Three First Half Turnovers Put Team Behind the Eight Ball
SOUTHAVEN --- Green Bay Blizzard took advantage of three Memphis turnovers in the first half in a 67-50 win over the Xplorers in the American Conference Semifinals Friday night in Green Bay.
How the night would go for the Xplorers as indicated early. After Memphis took a 7-0 lead on the opening possession, Kenny Higgins intercepted a tipped James MacPherson pass on the Blizzard's second offensive play of the game giving the Xplorers first and goal at the Green Bay 5. Unfortunately, Memphis QB Brian Jones' pass on the very next play deflected off the finger tips of intended receiver Kevin Prentiss, off the net and into the arms of Blizzard DB Luke Leverson.
Green Bay would take the new life and march down the field to tie the game at 7. Kevin Prentiss did what he does better than any player in af2 history, as he returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards for his second TD return in as many weeks to make the score 14-7.
A Blizzard fumble set up a Brian Jones 39 yard TD pass to Adrian Burnette, resulting in a 20-7 Xplorers advantage.
Green Bay has been known for comebacks all season, and right on cue, they rallied. Helped by fumbles by Terrance Quattlebaum and Greg Golden, the Blizzard scored four of the next five touchdowns. And after a Steven Azar field goal on the final play of the half, Green Bay had a 34-30 halftime lead.
Memphis could not get the defensive stop it needed in the second half and was out scored 33-20 to make the final 67-50.
Brian Jones was 24 of 37 passing for 352 yards, one INT, three touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns. Kevin Prentiss closed out the season with a 9 catch performance for 101 yards and two TD receptions.
The Xplorers close the season with an over-all record of 12-6. The game also marked the final game on the sideline for Head Coach Danton Barto. Barto, who is moving up to the AFL's Las Vegas Gladiators next season, finished his five year tenure with a 49-37 record, a Midwest Division crown, a National Conference title and an ArenaCup Championship.
The Blizzard will play the winner of the Manchester at Florida game tomorrow night in the Conference Finals next week.
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