Xplorers win defensive battle at Amarillo
AMARILLO --- The Memphis Xplorers snapped a two game road losing streak with a late defensive stand and in the process snapped an Amarillo four game win streak with a 34-27 win over the Dusters at the Amarillo Civic Center Sunday afternoon.
The Xplorers defense held after the Dusters cut it to seven with :22 remaining and recovered the ensuing onside kick. Terrell Adams tackled Amarillo WR John Roberson at the Memphis five yard line on the final play of the game to preserve the Xplorers' seventh win of the season.
Kenny Higgins caught three scoring passes including what turned out to be the game winner in the third quarter. He finished with seven receptions for 108 yards. QB Brian Jones went 21 of 30 for 250 yards and four scores. Kevin Prentiss added the other TD reception. Jones also added a rushing score.
Memphis jumped out 14-0 in the first quarter on a pair of Jones to Higgins connections and led 28-21 at halftime. Each team scored just six points a piece in the defensive second half. The big tide-turning play of the half occurred early as Xplorers' defensive specialist Jonathan Lyles intercepted Duster QB Steve Panella on the opening possession of the half. Memphis would go down and score to give them back the two TD cushion that was needed late in the game.
The win improved the Xplorers' record to 7-2 and it also keeps them in first place by a half a game over Florida in the South Division. Amarillo fell to 4-4.
The Xplorers are back on the road next Saturday with a 9 pm CDT kickoff at Stockton, CA versus the expansion Lightning.
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