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Turnovers cost Drillers chance at Houma

June 13, 2004 - National Indoor Football League (NIFL) - Beaumont Drillers News Release


HOUMA, LA. -- The Beaumont Drillers visited Atlantic South's first place Houma Bayou Bucks on Saturday night, but came up short 74-66. Four costly turnovers, two in the second quarter, hampered the Drillers effort. The Bayou Bucks' kickoff return team also displayed specialness racking up 214 return yards giving them prime field position all-game long. This is the thrid-straight win over Beaumont for Houma. With the loss, the Drillers now cling to the sixth and final playoff spot with two remaining games.

"This hurts bad," said Driller head coach Bryan Blake. "We were looking forward to get another shot at them. We made the same mistakes we did the first two games. Turnovers killed us the first two and this one as well."

The Drillers finished the first quarter up 21-13, with the help of running back Anthony Johnson's three rushing touchdowns. Then the turnovers set in. Bayou Buck running back Jarvis Dunn scored his first of six touchdowns to pull Houma within 21-20 with 13:53 to start the second quarter. On the following kickoff, Chad Luttrull fumbled giving Houma the ball at Beaumont's 22-yard line. Six plays later, the Bayou Bucks took their first lead of the game after Dunn scores from 1-yard out, to go up 27-20.

On the following Beaumont possession, the Drillers mounted a seven-play drive moving down to the Houma 15. On 3rd and 10, Marc Saldana's pass was intercepted by Drew Himel. One play later, Houma's Doug Coleman connected with Kevin Heard on a 33-yard touchdown strike to give the Bucks a 34-21 lead. Beaumont's only points of the quarter came on a 40-yard field goal by Darren Brown at 1:08 remaining in the second. The Bucks continued to make the second quarter theirs as Coleman hit Heard again on a 45-yard strike to go up 40-24. Beaumont did have great field position yet again setting up shop at the Houma 13. But a fumbled snap between Saldana and center Jody Cantu spoiled the Drillers scoring plans.

The Drillers were outscored 27-3 in the second quarter, the only quarter they were outscored.

Down 54-45 to start the fourth and final frame, the Drillers were driving but Jackie Warren was stripped of the ball on the Houma 10, as the ball appeared to hit the out-of-bounds wall. But the officials overruled the call and the Bayou Bucks once again had themselves a turnover, which led to six more points. Beaumont and Houma traded scores, and Houma ran the clock out to get the win. Houma improves to 9-2 while Beaumont drops to 7-5.

Saldana finished the game 14 of 26 for 239 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Jackie Warren had five catches for 63 yards, Luttrull four for 82 with one score and Pat "touchdown" Palmer had three catches for 63 yards, all for touchdowns (three). Johnson finished the game with 13 rushes for 69 yards and a season-high four touchdowns. For Houma, Coleman was 13 of 23 for 249 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. Heard led with five receptions for 109 yards and four touchdowns. Running back Dunn scored six times on 22 rushes for 102 yards. Beaumont outgained Houma 348 to 336. Duane Joubert led the defense with 11 total tackles, followed by linebacker Nick Mitchell with 10, including 3 for a loss of 14 yards with one sack.

"We struggled on our kickoff coverage for the second-straight game," said Blake. "We still are missing two players on the special teams (Kevin Mohr/Eric Winchester)."

Drillers' General Manager Steven Reap stated that changes will have be made with the special teams. "We have the worst kickoff coverage team in the Atlantic Conference," said Reap. "Four of our five losses can be attributed to our kickoff team giving up great field position."

The Drillers will hit the road for the last time next Saturday, June 19, in a crucial game against Interstate-10 rival Lake Charles at the Lake Charles Civic Center. The LandSharks are coming off two-straight home wins over Tupelo and Ohio Valley, both playoff contenders.

**Atlantic Conference Playoff Picture** Top 6 teams advance, first 2 seeds will have a first round bye.

1. Houma (9-2)
2. Ohio Vally (9-3)
3. Show Me (8-4)
T4. Tupelo (7-4)
T4. Lexington (7-4)
6. Beaumont (7-5)
*****
7. Atlantic City (6-5)
8. Fort Wayne (6-6)

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