Twisters Level Copperheads 78-26
North Little Rock, AR - Saturday night at Alltel Arena in North Little Rock the Arkansas Twisters defeated the Texas Copperheads 78-26 before a crowd of 6212. The 78 point outburst was Arkansas' highest scoring performance of the 2008 season. With the win Arkansas finishes the 2008 regular season with an 11-5 record and will host Central Valley in the first round of the af2 playoffs. Texas closes out the season at 2-14 with the defeat.
Texas jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead as Nick Gatto converted a 20 yard field goal attempt and Stephen Wasil connected with Ervin Dickerson for an 18 yard score.
The Twisters then took control of the game and out scored Texas 78-16 the rest of the way. Twisters QB Kyle Rowley threw 8 TD passes to four different receivers during Arkansas' run. Arkansas WR Chris Denney, who was on the receiving end of 3 of Rowley's TD strikes, finished the season with 44 receiving TDs, 45 overall, in just 11 games played.
Arkansas' offense also scored on a 4th quarter TD run by starting center Vinnie Olson. Facing first down and goal at the Texas 2 yard line, Olson lined up at FB. His first rushing attempt advanced the ball to the Copperheads 1. Olson used his second attempt to plunge into the end zone. Olson's TD was bittersweet as his father, who had made the trip to Arkansas to see him play, suddenly passed away on Friday.
Arkansas also scored three times defensively. At the 8:17 mark of the 2nd quarter Jamie Hattley made a nifty twisting interception of a Wasil pass which he then returned 15 yards for a TD. On Texas' first possession of the 2nd half Tito Hannah picked up a Wasil fumble and rambled 7 yards for a score. Late in the 4th quarter Arkansas recorded a safety when Texas WR Tim Riley was covered in the Copperheads' end zone after recovering a Carlton fumble.
During Arkansas' dominant run Texas' final 16 points came on a 2nd quarter Wasil to Riley 8 yard scoring strike, a 2nd quarter 24 yard Nick Gatto FG and a 4th quarter 25 yard Rudy Carlton to Chris Baker TD. Gatto scored 8 points on the evening and finished the season as Texas' leading scorer (109) and af2 leader with 17 made FG attempts.
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