Wranglers downed by Force, 61-29
A slow start doomed the Austin Wranglers against the Georgia Force on Sunday, as a shaky offensive performance and special teams mistakes led to a 25-point halftime deficit and a 61-29 loss in front of 11,464 fans at the Frank Erwin Center.
Force offensive specialist Chris Jackson's 50-yard field goal return on the last play of the first half was Georgia's sixth touchdown and capped off a rocky beginning for Austin.
The Wranglers came out determined to play better in the second half with former Longhorns leading the way. WR/LB Greg Brown led the team with 7.5 tackles and caught a touchdown from fellow Longhorn Chance Mock in the fourth quarter. Mock entered the game and completed three-of-five passes for 31 yards in his second appearance of the season. Texas Ex Aaron Humphrey also contributed two tackles, one tackle for a loss of eight yards, three quarterback hits and a fumble recovery.
Jackson led the Force with 12 catches for 117 yards and a receiving touchdown. The former Washington State star frustrated Austin defenders all afternoon, making several narrow escapes along the boards and from the end zone on kickoff returns. Jackson was named ADT Offensive Player of the Game for his performance.
Georgia quarterback Matt Nagy benefited from Jackson's exploits, completing 23-of-30 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns for Georgia (7-4). Nagy also found WR/LB Derek Lee open for much of the game. Lee used his 6-foot-5 inch frame to pull down six catches for 104 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown. The Tennessee Tech standout out-jumped Austin receivers for an interception off the net late in the game and received Ironman of the Game honors.
Austin quarterback John Fitzgerald completed 21-of-33 passes for 218 yards and two touchdowns for the Wranglers (7-4). Fitzgerald also threw two interceptions. His first was returned 35 yards for a touchdown by Georgia WR/LB Jamin Elliott to put the Force up 21-7 in the first quarter. Elliott was named Defensive Player of the Game
Austin OS Derrick Lewis had 10 receptions for 147 yards and two touchdowns for the Wranglers, who couldn't keep up with six Georgia touchdowns in the first half. The two teams traded points in a sluggish, penalty-marred second half.
Austin closes out a two-game homestand next Saturday, April 15, at 7 p.m. against Southern Division rival Tampa Bay. Tickets are still available for the Wranglers three remaining home games by calling 512.339.3939.
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