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Vipers fall 54-48 at Bossier-Shreveport

April 3, 2010 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Alabama Vipers News Release

BOSSIER CITY, La. - The 2010 Arena Football League season got off to a frustrating start for the Alabama Vipers. A late game-tying touchdown from wide receiver Jeremy Grier off a lateral from Michael Johnson near the end zone was wiped off the board with no time left in regulation and the Vipers fell 54-48 to the Bossier-Shreveport Battle Wings on Saturday night at the CenturyTel Center. With three seconds left to play, Johnson had caught a pass from quarterback Kevin Eakin near midfield, faked a hook-and-ladder to Jason Geathers, and headed down the sideline. As he was being hit near the 5, he flipped the ball to Grier who ran into the end zone. The play was ruled a touchdown on the field but was later reversed by the officials. The Vipers went from setting up for a game-winning extra-point try from Brian Jackson to leaving the field with a season-opening loss. "It's a disappointing start to the season but our guys played hard,'' said Vipers head coach Dean Cokinos, whose team will host the Jacksonville Sharks at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Von Braun Center. "I saw some good things and bad things out there on the field. Now we just have to correct some mistakes and get ready for Jacksonville." Running back Dan Alexander had five rushing touchdowns for the Vipers, while Johnson caught 14 passes for 229 yards. Eakin completed 22 of 38 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns, with Grier and C.J. Johnson catching one each. The Vipers trailed 33-20 at halftime but pulled within six points after a long drive that ended on Alexander's 1-yard run and Jackson's kick. The Alabama defense then came up with its first stop of the game on the Battle Wings' ensuing possession and reclaimed the lead early in the final quarter on another short touchdown run by Alexander. The Battle Wings claimed a 48-34 advantage on Raymond Philyaw's long pass to Manwell Talbert with 4:37 to go. The Vipers would bounce back to tie on C.J. Johnson's 8-yard touchdown catch and a returned onside kick by Michael Johnson that set up Alexander's final score of the night. Roshawn Marshall caught a game-winning 11-yard score from Philyaw with five seconds left in regulation before the Vipers final push.

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