 2024 - Indoor Football League (IFL)
Northern Arizona Wranglers News Release

SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- The Northern Arizona Wranglers faced defeat Sunday on the road, falling to the San Diego Strike Force by a score of 54-45.

The Wranglers began this Western Conference battle with their offense in possession of the ball. After turning the ball over on downs, the Strike Force struck first with a touchdown, giving them an early 6-0 lead. The Wranglers responded with a rushing touchdown from wide receiver Arsiah McCorker. The first quarter ended with the Strike Force in possession of the football and the Wranglers in front by a score of 7-6.

Former Wranglers and current Strike Force kicker Conor Mangan nailed a 25-yard field goal, followed by a deuce on the kickoff to give the Strike Force an 11-7 lead during the early moments of the second quarter. The Wranglers responded with a 41-yard strike from quarterback Joshua Jones to wide receiver Gene Coleman II. Coleman II made an incredible contested grab for the touchdown, as the Wranglers jumped back in front of the Strike Force, leading by three points. On the ensuing possession, the Strike Force scored a touchdown and missed the extra point attempt. Wranglers kicker Axel Perez tied the game at 17-17 on the following possession. The Wranglers' defense then surrendered a touchdown in one play and found themselves trailing by a score of 23-17.

The Wranglers offense responded quickly on the next drive, this time with a Jones rushing touchdown. The Wranglers led by one, as the scoreboard read 24-23. With just 32 seconds left, the Strike Force trotted out for their final offensive drive of the half. San Diego ran a quarterback sneak from the Wranglers' one-yard line and scored a touchdown as time expired. The Wranglers went into the locker room at halftime, trailing the Strike Force by a score of 31-24.

Northern Arizona began the second half on defense, surrendering a touchdown to fall behind by two scores. On the following drive, Jones found wide receiver John Maldonado open for a touchdown. The Wranglers kept chasing their deficit and traded touchdowns with Strike Force on the next two drives. Northern Arizona's next score was courtesy of McCorker, who grabbed his second touchdown of the game with a pass from Jones. The third quarter ended with the Wranglers trailing the Strike Force by a score of 45-38.

The fourth quarter began with a play that gave the Wranglers a much-needed spark. Defensive end Tramond Lofton forced a fumble, and it was recovered by defensive back Malik Sonnier. The spark flamed out quickly after the Strike Force nabbed an interception off Jones, giving the ball right back to San Diego. The Strike Force capitalized off this mistake and extended their lead back to two possessions with a touchdown. On the following possession, wide receiver Kobay White came up with an amazing snag in the end zone, right over a Strike Force defender for the touchdown. The Strike Force ended their next possession with a successful Mangan field goal, and the Wranglers trailed by nine points with just under two minutes remaining in the contest. Down two possessions, the Wranglers missed a field goal on their final possession, and the Strike Force ran the clock out to end the game.

The Wranglers ultimately fell short, losing by nine points. Northern Arizona's mistakes were costly in this game, and they struggled to stop the San Diego air attack. The Wranglers turned the ball over on downs during their first offensive possession and negated the defense, forcing a turnover by giving the ball right back. Northern Arizona fought hard, but they couldn't get the job done in San Diego. This is the Wranglers' second loss of the season, as their record drops to 4-2.

The Wranglers look forward to their next game this Saturday, May 11, as they return home following a short week and another tough matchup with the defending IFL Champion Bay Area Panthers. The Wranglers must shift their focus towards having a complete performance against a tough opponent. The Wranglers will be excited to be back in front of their home crowd on Clarion Pointe Field inside the Findlay Toyota Center.

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