Tulsa’s win puts them at 11-1 for the season, tied for first place overall with the Spokane Shock. The Shock suffered their first loss this year on a last-second field goal by Scott Hode of the South Georgia Wildcats giving the Wildcat a 57-55 victory.
“Hopefully, this is a wake-up call for our guys,” Head Coach Adam Shackleford said. “Coach Stingley (South Georgia’s Head Coach) got us tonight, he did a good job. If we learn from it, that’s what we’ll take from it.”
Too little, too late to matter…
Tulsa opened the scoring on an 8-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Allgood to Chris Maddox and then increased their lead to 14-0 on a fumble recovery at the 20-yard line. Rio Grande managed a field goal with 25 seconds left in the first quarter.
By the end of the half, the Talons were up 35-3 on three more touchdowns; a 2-yard run by Jamar Ransom, a 5-yard pass from Allgood to Jeff Hughley and second touchdown reception by Maddox.
Did Rio come to play or what…
The second half was a different story, though. Rio Grande mounted a third and fourth quarter surge, scoring 49 points to Tulsa’s 23. It started on a 57-yard kickoff return by Jermaine Carpenter. A 4-yard TD from Dorado’s QB Travis Cole to Travis McAlpine and another Cole to Anthony Chambers 15-yard connection made the score 41-27 at the end of the third quarter.
Rio’s Cole connected again with Carpenter on a 34-yard touchdown pass and a 15-yard TD run by Cole brought them within six. The Talons scored on a 20-yard TD pass from Derek Rasmussen to Hughley and were able to hold them off, winning 58-52 and keeping Tulsa at the top of the Central Division.
What’s on tap next, Captain…
Tulsa has four more regular season games before playoff time. Next Saturday, they are in Amarillo to take on the Dusters, who are coming off a 60-49 loss to the Lubbock Renegades. On July 12, the Talons take on the Arkansas Twisters at home (get your tickets now) and then play their last two games on the road against the OKC Yard Dawgz (July 19) and the Iowa Barnstormers (July 26).
For Rio Grande, it’s the Bossier-Shreveport BattleWings next weekend in Louisiana and then their last three are at home against the Corpus Christi Sharks (July 12), the Austin Wranglers (July 19) and closing out their season against the Lubbock Renegades (July 26).