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 Northern Arizona Wranglers

Wranglers Win Third Straight After Upsetting Knight Hawks 58-52

June 3, 2024 - Indoor Football League (IFL)
Northern Arizona Wranglers News Release

HENDERSON, Nev. - The Northern Arizona Wranglers improved to a 7-3 record on the season with a huge 58-52 win over the Vegas Knight Hawks at Lee's Family Forum.

The Wranglers began this Western Conference battle on defense. On the first play of the game, defensive back Kevin Hyde ripped the ball from a Knight Hawk receiver's hand, forcing a turnover. The Wranglers began the drive at the Vegas 10-yard line, and quarterback Joshua Jones got the rushing touchdown. The Wranglers were in front of the Knight Hawks by seven in a blink of an eye. Vegas quickly responded with a touchdown of their own but missed the point after attempt. On the following drive, the Wranglers extended their lead courtesy of a field goal made by kicker Axel Perez. The Knight Hawks took the lead for the first time in the game right at the end of the first quarter.

The Wranglers opened the second quarter on offense, behind the Knight Hawks by three points, with a score of 13-10. Wide receiver Kobay White got a rushing score to regain the lead for the Wranglers. The Knight Hawks responded with yet another touchdown for the fourth lead change of the first half. Vegas missed the point after attempt, and the Wranglers were able to take the lead yet again with a second field goal from Perez. The Knight Hawks and Wranglers continued to continuously trade punches. Vegas scored a touchdown on the ensuing possession and converted a successful two-point conversion with a trick play. The Wranglers missed a field goal attempt just before halftime, and the Wranglers entered the locker room at halftime trailing by seven points.

Northern Arizona was down by a score of 27-20 at halftime. The back-and-forth blows by each team in the first half foreshadowed an exciting second half.

Northern Arizona's offense came out to start the second half. The Wranglers offense wasted no time and scored in just one play. Jones found wide receiver Arsiah McCorker open, who made a one-handed grab for the long touchdown. This score by McCorker tied the contest at 27 apiece. The next three possessions saw each team trading touchdown scores. Wranglers wide receiver David Elder earned himself a rushing touchdown that was sandwiched between two touchdown drives for the Knight Hawks. The Knight Hawks kicker missed both extra-point attempts and started to receive some boos from his home crowd. The Wranglers found themselves behind the Knight Hawks by a score of 39-34 entering the final quarter.

The Wranglers' offense opened the fourth quarter with a rushing touchdown by Jones. Perez nailed a dropkick for two points, and the Wranglers led by a score of 42-39. Vegas tied the game once again, at 42 apiece with a successful field goal. On the following possession, Northern Arizona scored in two plays. This touchdown was a 29-yard connection between Jones and wide receiver John Maldonado. Perez nailed another dropkick on the point after an attempt to put the Wranglers up by eight points. The Knight Hawks responded with full force, successfully pulling off the infamous 10-point possession. Vegas got a touchdown, a two-point conversion, and a deuce on the kickoff. The Knight Hawks took a 52-50 lead with just 56 seconds remaining in the contest.

The Wranglers had zero panic and kept their composure to close the game. Jones recorded another rushing touchdown that was a gut punch to Vegas with just 14 seconds left on the clock. The energy was sucked out of Lee's Family Forum, as the Wranglers took a 58-52 lead. Perez nailed yet another drop kick, and the Wranglers led by six points, and gave the Knight Hawks only 11 seconds to work with on offense. Vegas couldn't get anything done in that time, and the Wranglers left Henderson with a gigantic victory.

The Wranglers improved their record to 7-3 on the season and got their biggest win of the year thus far. The Wranglers put themselves in great position to make the Indoor Football League Playoffs, taking down one of the top teams in the Western Conference. The Wranglers will enter a bye week with no game to play next weekend. The Wranglers will return from the bye week well rested and ready to take on the Arizona Rattlers down in Glendale, Ariz. Northern Arizona enters the bye week riding a three-game winning streak.

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