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Vipers win 45-44 at Iowa

June 5, 2010 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Alabama Vipers News Release

DES MOINES, Iowa - The Alabama Vipers rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half and pulled out a 45-44 victory over the Iowa Barnstormers before 8,143 fans Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Arena. Wide receiver Alonzo Nix - playing in his first game for the Vipers since catching a crucial overtime touchdown in the team's 2008 Arena Cup championship victory - came through again with a 10-yarder from quarterback Kevin Eakin with 12.1 to play. The Barnstormers tried a late 40-yard field goal to win it, but the attempt by Jeff Glas fell short and Alabama improved to 5-4 on the Arena Football League season. Iowa fell to 3-5 and lost for the third time in four games. "What a great road win. These guys just didn't give up,'' Vipers coach Dean Cokinos said. "Now it's time to get ready for Tampa Bay." The Vipers return home Friday night and will host the Tampa Bay Storm at the Von Braun Center. Kickoff is set for 7:05 and the game will be broadcast nationally on the NFL Network. The Viperville pregame party outside the VBC's South Hall will also take place and discounted ticket information and packages can be obtained by logging on to the Vipers website at www.alabamavipers.com or calling the Alabama office at 256-428-4477. Eakin finished the game 34 of 50 for 386 yards and six touchdowns with two interceptions. Larry Shipp had three touchdown catches, Jeremy Grier two and Dan Alexander one rushing score for the Vipers. Defensive back Vince Hill had two interceptions for Alabama, the last setting up a late Eakin to Shipp score that pulled the Vipers within 41-39 with 5:21 to play. Iowa got a 26-yard field goal from Glas that made it a 44-39 contest with 1:37 left in regulation, but Alabama answered and headed home a winner. Alabama trailed 28-26 at halftime on Eakin's 5-yard pass to Shipp and the second missed extra point from fill-in kicker Greg Gundersen. The Vipers then fell behind by eight after the Barnstormers turned an Eakin interception into six more points, with Ryan Vena hitting Todd Blythe on a 21-yarder with just under four minutes elapsed in the third quarter. Eakin's second thrown interception of the half allowed Ellingworth to haul in a 15-yard pass from Vena for a 41-26 advantage with 5:09 to go in the third quarter, but Hill's first interception gave the Vipers new life early in the fourth quarter and Alabama scrapped back from there.

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