Vipers down Alabama Steeldogs 35-33 before 6,589 at BJCC
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 and is now are tied with Tennessee Valley for third place 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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