Vipers defeat Steeldogs 35-33 in B'ham
BIRMINGHAM - Tennessee Valley Vipers and former UNA quarterback Chris Gunn ran for a pair of touchdowns - including the 6-yard game-winner with 9:16 to play - and passed for three others in a 35-33 victory over the Alabama Steeldogs before an announced crowd of 6,589 fans Saturday night at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.
The Vipers snapped a five-game losing streak and improved to 5-7 on the season, while the Steeldogs fell to 5-7 but fell to fourth place behind third-place Tennessee Valley in arenafootball2's South Division.
Gunn finished the evening 14 of 28 for 208 yards passing and ran for a season-high 47, including a 23-yarder early in the fourth that gave the Vipers the lead for good.
"Our men showed some tremendous determination against tough odds and found a way to win,'' Vipers coach Milt Theodosatos said. "We are headed in the right direction."
The Steeldogs grabbed an early 7-0 lead before Gunn's 22-yard pass to Joel Babb and Steven Lee's kick tied things with 12:50 left in the second quarter. The Vipers answered another Alabama touchdown on Gunn's 7-yard pass to Travis Blanchard to make it a 14-all game at the half.
Gunn's 24-yard pass to Lewis Howes put the Vipers ahead 21-14 early in the third quarter and then Gunn's 23-yard and 6-yard scampers set the table for the Tennessee Valley victory.
The Vipers withstood a pair of late Alabama touchdowns and headed back to Huntsville with their playoff hopes still alive.
Tennessee Valley plays at Everett, Wash. , next weekend before returning home July 14 to face Fort Wayne at the Von Braun Center.
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