Wolves win 54-41 over Fusion
The Manchester Wolves (1-2) used a stellar second-half defensive effort and a strong overall showing by QB Ryan Porter to defeat the Fort Wayne Fusion, 54-41, Saturday night at Brady Sullivan Field at the Verizon Wireless Arena. The Wolves shook off a slow start to win their first game of 2007 in front of 7,011 fans in the team's home opener. This was also the Wolves first victory in a home opener since the team's arrival to Manchester in 2004.
Manchester's defense, which allowed 34 points to the Fusion in the first half, stood strong in the final two frames, allowing only one Fort Wayne touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Porter accounted for eight touchdowns (7 passing, 1 rushing) for the Wolves in his first start for the team. It was also just the second start of his af2 career. He completed 22-of-29 passes on the night for 249 yards and no interceptions. He led Manchester to touchdowns on all five of the team's second-half drives as the team outscored the Fusion, 33-7. Porter earned the Schutt Offensive Player of the Game Award for his efforts.
Porter also spread the ball around, throwing TD passes to four different receivers. WR Ari Confesor led the team with seven catches for 55 yards and two scores. WR/DB David Bailey was second on the squad with six catches for 98 yards and one touchdown. He was also a menace on defense with 5.0 total tackles, one fumble recovery, one interception and two passes defended. Bailey, a former UNH standout, earned the U.S. Army Ironman of the Game Award. He also earned the Cutters Catch of the Game for his diving 33-yard TD grab in the third quarter.
The Wolves swept the postgame awards as DB Shawn Murray (7.0 total tackles) was awarded the ADT Defensive Player of the Game.
Fort Wayne (2-2) was led in defeat by QB Aaron Marshall (25-of-45, 209 yards 3 TD passes, one INT, 1 rush TD) and WR Jermaine Jackson, who had a game-high 10 catches for 73 yards and one touchdown.
The Wolves host the expansion Mahoning Valley Thunder next week on Saturday, April 28 on Brady Sullivan Field at 7:05 PM.
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