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Wolves lose at home to QCS 50-48

May 9, 2009 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Manchester Wolves News Release

MANCHESTER, NH- The Manchester Wolves lost in the friendly confines of the Verizon Wireless Arena for the first time this season when the Quad City Steamwheelers put together a big fourth quarter effort and came from behind for the 50-48 road victory.

The Wolves, who lost back-to-back games also for the first time in 2009, dropped to 3-3 on the season while the visiting Steamwheelers improved to 4-2. Wolves standout wide receiver Emery Sammons, who was tackled head first into the boards near the end of the first half, taken off the field on a stretcher, and transported to Manchester's Elliott Hospital, was alert and undergoing CAT scans for a head injury at game's end.

The Wolves looked like they were going to steamroll the Steamwheelers when they held a 42-28 lead heading into the final quarter. But Quad City's defense dug down deep and wore down the Wolves, particularly along the line of scrimmage, while Steamwheelers quarterback JJ Raterink finally got into his rhythm. After scoring on their first possession of the fourth quarter on a 36-yard touchdown catch by leading receiver Jesse Schmidt to only trail by one touchdown, 42-35, Quad City got the ball right back when Demarcus Robinson picked off Manchester quarterback James Pinkney at the Wolves 20-yard line and returned it to the 15. Two plays later Raterink found Jason=2 0Jones with a quick 2-yard strike but Wolves defensive end Ramel Meekins blocked the kick and the Steamwheelers were within one point 42-41 instead of tied.

Things went from bad to worse for the Wolves on their next possession when Anton Ceasar nailed Pinkney (16-29- 211 yds , 3 TDs and 1 INT) in his own end zone for the safety and the Steamwheelers led for the first time in the game 43-41 with 6:21 left on the clock.

Employing ball control offense and eating up the clock, Raterink (25-43-290yds, 6 TDS 1 INT) executed a seven-play 45 yard drive that lasted 4:52 and stretched the Quad City lead to 50-42. Manchester came right back with a five-play, 40 yard scoring drive when Pinkney called his own number and crossed into the end zone from the 1-yard line. Forced to go for the two-point conversion with 9.2 seconds left in the game, Pinkney was steamrolled by a swarming Steamwheelers defense lead by Tyus Jackson and Terrance Freeney and stopped in the backfield.

Manchester had one more shot for the win, but Chris Koepplin's onside kick was recovered by Quad City and that effectively ended the game. The Steamwheelers made excellent use of the clock, controlling time of possession 37:21 to the Wolves 22:39 for the four stanzas.

The Wolves struck early in the first half. Al Philips recorded his first interception of the season picking off a Raterink pass on the second play of the game. The Wolves scored three plays later when Paul Jefferson scored his third rushing touc hdown of the season to put the Wolves on top 7-0. After stopping the Steamwheelers on their next possession, the Wolves missed an opportunity to extend their lead when Sammons fumbled on the Quad City goal line. The Steamwheelers capitalized on the Wolves turnover by putting together an eight play drive culminating in a four yard rushing touchdown by Russ Monk to tie the game 7-7. On their next possession, Pinkney completed three straight passes to leading receiver Jason Messing and capped the drive with a 16 yard touchdown strike to WR Steve Savoy to give the Wolves a 14-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Pinkney was hot in the first quarter completing all seven of his passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.

After a defensive stop to start the second quarter the Wolves struck quickly when Pinkney completed a thirty-five yard pass to WR Sammons. The Steamwheelers and Wolves traded touchdowns over the next three possessions with the Steamwheelers combination of Raterink and Schmidt hooking up for touchdowns of six and fifteen yards while the Wolves duo of Pinkney and Messing connected for a six yard touchdown with 2:28 remaining in the first half. Pinkney finished the half completing 12 passes in 16 attempts for 156 yards and three touchdowns. Raterink put up similar numbers completing 13 passes in 22 attempts for 146 yards and three touchdowns. Despite the Steamwheelers having the edge in time of possession, 9:42 to the 5:18, Manchester had the advantage 28- 21 at halftime.

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