Wolves Extend Win Streak To Five Straight With 45-40 Win Over Firecats
The Manchester Wolves (10-6) secured home field advantage for the first-round of the American Conference playoffs for the second year in a row thanks to their nail-biting 45-40 win over the Florida Firecats (11-5) Saturday night on Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. in front of 6,061 fans.
With the victory the Wolves extended their win-streak to five straight games, along with exacting revenge on a previous loss suffered by the hands of the Firecats, 49-27, back on June 16 in Estero, Florida.
The Wolves were led offensively by the receiving duo of Ari Confesor (Schutt Offensive Player of the Game, 10 catches, 115 yards, three touchdowns) and Patrick Rouzard (eight catches, 51 yards, three touchdowns). Wolves quarterback Mark Radlinski threw for five touchdowns and one interception before being pulled in favor of backup Brian Zbydniewski who came in strong, completing five of his seven passes for 45 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Firecats fell short on the Manchester 5-yard line as quarterback Chris Wallace was being chased out of the pocket with no time left by a pack of Wolves (linemen Maurice Fountain, Jimmy Williams and Ramal Faunteroy). Wallace threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns in the loss, but spread the ball evenly as all three of his receivers; Ethenic Sands (11 catches, 141 yards), Chris McKinney (nine catches, 100 yards, two touchdowns) and Magic Benton (six catches, 106 yards, two touchdowns) all gained over 100 yards each.
Manchester defense came up big in the win stopping the potent Firecat offense three times in the win, led by ADT Defensive Player of the Game Deon Giddens (game high 9.5 tackles, one forced fumble).
Former University of New Hampshire kicker Connor McCormick continued his strong performance at home, connecting on four of his six PATs along with hitting two field goals (22, 25).
Bennett has now guided the Wolves to three straight playoff appearances which includes hosting a second-round playoff game in 2005 and a first-round playoff game in 2006, the Wolves reached the second-round of the playoffs in both of those seasons.
The Wolves will look to carry their winning ways into the post season when they host either the Green Bay Blizzard, Louisville Fire or the Central Valley Coyotes in the first-round of the American Conference playoffs next Friday August 3 at 7:30 p.m.
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