Sunday, August 7, 2005
Vixen Triumph over Reign in Final Seconds
By Dave Herndon
Thee Toledo Reign appeared to be on their way to a hard fought victory before being toppled in the final minute by the Minnesota Vixen.
Minnesota struck first when Sherry Levasseur scampered into the end zone from six yards out. This put the score at 7-0.
Minnesota seemed to be physically dominating the game to that point. The game turned when Lori Welling recovered a fumble with 2:05 left in the first quarter. On the next play Kandi Kill punched the ball into the end zone from 26-yards out. The PAT failed and Toledo trailed 7-6, but had regained their confidence.
With time running out in the half Kill busted a 40-yard run, being forced out of bounds near the 20-yard line. Two plays later Maranda Carpenter threw a strike to Chris Wolcott for an 18-yard TD pass. The 2-point conversion was successful, putting the Reign up 14-7 with twenty seconds remaining in the half.
The Reign received the ball to start the second half, and drove the field to put in another score. The drive culminated in a 9-yard scoring run by Kill. Stacy Alkula put in the 2-pt conversion to put the Reign up 22-7 with 12:03 to go in the half. But the Reign wouldn’t score again.
The Reign continued to do everything possible to keep the Vixen off the score board continually backing them up and keeping them under pressure. When the Vixen did almost score Leslie Keane picked off the pass and returned in 25-yards.
With 3:01 left in the game Kristen May flattened the Minnesota quarter-back to seemingly end the drive. But on fourth down Minnesota scored to bring themselves to within one point at 22-21 with 2:54 left in the game.
Toledo tried to run the clock out, but was unable to gain a first down as Minnesota used timeouts to stop the clock. With 42 seconds left in the game Minnesota returned a punt 53-yards to put themselves up 27-22.
Carpenter, who serves as punter and quarterback, was injured on the punt. But she was the only quarterback on the sidelines for the game and was forced to go back out for the final drive. With 36-seconds left in the game she took another hard hit, and was slow to get back up. Then while trying to will the ball down the field she was picked off and Minnesota ran the clock out.
“We thought we were ready for them. My team played their hearts out, out there on the field tonight,” said Reign head coach Mitchi Collette.
“It’s extremely upsetting to lose, especially in that way to that team. They are the team that kept us out of the play offs last year and we really wanted this. It leaves real sour memories for us,” said Sue Ambrose, who plays on both the offensive and defensive lines.
“This really humbles us. We played hard and held our own, but in the end it just wasn’t enough. We’ve come very far against them though,” said Toledo’s defensive player of the game Angie Maddox, who had 11 tackles.
For more information, please contact Thee Toledo Reign at 419-654-5799 or email: TheeToledoReign@aol.com.